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Pharmacy technicians included in primary care network staffing scheme

By Awil Mohamoud

11 Feb 2020

Pharmacy technician rates will be fully reimbursed by NHS England for their role within primary care networks as part of the new GP contract.

GP practices will be able to claim the costs of employing a pharmacy technician in their PCN for the first time from April as part of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme.

The new GP contract, released last week, extends the scheme from four health professional roles to ten, reflecting NHS England’s intention to increase recruitment and ease pressure on PCNs.   

NHS England says it hopes this scheme will help it reach its national workforce target of 26,000 extra staff, as it describes expanding the workforce as ‘the top priority for primary care’.

GP practices will be able to claim back a maximum of £35,389 spent on pharmacist technicians in a single 12-month period. The average salary for a pharmacy technician in the UK is £29,478, according to Reed. However, there are several cities, such as London and Manchester, where the average salary is closer to £40,000.

PCNs will generally be expected to recruit no more than one or two pharmacy technicians depending on population size, according to the contract.

Eligibility to the scheme is also contingent on ‘expected available supply nationwide’ and demand from practices for the roles. It does not provide details about what the pharmacy technician role will involve.

The Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme was brought in in 2019 with the advent of PCNs.

Other positions now incorporated in the scheme include health and wellbeing coaches, care co-ordinators, occupational therapists, dietitians, and podiatrists and community paramedics. Mental health practitioner roles will also be included from next year.

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