DH “monitors” the impact of the recruitment of PCN pharmacists on community pharmacy

More than 18,200 people worked for NCPs in March this year, the DH revealed last week (19 May) – meaning the government is on track to meet its targets. recruitment target 26,000 more primary care staff by March 2024.

Staff employed by GP practices include “clinical pharmacists…[who] are fully qualified to treat a range of minor illnesses, providing advice and treatment,” the DH said.

Some community pharmacy employers claimed that there was a shortage of pharmacists in the sector, largely because they had lost them to “NCP-related activities”.

However, the DH pointed out that the number of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on the register of the General Council of Pharmacy (GPhC) “has increased every year”.

Nevertheless, the DH “continues to monitor the recruitment of new employees” in the NCPs, a spokesperson told C+D last week (20 May).

Work with the sector

The DH also continues to assess the “impact” of this “on community pharmacy by working closely with the sector,” they said.

But ultimately, DH believes that community pharmacy employers are responsible for recruiting and retaining their staff.

Under the five-year Community Pharmacy contract framework, the DH “has committed over £2.5 billion a year to support community pharmacies and ensure they continue to deliver high quality care to patients. “, added the spokesperson.

Read more: Underappreciated and lonely: the other side of the role of the PCN pharmacist

Context of workforce challenges

Pharmacists have been added to the list of government shortage occupations in March of last year.

However, according to Health Education England’s Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey published earlier this year, the number of pharmacists working in community pharmacies increased by 4,122 between 2017 and 2021.

The GPhC register also shows that, over the same period, the number of registered pharmacists increased by 6,848.

Read more: Why did the Ministry of the Interior add pharmacists to the list of shortage professions?

Earlier this month, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer, David Webb, told delegates at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress in London that NHS England and NHS Improvement were “doing everything we can nationally to mitigate » pressures on the pharmaceutical workforce.

Catch up with the great C+D debate, which asked: Is there a shortage of community pharmacists?

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