CCA statement reacting to the ARRS recruitment target being hit a year earlier 

Yesterday (18 May), the Department of Health and Social Care announced that the Government had met its commitment to recruiting 26,000 more primary care professionals – including pharmacists – in GP practices, a year earlier.

The latest figures show that 29,000 FTE staff have joined the primary care workforce since March 2019.

The CCA estimates that 8,800 pharmacists have been recruited into primary care since March 2019, this represents an increase of over 900 pharmacists in the last quarter alone.  

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA said:

This announcement confirms that the NHS is continuing to recruit pharmacists and other healthcare professionals from elsewhere within the health system, to plug gaps in general practice.  Whilst this is undoubtably good news for GPs, it is creating significant problems for the rest of the NHS. 

Despite our continued warnings of a workforce crisis in pharmacy, this short-sighted recruitment drive continues at pace. It’s clear that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

If the Government and NHS want pharmacies to take on more workload to help recover access to primary care, they must immediately halt further recruitment of pharmacists into GP surgeries. With their target now met, the corrosive impact of the ARRS scheme on community pharmacy must be stopped”.

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