HEE workforce survey to start in early May


In 2017, Health Education England (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 4th May 2021.  The plan is to work towards a yearly data collection from 2022, with this process is set to gather a meaningful dataset to inform the future planning and funding in relation to the development of the community pharmacy workforce across the NHS in England. It will also inform the deliverables of the NHS People Plan.

HEE’s national pharmacy team has commissioned the University of Manchester to undertake an England-wide community pharmacy workforce survey. This involves 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.

Timeframe for the survey

The project is working to the following timeframes:

  • From 4th May 2021: Data collection by the University of Manchester, working with the NHSBSA;
  • June to July 2021: Collation of data, analysis and then submission of the draft results;  and
  • August to September 2021: Finalise the report, publish pseudonymised aggregated data on data.gov.uk and use findings to inform education commissioning for future workforce developments.

Contents of the survey

The survey questionnaire, which contractors can choose to complete, 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.

HEE have now provided further information to contractors ahead of the launch of the survey.

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