Pharmacy technicians are skilled and essential members of the pharmacy team who manage the supply of medicines and assist pharmacists with advisory services to patients and the public. This can include providing advice on healthy lifestyles or helping people to manage conditions – from chicken pox to high blood pressure and supporting people to stop smoking!
Working at Shil Pharmacy, an independent NHS community pharmacy in Cwmbran, is Pharmacy Technician, Julie Morton. Julie has been responsible for leading the smoking cessation service in the pharmacy throughout the pandemic with great success.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of support services were carried out over the phone or via video consultation. Minimal in-person consultations were able to take place, though for those who did feel comfortable to visit the pharmacy, patients were able to speak to staff over the counter through a perspex screen.
From March 2020–March 2021, Julie supported 10 patients on the Level three Stop Smoking Cessation programme using nicotine replacement therapy. There were seven out of 10 patients who were successful in quitting after the 12-week programme. Additionally, the pharmacy had two successful patients quit using Champix through the smoking cessation programme. Julie continues to treat patients who wish to quit smoking.
Julie said, “I am pleased to be involved in the service. I enjoy helping people achieve their goals - I actually received flowers from one of our patients.”
Julie added, “Everyone has got a different reason to quit, most of them are usually health-related. People think it’s going to be impossible to quit, but with our support, they have realised that it’s not as hard as they think.”