A CCA spokesperson said:
“Our members have been serving Scottish communities and patients without issue for decades. Recent pressures, however, are unprecedented. Workforce challenges are affecting all parts of healthcare across the UK – and community pharmacy is no different. Pharmacists remain on the Home Office’s shortage occupation list for this reason. The average locum rate rose by 124% in Scotland in 2021 compared to the year before and the trend seems to have continued since. This clearly demonstrates that demand for pharmacists in Scotland is outstripping supply.
At the February 2022 APPG Pharmacy session, the PDA heard first-hand about the extraordinary lengths and different actions that businesses of all sizes are taking to maintain patient access. The current situation is unsustainable.
Our members have been affected by unplanned sickness, including two Covid surges in January and April 2022, and holiday periods just like other parts of the sector. These closures may reflect very small parts of the opening day, as companies try tirelessly to plug gaps at short notice.
It is worth remembering that community pharmacies do not earn income if they do not open. Closures are an absolute last resort, and our members are working extraordinarily hard to ensure patient access”.