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What should you do if you struggle to fill pharmacy job vacancies?

Do you have to leave roles empty if you can't find people to fill them?

Do you have enough HR knowledge to correctly answer this workplace dilemma?

You are struggling to recruit staff for your pharmacy. You need a pharmacist, a dispensary assistant and a manager for the sales team.

The right people do not seem to be available, and you feel like you have exhausted all recruitment avenues. Is there anything else you can do?


Is there anything else you can do when you can’t find pharmacy staff to fill positions?

The answer will be published later this month.

Find the latest pharmacy jobs on the C+D Jobs website

This HR dilemma was originally posted on the Accord Academy website, part of Accord Healthcare Ltd

For adverse event and privacy policy click here. Adverse events* should be reported. Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at

Adverse events should also be reported to Accord on 01271 385257.

* "Patient safety is Accord's primary concern and we encourage healthcare professionals and patients to report any adverse event which may occur in relation to an Accord product. An adverse event includes reports of any side effect, product misuse, abuse or overdose, including inappropriate use by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It also includes reports of a product that was used for something other than the intended purpose or was ineffective, or was given with another medicine. Complaints relating to the product can also be reported."

Have you faced recruitment challenges in your pharmacy?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Something I recently read was that there is no reason to hide one's salaries. It's a strange taboo which only benefits your employer by keeping. 

Graham Turner, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

What kind of person actually wants to work in a pharmacy these days? Due to all the cuts, many pharmacies are operating with less than skeleton staff, creating outrageous pressure and stress. Add to that the training requirements, the responsibility of the job (selling an inappropriate OTC medicine, or giving out the wrong Rx - kiss goodbye to your job and feel guilty for a long time), and the pitiful, pitiful wages, who on Earth would do it?

Where I live Lidl pays better than a basic pharmacy assistant's job, with MUCH less hassle. I once worked with an assistant who only worked weekends to keep herself busy and gave out a script that had exactly the same name as the patient requested, but a different number on the same street. It became a fairly serious incident and she was very shaken up, ended up leaving. I can't imagine how awful that must have been.

The company blamed her, GPhC obviously not interested (she is not regsitered so nothing to do with us), she was made to feel like a criminal.

GPhC are only mandated to protect the public, apparently. Except only when they feel like it, and when they are sure they can act cheaply. So they never tackle the multiples.

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Increase salary

Better work environment

Respect for a professional

You're welcome.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"""Is there anything else you can do?""""

With the kind of FUNDING available, either run it solo or think of selling off (may be even just close down)

Community Sector Is Hopeless, Primary care pharmacist

How about addressing the root cause of these recruitment problems? More specifically stress and understaffed issues? If companies treat staff with respect, dignity and with reasonable resources and pay there won't be a problem. But at the current state of community sector, I may as well go stack shelves for Lidl if I were a dispenser. 

Graham Turner, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Very good response. However, the big chains just want every penny in income and savings they can get their grubby little hands on, so very unlikely they will invest in improving the workplace environment or reducing stress. Lidl pay quite well, in fact.

RS Pharmacist, Primary care pharmacist

What is the point of this article? The answer is obvious and stated nicely by my friend "community sector is hopeless" (what a great name).

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Market Deeping - Peterborough