Westminster Kingsway College has celebrated the achievements of adult learners who have achieved their BTEC National Certificate NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Services and are now working across the UK as Pharmacy Technicians in a range of healthcare settings.
This is a two-year course available to anyone who is employed for at least 15 hours per week under the direction of a registered pharmacist. The course covers all aspects of pharmacy and reflects the developments that are currently being seen within pharmacy technician practice; many of the practitioners are involved in the teaching on the course. Along with the NVQ Level 3, this qualification leads to registration with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain as a qualified pharmacy technician.
A certificate presentation was held at the College’s King’s Cross Centre, where learners were presented with their certificates by Steve Acres, Registered Pharmacy Technician and a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Council. The keynote address was given by Wendy London, also a Registered Pharmacy Technician and the Head of Pharmaceutical Education and Training at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust in North London.
Wendy’s speech was enthusiastically received by both staff and learners alike as she explained how the course had helped her career and the vast differences in the training today and when she first started in the profession in the early 1970s.
Joanne Martin, Curriculum Team Leader for Health & Social Care and Pharmacy courses at Westminster Kingsway College, said: “The BTEC National Certificate in Pharmacy Services is going from strength to strength. The profession is expanding and, with a Foundation Degree now available, Pharmacy Technicians are now central to the continuing modernisation of the Pharmacy Service in Hospitals and within the community. Westminster Kingsway College is now the largest provider of this type of training in the country and with all learners having secured employment we have even more reasons to celebrate.”
Amongst the learners celebrating were husband and wife, Jarrad and Emily Byrne who both achieved their certificates on the same course.
Jarrad said: “I read a job description for a Pharmacy Technician’s job and the course was recommended. Both Emily and I decided to enrol at the same time and we were lucky enough to secure placements as well.”
Emily said: “We have learnt so much on the course and when you speak to staff at work you really realise how much you have learnt. There is no way that you could learn so much yourself.” Emily is now working at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust and Jarrad is working at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Adult learner Viorica-Laura Titolici (pictured far right with her WKC tutor) heard about the Pharmacy course in her workplace as she was working in pharmacy at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, part of the Imperial College NHS Trust.
Viorica-Laura said: “I really like the fact that this course offers training that is related to the workplace. I have learnt so many things from clinical skills and knowledge to improving my research skills. You learn from each other in the class as everyone has different experiences. I have also enjoyed being the Class Rep – helping to communicate between learners and the lecturers. The teachers at Westminster Kingsway College have been really brilliant and everyone is so eager to learn.”
Viorica-Laura has now been promoted to Senior Pharmacy Technician at St Mary’s Paddington and is excited about her future career.