Discussions have taken place over the inclusion of pharmacy technicians in the delivery of the NHS New Medicine Service, according to Hammaad Patel, national pharmacy integration lead at NHS England.

Speaking at the Pharmacy Show at NEC Birmingham today, Mr Patel expressed the view that pharmacy technicians were ‘well placed’ in community pharmacies to provide support for patients within the service as well as ‘many others’.

He said: ‘We have had initial discussions, admittedly some time ago now, with [NHS England senior professional advisor pharmacy technician practice] Liz Fidler around including pharmacy technicians in the New Medicine Service and how we can explore that, and we will definitely be looking forward to continue those conversations and thinking about where the skills and the expertise of pharmacy technicians can be used most appropriately.’

The possible inclusion of pharmacy technicians and wider pharmacy staff in the delivery of the service could ‘make it much more appealing and easier for pharmacy contractors to deliver the service to any role’, Mr Patel added.

He also commented that more could be done to raise awareness of the service among GPs.

‘We can do more, and we will do more from an NHS England perspective to increase awareness,’ Mr Patel said.

‘But I think also there’s a role to play for LPCs, for pharmacy contractors themselves and for pharmacy staff to really do that local engagement, because there’s nothing better than speaking directly to GP practices in your local area… linking back to the point of how the New Medicine Service really complements what’s going on in general practice.’

The New Medicine Service, which launched more than 10 years ago, provides support for people with long-term conditions newly prescribed a medicine to help improve medicines adherence.