Warren Francis

Lead Pharmacy Technician ICT and Robotics, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Within the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, I am responsible for the installation and operation of technology for the safe and timely supply of medicines and the continual development of pharmacy services.

I have worked in pharmacy for 22 years. I started out part-time in Boots while at school before moving into an independent pharmacy where I continued to develop as a pharmacy technician. After qualifying, I moved into hospital pharmacy and gained experience in all areas - dispensary, aseptics, procurement and clinical roles. I completed my ACPT accreditation and have specialised in pharmacy ICT. 

Having worked both in community and hospital pharmacy, I am continually amazed at how vital pharmacy is to the health and wellbeing of everyone! Working in pharmacy provides great job satisfaction when you see the benefits of the work you do regardless of role and level - whether you are working in a patient facing clinical role or in a vital behind the scenes role such as procurement. Each of our roles impacts hugely on the care of our patients.

I am currently the Northern Ireland National Officer for APTUK. I won APTUK Pharmacy Technician of the Year 2014 for innovation for the electronic ward ordering solution I created for NI Trusts. I was also runner up in 2017 award for Digital Innovation for my regional work on Antimicrobial monitoring in NI.

The reason I mention these awards is to highlight that although pharmacy technicians across the UK are registered healthcare professionals, pharmacy technicians here in NI are working to the same high professional standards. Over the years I have worked with many highly skilled pharmacy technicians who are contributing so much to the development of pharmacy. There is so much scope for further service developments by involving pharmacy technicians in Northern Ireland when the long-awaited registration of NI technicians is set in place.