Pharmacy leaders have 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 pharmacies.

A joint letter has been signed by representatives from 14 pharmacy organisations which 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.

Mark Koziol, Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) Chairman said: “Our pharmacist members practise across the entire health system and have the potential to do far more to help patients and improve public health, but they can only do so safely if they are in appropriately staffed workplaces. This is a workforce issue, so it is important that the Government works with representatives of the pharmacist workforce, and of their employers, to get a suitably agreed plan in place.”

Thorrun Govind, English Pharmacy Board Chair, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), said: “It will be crucial to use the skills of all our health professions to support the NHS recovery, reduce health inequalities, manage the growing cost of long-term conditions, and deliver best value from medicines.

“Pharmacists are increasingly working across care settings and as such the whole of the pharmacy workforce must be included in the Government’s upcoming long-term workforce plan and supported by investment in education and training.

“Pharmacy teams across the health service are under enormous pressure and as well as support for frontline staff now, the workforce plan must also look to the future and how we can make the most of the next generation of pharmacist independent prescribers to enhance patient care.”

The letter was co-signed by:

  • Dr 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
  • Janet Morrison OBE, Chief Executive, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee
  • Mark Koziol, Chairman, Pharmacists’ Defence Association
  • Prof Katie Maddock, Chair, Pharmacy Schools Council
  • Dr Graham Stretch, President, Primary Care Pharmacy Association
  • Thorrun Govind, English Pharmacy Board Chair, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • Mohamed Rahman, Chair, UK Clinical Pharmacy Association

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