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“I love Pharmacy and I love being a Pharmacy Technician” says Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith


How long have you been qualified as a Pharmacy Technician?


I registered as a Pharmacy Technician in September 2017 after completing my Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician (PTPT) course at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. I am now employed by the Trust and work at the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.


What has been your career progression so far?


I had a very exciting two years before registering as a Pharmacy Technician. I completed a BTEC and NVQ qualification through distance learning using Bradford College where I achieved the top grade of a Distinction* Distinction* in my BTEC course. I had the determination within my PTPT course to aim high throughout. I grabbed every opportunity that came my way:  I was part of the interviewing selection panel that considered the various providers for Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician Education and Training in the South East of England. I have further been included as the trainee representative for various Pharmacy Quality Visits organised by Health Education England including Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Within East Kent Hospitals, I took the opportunity of visiting the local hospice which the hospital supplies, shadowed the paediatric pharmacist, and shadowed many nurse specialists including respiratory, dementia, and diabetes, and even observed orthopaedic operations for a day. During my second year of training, I designed and presented a training session on ‘Accuracy in Dispensing: The Importance of the Self Check’ as part of my NVQ. The aims were to highlight the need to perform a self-check of dispensed items before passing for the final check, as a missed error could directly impact patient safety. Initially, this was just for the first year Pre Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technicians in East Kent Hospitals, but following its success, my line manager requested that I should present this to pharmacy assistants throughout the whole of East Kent Hospitals Trust to directly address identified patient safety issues.  I was elected to become ‘Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician Representative’ for the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) Kent Branch where I have contributed into the discussions on matters affecting the future of pharmacy including the proposed standards for the initial education and training of Pharmacy Technicians. Being a part of the Kent Branch, I promoted the Pharmacy Technician profession and APTUK to a large independent community pharmacy multiple of 130 branches, and to all community pharmacies within the Kent area through social media by contacting Kent Local Pharmaceutical Committee. Following my successes throughout my two-year course, I nominated myself and successfully won the title of APTUK/AAH Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician of the Year 2017, and was invited to attend the APTUK Annual Professional Conference 2018 in Glasgow where I was interviewed on stage about my journey as a Pharmacy Technician. I was also recently invited by the Prime Minister to attend 10 Downing Street to celebrate 70 years of the NHS with other healthcare professionals in the country. I also managed to meet Jeremy Hunt at the event and we discussed pharmacy and my role within the pharmacy.


Since registering as a Pharmacy Technician, I have started working towards the APTUK Foundation Pharmacy Framework, seeing where the gaps are in my knowledge, and what training I need to do to fill the gaps. From October 2018, I start my Medicines Optimisation Course to learn how to POD check and complete Medicine Reconciliations on the hospital wards. From 2019, I will be starting my Accuracy Checking Pharmacy Technician (ACPT) Course.


Click here to read part two of the interview

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