MPs wade into pharmacy workplace pressure debate
All party pharmacy group says responsibility for reducing pressures lies with every part of the sector
A group of MPs has called on employers, pharmacy leaders and the regulator to take responsibility for ensuring pharmacists are protected from workplace pressures.
As part of its report on community pharmacy, published last week (June 29), the all party pharmacy group (APPG) said it had "heard about the risk that the development of new services adds to workplace pressure for pharmacy teams".
Hub-and-spoke could free up time
Increasing automation in pharmacy – as proposed in the Department of Health’s consultation on hub-and-spoke dispensing – could free up time for pharmacists to provide more clinical services, such as medicines use reviews (MURs) and the new medicine service (NMS), the APPG said in the report.
But creating the extra capacity to perform more clinical services could heap more pressure on pharmacists to achieve targets and financial incentives, the group warned.
Duty to patients trumps other concerns
“Pharmacy teams have a professional duty to their patients, and this must always trump other concerns," the APPG said. "Community pharmacy needs a culture that supports professionals to discharge their duties in the best interest of patients at all times."
“Responsibility for this rests with employers, individual professionals, the professional leadership bodies and the regulator," it added.
The APPG's statement comes after the General Pharmaceutical Council announced it would undertake a “programme of work” later this year to tackle growing concerns about workplace pressures. The announcement was met with a mixed response from the profession, including the RPS.
At C+D, we also want to raise awareness of the experiences of pharmacists who are struggling under workplace pressures – whether that’s from tough targets, inflexible area managers or under-staffing. So send your examples to [email protected], with the heading ‘pharmacy pressures’, and make sure to state if you want us to keep your identity anonymous.