The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has informed the Welsh Parliament about the workforce crisis in the pharmacy sector and the need to prioritise staff well-being and training requirements to help Covid recovery plans.
Providing evidence to the Senedd’s Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry into waiting times, the RPS director in Wales Elen Jones emphasised that the pandemic brought the pharmacy workforce under immense pressure.
She emphasised on “the need for workforce planning that allows pharmacists enough time to learn, teach and embed new skills,” which would help in maintaining a motivated and sustainable workforce.
Jones presented the evidence alongside colleagues from the Royal College of General Practitioners, Community Pharmacy Wales and the Royal College of Nursing.
She said: “Our key message to the committee was clear; while more can be done to harness the expert skills and knowledge of pharmacists, this must always be underpinned by proper workforce planning that accounts for workload pressures and builds in sufficient training time”.
Other points highlighted by Jones included:
- The increase in the number of clinical services provided by community pharmacists.
- The benefits of independent prescribing services and the required steps to take full advantage of prescribing pharmacists
- The need for direct referral pathways to and from community pharmacies to other NHS services.
- Emphasising that services such as NHS 111 should be better promoted to be public once services are universally available throughout Wales
“We look forward to the committee’s final report and recommendation and will continue to champion pharmacy’s role in the Senedd,” she added.