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Join C+D’s Big Debate on making pharmacy careers attractive on November 15

With impassioned discussions raging in the sector about whether or not there is a shortage of pharmacists, join the next Big Debate on the C+D Community to discuss what needs to be done to make community pharmacy a more attractive career prospect. 

The debate has intensified over the past few months – with some arguing that there is a concerning lack of pharmacists, while others maintain that the register has never been larger, and rather there is a lack of pharmacists willing to work in the sector in its current state.

While pharmacists were added to the government’s shortage occupation list (SOL) in March last year, both the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care have since told C+D that they believe community pharmacy employers are ultimately responsible for attracting and retaining their staff.

Some employers have argued that they struggle to retain their pharmacists due to the more attractive career prospects and higher salaries offered by primary care networks and hospitals.

In July, the Health and Social Care Committee published its report calling for an "integrated and funded" pharmacy workforce plan to be developed and laid before parliament within the next year.

A workforce plan is needed to ensure pharmacists can access the right training, with "clear structures for professional career development" built in, it urged.

The report also found anecdotal evidence that suggests independent prescribing pharmacists "currently lack opportunities" to use their skills in community pharmacy, which can sometimes lead to these pharmacists leaving the sector in favour of a role that "allows them to use their enhanced skills".

So, what can community pharmacy employers do to make careers in pharmacy more attractive?

Sector experts including Jonathan Rees, country manager for Wales at the National Pharmacy Association; Bharat Nathwani, policy officer at the Pharmacists’ Defence Association and a representative for Imaan Healthcare, a 42 nationwide chain of pharmacies, representing the Association of Independent Multiple pharmacies (AIMp) have confirmed their attendance as speakers.

Join your pharmacy peers to discuss:

  • What employers are currently doing and what they could do more of to improve employee retention within community pharmacy
  • Whether the sector, in its current state, offers an enticing career prospect
  • What community pharmacy could learn from other sectors and pharmacy in other countries
  • Which options are available at present for career development in the sector

C+D’s tenth Big Debate will be chaired by digital reporter Emily Stearn between 7 and 8pm.

To join the debate on November 15, register for free or login on the C+D Community.

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