Joint letter calls for workforce plan to include whole of pharmacy

PSNC and other pharmacy leaders have warned the Government about a lack of engagement with stakeholders around the development of its long-term workforce plan.

A joint letter signed by representatives from 14 pharmacy organisations has called for reassurance that the workforce plan, expected by April 2023, will cover the entirety of the pharmacy workforce across the health service, including in community pharmacy.

The letter notes that the Health and Social Care Committee in July 2022 called for a pharmacy workforce plan to help optimise workloads across primary care, reduce pressure on general practice and hospitals, and support integrated care systems.

The letter highlights that with continued pressures on services, it is more important than ever to support the pharmacy workforce so that the staff needed to deliver patient care now and into the future can be recruited, trained and retained.

The letter was co-signed by:

  • Leyla Hannbeck, Chief Executive, Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies
  • Claire Steele, President, Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK
  • Joseph Williams, Chair, British Oncology Pharmacy Association
  • Priyanka Patel, President, British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association
  • Roz Gittins, President, College of Mental Health Pharmacy
  • Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive, Company Chemists’ Association
  • Nathan Burley, President, Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
  • Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive, National Pharmacy Association
  • Mark Koziol, Chairman, Pharmacists’ Defence Association
  • Janet Morrison, Chief Executive, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee
  • Katie Maddock, Chair, Pharmacy Schools Council
  • Graham Stretch, President, Primary Care Pharmacy Association
  • Thorrun Govind, English Pharmacy Board Chair, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • Mohamed Rahman, Chair, UK Clinical Pharmacy Association

Read the letter

PSNC Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“It is crucial that the community pharmacy sector is included in all future NHS workforce strategies. We have been clear that the sector is facing a workforce crisis and that the impacts of this are already severely affecting pharmacies. It is shocking and deeply concerning that locum pharmacist rates are now 80% higher than they were just one year ago: it is totally unworkable to expect businesses to absorb cost increases on this scale and we are continuing to call on Government to intervene to help. This, along with wider funding and inflationary pressures and the increased demand for pharmacy services since the pandemic, is putting critical pressures on the network and this cannot continue.”

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