The UK's largest primary care pharmacy network

About the Primary Care Technicians Group


The Aims and Objectives of the PCPA Pharmacy Technicians group:

To provide a network for Pharmacy Technicians to share information, best practice and offer peer support to each other; enabling the Pharmacy Team to work at the top of their licence collaboratively across all areas of primary care.


Primary Care Technicians Group Committee

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Helen Birchall, MAPharmT - Chair


Helen qualified as a Pharmacy Technician at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in 1999. She is a member of APTUK and holds SWMIT accreditations in Medicines Management and Final Accuracy Checking. 

She has a wealth of knowledge and experience of working within the NHS having been employed in Acute Hospital Trusts across the UK for the majority of her career. For the last few years Helen has worked in the Primary Care setting for Livewell Southwest in Plymouth and is currently working on developing a team of Innovative Pharmacy Technicians to work alongside Pharmacists in General practice.

Helen is delighted to be on the committee of the PCPA at this exciting time and looks forward to promoting and developing the new emerging roles for pharmacy technicians in General Practice and Primary care. She fully supports the creation of an integrated Pharmacy system across the wider NHS.

Helen welcomes the opportunity to offer support to Pharmacy Technicians with regards to all aspects of working in General practice and Primary Care.


Helen Pinney- Vice Chair & London Lead


Helen Pinney is the Lead Pharmacy Technician for twelve GP surgeries in West London. She oversees a team of pharmacy technicians and independent prescribing pharmacists who are responsible for the pharmaceutical care of community patients and twenty nursing homes in the area. She also frequently works as a locum in community pharmacy in order to stay in touch with the challenges faced in the community sector.

She is passionate about expanding technicians' roles to reflect their full potential and to complement the pharmacy profession as a whole, with an aim to achieving better and more patient centred care nationally.


Helen Belben - South West Lead

Helen is a GP Practice Pharmacy Technician. 

Previously employed as the Medicines Optimisation Lead at the South West Academic Health Science Network, she supported pharmacy colleagues across several Acute Trusts, LPCs and CCGs. Helen brings valuable experience of a previous GP Practice role and of self-employment with Somerset CCG Medicines Management team.

She obtained a BSc (Hons) with the Open University which includes an FdSc in Medicines Management from Portsmouth University. Before this, she spent many happy years in community pharmacy, beginning as a counter assistant in 1983, qualifying as a Pharmacy Technician in 1990 and attaining ACT in 2006.


Salmia Khan - South East Lead

I started my pharmacy career when I was 17 in a local pharmacy, and worked my way up from there. I worked for Boots for 7 years, and completed my NVQ3 and ACPT training. I eventually became a store manager for 3 years before I left to work for North West Surrey CCG. This led me to my current role as a  GP Pharmacy Technician based in Woking. I have trained as a phlebotomist and have completed training to administer vaccines. I also run an anticoagulant clinic once a week. I lead on medicines reconciliation for the practice and develop CQC/Practice policies to help implement medicines management processes


Shelley Mannion- Northern Lead

Shelley is a Pharmacy Technician with 15 years experience across Community Pharmacy, Primary Care, General Practice and Academia. Her interest in clinical pharmacy began in Primary Care, delivering medicines optimisation across general practice. This led Shelley to a team of healthcare providers, specialising in care homes. 

Whilst facilitating the use of medicines in care homes, Shelley completed her Clinical Diploma. This inspired her to be a part of Pharmacy Technician learning and education. She currently holds a post in mentoring and educating pharmacy professionals nationally.  

Shelley’s vision for the future is to influence the learning opportunities available to Pharmacy Technicians, ensuring training and education is appropriate to individual service requirements. 


Sophie Liggat- Midlands Lead

After studying for her BSc(Hons) Science Degree, Sophie realised her part time university job working in Pharmacy was her passion. Sophie qualified as a Pharmacy Technician whilst working in Community in 2006. She is a member of APTUK and holds NPA accreditations for Final Accuracy Checking and is currently embarking on a BTEC Level 4 Professional Diploma in Pharmacy Clinical Services.

Over her 16 years working in community pharmacy she has collated vast knowledge and experience by working from a grass roots position to that of Accuracy Checking Technician and Dispensary Management. She fully understands the variety and constraints on Pharmacy Technicians in a community setting. Currently she is working for Gloucestershire CCG as a Practice Support Pharmacy Technician, working alongside National Pilot Pharmacists to look at the benefits that Pharmacy Technicians can make to General Practice.

"I am thrilled to be appointed as Midlands Lead for the PCPA Pharmacy Technician Group. Today is an exciting time for Pharmacy Technicians as our role widens and expands across all healthcare platforms, I am looking forward to supporting Pharmacy Technicians and helping them develop as they engage with the variety of positions now available to them”





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