Contractors encouraged to complete HEE workforce survey


Contractors will shortly receive an email from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) inviting them to participate in the 2021 Health Education England (HEE) Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey.

PSNC encourages all pharmacy contractors to participate in this voluntary survey, as the results will help inform the future planning and funding in relation to the development of the community pharmacy workforce across the NHS in England.

The data from the previous workforce survey has also been used to the benefit of contractors by PSNC and LPCs in local and national negotiations on the development of community pharmacy services.

About the survey

In 2017, HEE commissioned the first Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey across England to better understand the numbers and skill mix in the community pharmacy workforce and inform planning and future investment in education.

HEE is repeating this survey in 2021, with the data collection from pharmacy contractors planned to start on 7th May 2021.  The intention is to work towards a yearly data collection from 2022.

HEE’s national pharmacy team has commissioned the University of Manchester and their research partner ICF to undertake an England-wide community pharmacy workforce survey. This has involved them working in partnership with the primary care commissioning team at NHS England & NHS Improvement, the Department of Health and Social Care, the national pharmacy bodies (PSNC, CCA, AIM, NPA, RPS and APTUK) and the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Process for the survey

  • Contractors will shortly receive an email sent by the NHSBSA which contains information on the workforce survey from the University of Manchester. The email will invite contractors to take part in the survey;
  • On 7th May 2021, those contractors that chose to take part in the survey will receive another email from the NHSBSA containing a link to the online questionnaire;
  • The survey will close by mid-June and ICF will aggregate the data and share the anonymised dataset with the University of Manchester and HEE (who will not have access to any personal information, such as email addresses or ODS codes used by contractors);
  • The University of Manchester will analyse the data and produce a report. The anonymised and aggregated dataset will be published on in Autumn 2021 and the findings will be used to inform education commissioning for future workforce developments.

The pharmacies of Company Chemists’ Association members will not receive any emails from the NHSBSA regarding the survey, as it will be dealt with by their head office.

Pharmacy teams working in other multiple pharmacy groups may want to check with their head office whether the survey should be completed at pharmacy level or whether the head office will complete it.

Contents of the survey

The survey questionnaire will ask for the number of people, the number of full-time equivalents (FTE) and any vacancies in each of nine staff categories employed in community pharmacy. Taking this approach will guarantee consistency with the 2017 survey and will allow workforce trend analysis to be undertaken to understand how the size of the community pharmacy workforce has changed over this period.

Contractors will be asked to provide information for the staffing levels in the week in which they are completing the questionnaire or, if appropriate, the most recent complete seven-day period for which they have the necessary figures.

Any questions on the survey?

Questions regarding the survey should be emailed to the University of Manchester: