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‘NHS workforce plan will take years, indeed decades to come to fruition’

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The Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) has expressed its keenness to work with the NHS nationally and at the ICB level to discuss how the pharmacist workforce can most effectively be part of the multidisciplinary team, after the publication of Long-awaited NHS England workforce plan.

Welcoming its publication Alison Jones, PDA Director of Policy said: “It gives greater clarity around the future direction and strategy for professional development, training, and opportunities for those currently working in the health service or considering their future career. There is a strong emphasis on further development of the clinical role of pharmacists to support better patient care.

“However, this is a plan that will take years, indeed decades to come to fruition and its success will need to be underpinned by significant funding for its entire life course.

Workplace pressures, reductions in support staff, and a lack of protected learning time are matters of immediate concern for many PDA members, issues which are regularly highlighted through activities, such as the safer pharmacies survey.

“The details of this plan, and how soon the goals can be achieved will be of great importance to pharmacists working at the frontline of NHS care.

The practical delivery of the plan goes well beyond the NHS itself, with universities and employers among those who will need to also contribute. The PDA wants to engage with all stakeholders to ensure the interests of individuals are adequately represented throughout the period covered by the plan.”

Of interest to PDA members will be NHS England’s aims around – Increasing the number of training places for pharmacists each year, including the consideration of pharmacy degree apprenticeships; Expanding the pharmacy technician role to support skill-mix; The continuation of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS); The role of technology, for example, hub and spoke models; and The requirement to increase the number of Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPPs) to support the independent prescribing agenda.

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