Claire Sutton

Job Title

Senior Pharmacy Technician Education & Training

Where are you based?

In a Hospital

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


How did you come to work in the NHS?

In my early twenties, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to work with and help people. I saw an advert in the newspaper for a Pharmacy Support worker in a nearby teaching hospital and started there on a 6-month fixed term contract.

Briefly explain your job

I’m a Pharmacy Technician and I manage the apprentices in the pharmacy department at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I support them with their apprenticeships and ensure the course provider is the most appropriate.

Some days I am mostly in meetings. They can be meeting with trainees to review their progress, offer support and set objectives. Other meetings are with the rest of my department to review and approve new procedures, guidelines and training packs. I also meet with colleagues from outside the department or the Trust to work on projects on a local/national level.

I spend the rest of my time in the dispensary where medicine is collected by patients. I complete final accuracy checks on dispensed and prescribed medications for patients in the hospital to make sure they receive what they should be receiving.

What do you love about your job?

Seeing trainees complete their course and our apprentice trainee pharmacy technicians registering with the General Pharmaceutical Council when they complete their apprenticeship.

What is challenging about your role?

Sometimes, it can be challenging to meet the demands of the pharmacy service and the needs of the individual members of staff I manage. A lot of my role involves pastoral care to the trainees.

Is there career progression in your role and how would you get there?

Have ambition, don’t settle, there are always improvements to be made and healthcare is always evolving, along with the healthcare roles. A Pharmacy Technician role, when I qualified in 2011, was not as expansive and varied as it is now and there are always new areas of work opening. It’s important to build networks, you never know when that person you worked with ten years ago may be able to support you in something you’re working on now or vice versa.

What would you say to a young person thinking of joining the NHS?

Although there are times when a career in the NHS can be tough, there will be so many more times it will be rewarding – whether your role is patient-facing or not, we are all a cog in the system of creating and providing care for all.

A career in the NHS is almost limitless, there are so many career paths to be take, some you may even create yourself.

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