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Calls to Pharmacist Support rocket as financial worries mount

Business Financial concerns have made up a third of calls to Pharmacist Support's helpline this year, fueling a 16 per cent rise in enquiries on 2010.

Financial concerns have triggered a 16 per cent rise in calls to Pharmacist Support's helpline, with numbers set to climb further.

Pharmacist Support said it received more than 400 enquiries from pharmacists in 2011, up 16 per cent on 2010, in its annual review published last week.

More than a third of enquiries related to financial issues while a quarter were about employment concerns and a fifth related to pre-registration issues.

More than a third of enquiries related to financial issues while a quarter were about employment concerns

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Overall, Pharmacist Support helped pharmacists more than 1,000 times last year and was involved in more than 10,000 interactions with people seeking information or help.

The number of enquiries received so far this year have exceeded that of the same time last year, Pharmacist Support manager Diane Leicester told C+D.

"We have seen a shift in the percentage of referrals we have made to our specialist advisers over the past year with employment now the largest area, followed by debt."

"The charity has also seen a consistently high percentage of enquiries on pre-registration trainee issues and more recently people looking for work, mainly from overseas pharmacists and locums," she said.

Although the number of people the charity had offered financial assistance to had stayed the same, she added the amount given to applicants had increased by 16 per cent to £210,000.

Last year, the charity added new factsheets on bullying and the options for people who fail the third sitting of the registration exam. It is also planning to launch a live chat function on its website, which will provide support to pharmacists and relatives who find it difficult to speak over the phone.

Preliminary findings from C+D's salary survey show nearly 50 per cent of contractors are unhappy with their personal income from their pharmacy business and more than a half have been forced to open a new or additional overdraft. Look out for the full results from next week.

Have you sought help or advice on financial issues this year?

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Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Keep up the good work. Good professional charity,

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