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Dispensary Specialist Pharmacy Technician, Training

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
£28,407 to £34,581 Per annum
Closing date
24 May 2024

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Pharmacist, Pharmacy technician
Band 5
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Details

The candidate must be competent in all Dispensary based activities, and work to the high standards set within the Pharmacy department.

The Pharmacy Service is well developed and forward thinking, providing Clinical Pharmacy Services, a Stock and 'Topping Up' Service and the Medicine Management Service to specific wards. We have a busy Technician-led licensed Aseptic Service Unit preparing TPN, cytotoxics and radiopharmaceuticals, a Quality Control Unit, Trials Department and a Distribution Service.

All candidates should be positive about the extended role of Pharmacy Technicians, and enthusiastic to develop themselves and the work of the team. They must also be able to work within different pharmacy environments and be a proactive member of staff.

The candidate should be a registered Pharmacy Technician, with experience of training different grades of staff.

Main duties of the job

To support the Principal Pharmacy Technician- Medicine Supply, Assistant Dispensary Manager(s) and other Senior Pharmacy Technicians.

To assist Senior Technicians to provide comprehensive pharmaceutical care to patients in the Directorate.

To ensure training of staff within Dispensary is of a high standard and completed in a timely manner.

To line manage allocated members of staff.

To provide ad-hoc support to the QA department in monitoring and processing unlicenced medicines and over labelled or repackaged TTO Packs.

Give support to Appraisers in offering insight into individuals development needs and assisting with training to fulfil PDPs.

About us

Northampton General Hospital is one of the largest employers in the area and we are on an exciting journey. All of our divisions are committed to doing things better, with more efficiency as we update, modernise, and advance. We have also entered into a Group Model with neighbouring Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and become University Hospitals of Northamptonshire.

Our Excellence Values






We want to recruit the best people to deliver our services across the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire and help to unleash everyone's full potential. As an organisation, we value how we communicate and promote our vacancies to all communities.

The Hospital Group encourages applications from people who identify from all protected groups, especially those from BAME, Disabled and LGBTQ+ backgrounds as these are underrepresented in our hospitals.

We understand that we need to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and make sure the environment they work in is inclusive and collaborative.

We have active Networks that promote and support colleagues from all backgrounds.This ensures everyone feels supported and has a sense of belonging working for Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals.

Job description

Job responsibilities

To assist the Principal Pharmacy Technician- Medicine Supply and Assistant Dispensary Manager(s) to co-ordinate the workload through the dispensary. This will include the following tasks:

To identify bottlenecks within the Dispensary and react accordingly:

a. Pro-actively manage staff to ensure the Dispensary is able to dispense prescriptions effectively.

b. Manage the workload according to agreed Pharmacy turnaround times, escalating as necessary, according to the internal Pharmacy Escalation Policy.

c. Monitor the validation tray.

d. Monitor the FIFO (First In First Out) tray for build-up of work.

e. Observe the flow of trays between dispensing and checking, ensuring the buffer level is maintained.

f. Put advanced work into the FIFO tray as and when appropriate to. This should be monitored on a regular basis.

g. To follow the internal Escalation Policy when set levels within the dispensary are reached.

To be available to advise dispensary staff and problem solve prescription-related/ formulary issues as they arise.

To manage staff breaks and diversions, ensuring as best as possible, dispensary staff levels/ratios are maintained according to the demand profile.

To ensure dispensary issues are identified and recorded.

To manage secondary duties according to task type and dispensary demand (eg, drawer replenishment, cleaning, returns etc) through pro-active delegation.

To enforce low noise levels within the dispensary area so that dispensers and checkers can concentrate on their primary duties, reducing the risk of interventions.

To order and monitor to-follow items as required.

To capture and record dispensing interventions as they occur.

To oversee Receptionists responsibilities according to any given situation, ensuring that reception is manned and maintained throughout dispensary opening hours.

To perform appraisals to delegated candidates by the Principal Pharmacy Technician- Medicine Supply in accordance with Trust policy

To help with the audits and other tasks needing support by the Principal Pharmacy Technician- Medicine Supply and Senior Technicians.

To assist in the provision of medicines for the treatment of patients. This will include the following tasks:

To accurately and promptly dispense prescriptions for in-patients, out-patients, day-patients and leave/discharge patients.

To issue dispensed medicines to patients and confirm that they know how to use them (see Notes).

To supply Controlled Drugs and keep appropriate records.

To undertake auditing and organising of Controlled Drugs procedures and processes

To undertake final-checking according to a defined policy when competence has been proven.

To undertake Enhanced Patient Counselling following appropriate training.

If required, to issue and/or top-up supplies of stock preparations for wards, departments and other areas.

To assist in the maintenance of a clean and efficient environment suitable for the handling and dispensing of medicinal substances proper cleaning, maintenance and use of equipment.

Acting as the Dispensary co-ordinator for the department when on the rota to do so.

This will include:

Answering queries from different members of staff across the Trust as well as patients.

Ensuring the Dispensary workflow is efficient.

Dealing with medicine owing and arranging the ordering of products.

Helping to identify dispensing errors and correct them.

Prioritising the most urgent prescriptions.

Escalating within Pharmacy when the workload becomes unmanageable (as per Escalation policy).

Managing staff during low periods of work

To ensure training of staff within Dispensary is of a high standard. This will include the following tasks:

To ensure each new member of staff to Dispensary has a clear training plan set out and explained to them in their first week.

To ensure that each new member of staff is inducted into the department appropriately by following and completing the relevant induction paperwork.

To assess and review development of Dispensary staff and those on Dispensary rotations, and ensure that there is a plan in place for their ongoing training requirements.

To act as a witness or expert for Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technicians.

To liaise with the Principal Pharmacy Technician- Medicine Supply, Pharmacy Assistant Dispensary Manager(s) and Senior Pharmacy Technicians in regard to training packages and ideas of how to improve them.

To understand controlled drug policies and procedures. This will include the following tasks:

On occasion, to investigate any discrepancies in controlled drug stock levels/pharmacy system levels/register levels and report to Principal Pharmacy Technician- Medicine Supply/Dispensary Assistant Manager(s)/Senior Pharmacy Technician for CDs.

To arrange/perform controlled drug uplifts from wards when required as per the SOP.

To destroy controlled drugs alongside appropriate person.

To provide ad-hoc support to the Quality Assurance Department in assessment and monitoring of purchased unlicensed medicines and over labelled or repackaged TTO Packs

This will include the following tasks

Inspection and release of unlicenced medicines and other products requiring QA approval and to work autonomously under the guidance of senior QA staff.

Assist in the processing of in-house repackaged and over labelled TTO packs.

Participate in the training of dispensary staff in GMP processes.

Be responsible for unlicenced medicines in the dispensary ensuring best practice in supply.

To participate in the management of TTO packs procured for use in the Trust under the guidance of senior QA staff. This will include:

Annual usage review.

Liaising with ward-based Pharmacists and Technicians.

Assisting with the sourcing of new lines and alternative suppliers of existing lines.

Review and update procedures and specifications for outsourced TTO packs.

Ensure Directorate Pharmacist requests for all TTO packs are available and current.

To use technical and pharmaceutical skills to ensure control, security, quality and value for money of medicines. This will include the following tasks:

To assist in maintaining appropriate storage and stock levels of medicines in Pharmacy departments to ensure quality, potency and economy.

To help to maintain an accurate computerised pharmacy stock control system to take part in daily stock checks.

To assess and return medicines for re-use in accordance with the departmental policy.

To maintain necessary records. If required, to collate information and present reports.

To undertake appropriate duties in the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Service.

To assist in Directorate responsibilities. This will include the following tasks:

To assist with the production of quarterly medicine expenditure reports.

To assist in audit projects within the Directorate.

To assist with producing and reviewing SOPs.

Other Duties. This will include the following tasks:

To deputise for Senior Pharmacy Technicians, when necessary.

To line manage allocated members of staff.

To undertake other duties elsewhere in the locality.

To train Pharmacy and other staff

Person Specification

Education, Training and Qualifications


  • Registered Pharmacy Technician with GPhC.


  • Training qualification.

Knowledge and Experience


  • Computerised stock control system.
  • Recent post qualification experience as a Pharmacy Technician.
  • Counselling patients in the use of their medicines.
  • Technical 'final check' of dispensed medicines.
  • How dispensing errors occur.
  • Good Manufacturing Practice.
  • Developing staff.
  • Good IT skills (e.g. Excel proficient)


  • Supervising & managing staff.
  • Delivery of training and coaching programmes.
  • Knowledge of GPhC Initial Education and Training standards of Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacy Support Staff.



  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal.
  • Computer skills such as dispensing, stock control.
  • Problem solving skills.

Key Competencies, Personal Qualities and Attributes


  • Both full and part time candidates should have the ability to work shifts that will cover 7 days of the week as the NHS moves towards 7 day service provision.
  • Enthusiasm for the job.
  • Positive about the future role of Technicians.
  • Presentable.
  • Evidence of a good attendance record.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure.

Employer details

Employer name

Northampton General Hospital


Northampton General Hospital




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