The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Pharmacist Support hosted a roundtable on the impact of pharmacy workforce wellbeing on patient safety on Wednesday (17 May).
It also released its annual Workforce Wellbeing Survey which showed continued pressures on pharmacy teams.
The discussion explored the actions needed to support staff so they can continue providing safe and effective patient care and included representatives from the NHS, professional bodies, employers, trade unions, education and regulators.
A report of the roundtable will be published in the summer.
Amandeep Doll, RPS Head of Professional Belonging, said: “We know that pharmacy teams go above and beyond for their patients, but are also under enormous pressure.
“Now more than ever, we need to strive to make the pharmacy profession more inclusive and ensure that everyone’s wellbeing is supported.
“It is vital that we do all we can to encourage people into pharmacy and to support them so they can enhance their skills, develop their careers, and continue to deliver high-quality patient care.
“This discussion was a welcome step and showed that making a difference for staff wellbeing requires a concerted effort from stakeholders across the whole of pharmacy.
“RPS will produce a report of the discussion and as a group we have committed to meeting again in six months.”
In a joint statement RPS commented: “Pharmacy organisations, regulators, unions and employers heard about the well recognised correlations between the wellness and wellbeing of students, academics and the clinical workforce and the impact that this has on workforce effectiveness, patient safety and patient outcomes.
With continued pressure on pharmacy teams and the health service, it is more important than ever to work together so that patients can continue to access to high-quality, adequately staffed and safe pharmacy services.
Prioritising staff wellbeing and leadership within systems supports higher-quality and safer patient care and improves workforce retention.
The collaborative roundtable discussion highlighted the importance of supporting pharmacy teams across all sectors of practice to deliver patient care through healthy working environments, access to appropriate rest breaks, and opportunities for professional development.
Staff should feel empowered to use their professional judgement in the interests of patients and the public. Staff must also be given the support, training, and supervision they need to help enable them to complete their professional duties.
Solutions to the challenges facing workforce well-being require interventions that go beyond the individual. Making the health service a better place to work must be a shared endeavour so that we can continue to meet the needs of our patients and support our pharmacy people.”
The statement was supported by Association of Pharmacy Technicians, UK (APTUK); British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA); Care Quality Commission (CQC); General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC); Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP); National Pharmacy Association (NPA); Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA); Pharmacy School Council (PhSC); Community Pharmacy England (CPE); Pharmacist Support; and Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).