Changes to allow pharmacy technicians to supply medicines will not apply immediately and will not affect Pharmacy First, Community Pharmacy England has confirmed.

The Human Medicines Regulations were amended last week to enable registered pharmacy technicians to supply medicines under patient group directions (PGDs).

But although the amendments will come into effect from 26 June, Community Pharmacy England said ‘there can be no immediate change in the provision of community pharmacy services’.

‘Any updates to services first need to be considered in negotiations and, where agreed, the relevant service directions and specifications would then be amended,’ the negotiator said in a statement today.

And it confirmed 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.

The Pharmacist understands that the issue of who can provide Pharmacy First services would need to be considered as part of national negotiations going forwards.

However, the government previously said the changes would 'potentially enable' pharmacy technicians to provide consultations under Pharmacy First.

Commenting on the legislative change today, Gordon Hockey, CPE legal director said: ‘As the clinical skills of community pharmacists are put to greater use through services such as Pharmacy First, it is important to ensure that pharmacies can make best use of skill mix across the whole team.’

Meanwhile Liz Fidler, Senior Professional Advisor for Pharmacy Technician Practice at NHS England said in a post on X that she was looking forward to working with colleagues 'to maximise this key change' for services and patient care.