Community pharmacy staff are in a fragile state

The community pharmacy workforce is in a fragile state and faced a shortage of 3,000 pharmacists in England over a five-year period, a recent study by the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) found.

He noted that over the past five years the net growth of community pharmacists in England per year was 733. This is well below the required average growth of 1,025, based on data reported by the survey. on the Health Education England workforce from 2021.

Acknowledging the discrepancies in the calculation of data, the paper published by the association used ‘the best available data’ to highlight recent changes to the community pharmacy workforce in England.

The report noted that despite an increase in the number of pharmacists, many entrepreneurs reported an increase in pharmacy vacancies. They also reported a significant increase in hourly pay rates for supply teachers, indicating that demand is outstripping supply.

The CCA report highlighted other labor shortage factors, such as:

Changing work habits: The report cited increasing part-time work, reduced working hours and portfolio work as the main reasons for this condition.

The 2021 HEE Workforce Survey reported that the average number of pharmacists per headcount per store fell from 1.97 in 2017 to 2.43, meaning that on average each store had 0 46 more pharmacists. According to the ACC estimate, approximately 1,025 more pharmacists are needed each year to maintain the balance.

High vacancy rate among pharmacy support staff: The HEE 2021 workforce survey revealed a considerable growth in the vacancy rate among support staff, which would have an impact on the workload of pharmacists.

Recruitment in primary care networks (RCP): The CCA noted that in December 2021, NHS E/I confirmed the recruitment of approximately 3,500 pharmacists into the PCNs with approximately 2,100 recruits from the community pharmacy. Assuming that 62% of pharmacists work in a community pharmacy, the CCA report estimates that approximately 2,385 come from the community setting.

He noted that other factors affecting the community pharmacy workforce include the growing number of non-practicing pharmacists, the impact of a broader portfolio of work, population growth, cross-border work, etc. .

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