Medicines are the most common form of treatment in the NHS and pharmacies are where medicines are stored, prepared and dispensed. Pharmacies can be found in hospitals and the community, in health centres and GP surgeries and in high street shops and supermarkets.
Community pharmacies are where patients and members of the public can get their prescribed medication as well as lifestyle advice for better health. Pharmacists offer advice direct to patients on public health issues such as giving up smoking and sexual health and play a part in selecting treatments for patients, prescribing medicines and managing of long-term health conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
Working as part of a team
Pharmacy staff play a vital part in patient care and recovery as well as public health, by using their expert knowledge of medicines and their uses. They work with colleagues in the wider healthcare team such as doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.
Pharmacy staff work at different levels:
Training and qualifications
You could become a pharmacy assistant or medicines counter assistant with GCSEs in English and maths. To train as a pharmacy technician you need at least four GCSEs, including science. Pharmacists need an accredited Master's degree in pharmacy.
Wherever you start, you will have the opportunity to take qualifications and progress in your career.
Find out more
As well as the information on this page, this section of the website also provides a set of FAQs and information about: