The Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) has announced the appointment of a new president, after the departure of Liz Fidler last year.

The incoming president, Claire Steele, is currently the APTUK professional lead for Scotland.

Ms Steele, who is a pharmacy technician by training, has also been head of pharmacy medicines supply and quality at NHS Fife.

In an announcement published on the APTUK website this week, the incoming president said she was ‘looking forward’ to taking up the new role and ‘[continuing] to strengthen the representation of the pharmacy technician profession’.

‘The past two years have been exceptionally challenging for all pharmacy services and to each of you, I offer my heartfelt thanks for your dedication to our communities.

‘Because of what you have achieved and the hard work by the association, the profile of pharmacy technicians is greater than ever before. We need to capitalise on this and amplify our lobbying for legislative change to enable pharmacy technicians to practice independently and optimise the care and services we offer to our patients’, she said.

Ms Steele called for more support from technicians to help grow APTUK membership across all of the home countries.

‘The more members we have, the greater our voice is and the stronger we become’, she explained.

‘As a pharmacy technician, I want to be heard as I am sure you do too. Please engage with our activity on social media, attend branch events and take opportunities to be involved in your association.’

Members of the pharmacy sector took to social media to congratulate the new president.

Previous president Liz Fidler is due to become the first-ever pharmacy technician to the chief pharmaceutical officer’s team in March.

Dr Keith Ridge, the previous chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, who stood down this year, said that the new role ‘[signalled] a new era for the profession, leading the step-change needed to build on and fully realise the benefits of the pharmacy technician clinical role for patients across the NHS system’.

Ms Fidler’s new role will involve providing leadership and professional advice in relation to the pharmacy technician profession in England.

In an open letter sent to the APTUK in October 2021, Mr Ridge said there was a ‘great future' for the profession as it is a ‘critical’ element ‘to the functioning of the pharmacy team and pharmacy and medicines optimisation services in the NHS’.

NHS England and APTUK must work together to ‘increase recruitment and maximise the potential of the clinical role of pharmacy technicians in the NHS,’ if pharmacy teams are to achieve the goals set out for them in the NHS Long Term Plan, he added.