Nationally negotiated patient group directions (PGDs) will need to be reviewed before pharmacy technicians can use them to supply medicines, Community Pharmacy England and Scotland have said.

Legislative changes that come into effect from today (26 June) mean that pharmacy technicians could legally provide medicines under PGDs – described as ‘a landmark moment for primary care’ by the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK).

The changes will not immediately apply to NHS community pharmacy services, but in other circumstances, 'the drafting of the individual PGD and the requirements of the service specification will determine whether pharmacy technicians can immediately provide a specific service', Community Pharmacy England (CPE) told The Pharmacist.

The negotiator said it 'would expect locally commissioned services will first need to be reviewed as is the case for national community pharmacy services'.

In a reminder issued yesterday, CPE said that ‘while the change means pharmacy technicians can be included in PGDs, it does not mean they are automatically included in existing NHS community pharmacy PGDs’.

‘Whilst the regulatory changes provide the legal basis for pharmacy technicians to begin supplying and administering medicines under PGDs from 26 June 2024, it is important to note that there can be no immediate change in the provision of community pharmacy services,’ CPE said.

It has previously confirmed to The Pharmacist that the legislative changes will not mean that pharmacy technicians will be able to conduct Pharmacy First consultations, as this service was negotiated on the basis of a pharmacist providing the service, as is referenced throughout the service specification.

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) also confirmed to The Pharmacist that the situation was the same in Scotland.

‘The regulations have been amended to mean this can legally be done from 26 of June, however won’t be applied immediately as PGDs will be under review to ensure pharmacy technicians are supported, equipped and ready to deliver NHS Scotland PGD services as part of ongoing work,’ a CPS spokesperson said.