Layer 1

Asda changes its locum pharmacist rates and adds MUR 'reward'

Asda: Locums will be paid £21-per-hour if they complete two or more MURs
Asda: Locums will be paid £21-per-hour if they complete two or more MURs

Locum pharmacists working for Asda are now being paid £20-per-hour unless they complete two or more medicines use reviews (MURs), C+D has learned.

In a note to Asda staff – seen by C+D – the supermarket said that as of this month, locum shifts in England and Wales will be advertised at the rate of £20-per-hour from Monday to Saturday.

It has also introduced an “enhanced rate reward” of £21-per-hour for locums working from Monday to Saturday who complete two or more MURs during their shift, the supermarket said in the note.

Locums will be paid £21-per-hour on Sundays and bank holidays “in recognition of the reduced shift length and reduced opportunity to provide this service”, Asda added.

The supermarket did not confirm what its previous locum rates were.

C+D’s latest Salary Survey – which ran throughout October 2017 – showed that the average hourly rate for locums across the UK was £20.84, an increase of 34p-per-hour on the average for 2015.

What do you think is an acceptable minimum hourly rate to pay locums?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

I've said it before, I'll say it again. The only way is for us ALL to get together and refuse to work for a week. Then we may get some respect. But, as I have also said before, there will always be enough weasels who would work and claim the emergency rates that would have to be paid. We are, in every way, our own worst enemies.

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Acceptable minimum £30/hour. Real life is a race to the bottom as extinction of community pharmacy nears. Good luck locums.

Industry Pharmacist, Director

I think people have got the idea that getting out of community is the best bet for the short term. GP practice and IP are great options even if their rates do get cut it's still a better working life.

The roles are guaranteed for at 10 years until the new GP's are qualified so there will always be s need for extra hands in surgeries for the foreseeable future. Hopefully after this the role will have evolved somewhat to sustain all those highly qualified pharmacists. In terms of community, I think pharmacists are seen as an expense that multiples are trying to off set or even get rid of. Lloyds tried this with all the low paid foreign pharmacists.

There are loads of options for pharmacists outside community, it just requires a bit of imagination and some guts to take the leap.

John Dow, Advertising

Too many Pharmacists , hence lower pay and it will only get worse.

Kirit Shah, Community pharmacist

So the Contractor gets almost £60 pounds for 2 MURs done my a pharmacist and the pharmacist is rewarded £1/hr ie £7 for a 7 hour Sunday shift.

I rember years ago a national contractor promised a reward for the pharmacy team members to celebrate that outcome but it never materialised when Contractors learnt fees for MURs came from other cutbacks to the pharmacy contractors!


l b, Community pharmacist

Tesco rate is £18.50 unless you complete an MUR

Umer Bhuta, Community pharmacist

At a time when the pharmacy sector has faced the biggest cut backs in history, locums may not be aware that most contractors have had their profits reduced by 35%. It was inevitable that there would be an impact on the locum rate. The fact that youre moaning about a £1 drop in rate shows how clueless you are with the commercial viability of pharmacy and how out of touch you are with the rest of the pharmacy workforce. If you don't like the rate then you know what to do!

Interleukin -2, Community pharmacist

Insensitive mate . Very insensitive comment

Zegai Ermias, Community pharmacist

Rude and pathetic commment unworthy of a pharmacist.

Chris Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Zegai, it actually seems a fair opinion for someone to express. Government are squeezing contractor funding meaning contractors have to cut costs including staffing, why should pharmacists be immune?

How High?, Community pharmacist

Yeah at last.

A proper big time reward for 5 years hard graft, study and a £50k student debt......

Thanks Asda, we're humbled.

S Khan, Community pharmacist

Best is Pharmacist to start claiming for the MUR's...a portion paid to companies should be claim by pharmacist performing it is not viable to do for free...Managers are able to get bonuses...Locums don't...independents allow to claim £5-10 per should not be integrated in regular hourly rate.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

In my experience, independents tend to be favourable towards getting quality individuals in, and do so with common sense payments.

Best advice to young pharmacists looking to have a decent career ahead of them is to become an independent prescriber and get out of retail. Prospects in community pharmacy for the next 5 years look bleak. Move out and can the last one to leave put the light out.

Industry Pharmacist, Head/Senior Manager

IP rates have also droped and continue to do so due to saturation of market, and GPS calling the shots Best is to get into Pharma. Take that initial pay cut and reap the massive rewards after 8 years. 

Bipin Patel, Superintendent Pharmacist

The matter also breaches the GPhC guidance on  incentives!

Zegai Ermias, Community pharmacist

Hope the GPhC investigates the matter and take appropriate action to ADD A AND OTGERS

Amanda Smith, Community pharmacist

What happens if the pharmacy has met its yearly quota of MURs?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Then the store gets no additional funding for you completing those MURs but still has to honour the contract and pay you for meeting the incentive.

Tohidul Islam, Locum pharmacist

Is there any point in even working for a company that doesn't value its pharmacists? This isn't just about Locum rates its about how Asda sees pharmacists in general. Once locums start cancelling shift en masse I'm sure they'll do a u turn just like tesco and every other conpany. It seems from time to time they like to test the water.

Zegai Ermias, Community pharmacist

Let's all do it, getting paid 21 pounds on a Sunday? Disgrace!! I will never work for companies the likes of asda

Clarke Kent, Community pharmacist

Just out of interest, (as I qualified a long, long time ago), and the values we were taught seem to have gone out of the window. How does cancelling shifts fit in with ‘pharmacists honouring their commitments’ as health professionals and the GPHC? Also how would ‘striking for higher pay’ be in the interests of the public we serve? If a pharmacist can’t handle the responsibility of the job for £20 an hour, should they really be in this profession at all???? It’s not surprising the muppet masters want to see technicians overseeing supply of POMs. At least that way they’d get their monies worth. 

Interleukin -2, Community pharmacist

You can always join a charity mate .Which module in Uni taught you what you on about ? Which chapter of Dale and Appleby ? Might do it as one of my CPDs towards revalidation..

, Community pharmacist

What do you get as a "winter time"  bonus a chocolate log.

People become IPs , go into industry or take up position in CCGs, Follow the money cos it is not in retail any longer.

Industry Pharmacist, Head/Senior Manager

The real money and benefits are in Pharma. I’m glad I got out of Primary care. 

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

Ah. A very un-French model!  


One More Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Hey we sometime worry too much. Too many of the multiples have a very high pharmacist turnover and now the retention of resident pharmacist or pharmacy manager at all time low some time exactly the opposite happens. Locum are unwilling to cover because the pharmacy is not organised and shifts ends up been advertised at premium rate. Multiple just don't learn!!! 

Locum Pharmacist, Locum pharmacist

The hourly rate was £21 per hour standard and £22 per hour Sundays.Also its hardly just an extra quid at stake.On an average 10 hour shift it equates to a £10 loss per day for locum!Add that up over the month.Decent pharmacists worth their salt should not turn in for their next shift,They will have to re think the error of their ways if we all do it and they have no one left to run their show.



Beta Blocker, Primary care pharmacist

Keep reducing rates.... eventually we'll be working for free....

Locum Pharmacist, Locum pharmacist

We almost are,,,,,,


Job of the week

Relief Pharmacist or store based Pharmacist
Mid Wales - Powys (Builth and Lland
Competitive Salary + Location Supplement and Benefits