The CCA issued the following statement in response to the Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey:
Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive of the CCA said:
“We welcome the publication of the findings of the NHSE workforce survey. We hope that these results, and those of future surveys, will allow the NHS and the sector to better understand the community pharmacy workforce, and how it can be shaped to meet evolving patient needs.
We are concerned, however, that the data informing these findings was gathered 10 months ago, and there is a risk that it is already out of date. Since the autumn of 2022 the situation in community pharmacy has continued to develop. Future surveys will need to be processed and published more quickly if they are to be used to inform accurate decision making.
The survey findings confirm what we have been saying for over a year, that pharmacist vacancy rates in the community pharmacy have increased significantly since 2021. Following the recent release of the NHS workforce plan we need to now see immediate action taken to address this growing problem.
We also note a 37% increase in the number of Independent Prescribers. We are concerned however that this does not reflect the whole picture. The 37% increase only represents an increase in 1.6% of the total community pharmacist workforce, growing from 4.2% to 5.8%. We want 95% of community pharmacists to be prescribers by 2030. There is still a long way to go before the public can expect to find a prescriber in every pharmacy.”