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'Chronic understaffing' blamed for 'unrealistic' pharmacy workload

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C+D reader: “How can a pharmacist manage to supervise dispensing and extra services?"
C+D reader: “How can a pharmacist manage to supervise dispensing and extra services?"

A lack of staff cover contributed to pharmacists and their teams feeling their workload was “often unrealistic” in 2015, C+D can exclusively reveal.

C+D’s last Salary Survey – which ran between October and December 2015 and had 1,293 respondents – revealed that pharmacy teams were struggling with understaffing, with C+D readers feeling the pressure to cover the extra workload.

Of the 933 respondents to the question “how realistic is your workload?”, 43% said theirs was “often unrealistic”, while 11% said their workload was “always unrealistic”.

In contrast, 40% said their workload was “mostly realistic” in 2015, while just 6% described it as “always realistic”.

“Chronic understaffing”

C+D readers reported that staffing issues were contributing to the increase in workload, including “chronic understaffing”, and “no extra cover” to support the increase in dispensing volume and demand for pharmacy services.

One respondent said “offering a number of services, meeting medicines use review targets, and increasing script and counter business without an increase in staff hours”, was contributing to their workload.

“A lot of governance framework has been introduced into service delivery in pharmacy,” another respondent said. “As the paperwork burden has increased, head offices have not provided the extra staff cover required to carry out the governance tasks.”

Other C+D readers complained that no replacement staff were being brought in when team members left the pharmacy, along with a lack of staff cover for holidays and illnesses.

“How can a pharmacist manage to supervise dispensing and all the other extra services at the same time, and carry out CPD and training of staff?” one respondent asked.

C+D launches Salary Survey 2017

From salaries to locum rates, workplace pressures to relationships with GPs, the C+D Salary Survey has been painting the most accurate picture of community pharmacy for 10 years.

For 2017, the Salary Survey will help us – and you – to see what impact the funding cuts are really having in pharmacies across England, and how this compares with the rest of the UK.

Please take the time to anonymously complete the survey today, and help C+D to tell YOUR story.

You can access the survey here.

2 Comments
Question: 
Have staffing issues affected your workload?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Same silly question posed every year in this silly survey about workload. How about a MUR survery each year 'Are you under pressure to perform MURs if you work for a multiple' 

Career Miss Take, Locum pharmacist

Oh really. Who worked that one out ?? It is one of the most unappreciated proffesions to be in. A large proportion of our work is sheer good will and I read about the poor bloke struck off for murs. Why do we send so much debate of the value of murs when so much of our work is unpaid and also so many pharmacies provide free delivery. I really feel Domino's and co are more valued. I'm even concerned about using the c+d update in case I'm accused of plagiarism

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