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Finances and employment top sources of stress for pharmacists, charity reveals

People Pre-regs and locums were the largest group seeking help from Pharmacy Voice last year, with 309 of them contacting the charity for information and advice in 2012

Financial and employment problems were behind most enquiries to Pharmacist Support last year, the charity has revealed.

More than 460 pharmacists, pre-regs, former pharmacists and pharmacists' families made enquiries for information and advice to the charity in 2012, up by 15 per cent from the year before, according to its annual review released last week (October 17).

Pre-regs and locums were the largest group seeking help from the charity's helpline, with 309 calls made by them in 2012, the charity revealed.

Pharmacist Support handed out almost £260,000 in financial assistance to 160 pharmacists and their families last year, the largest annual amount of aid ever given by the charity. Most of these were aged 21 to 49, which suggests working pharmacists were most likely to apply for grants, the charity said.    

Calls to Pharmacist Support for information and advice rose 15 per cent between 2011 and 2012, the charity has reported

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It delivered 1,129 individual acts of support, which included providing information, confidential helplines, home visits and health support programmes to pharmacists with dependency issues.

Information was provided to pharmacists on a range of subjects, including bereavement, domestic violence and home improvements, with financial and employment issues generating the most enquiries.

"Although it's sad to see demand for these services grow year on year, it is rewarding to know that we respond to an obvious need and are delivering services that are useful and relevant to those in the profession today," said Pharmacist Support chair Steve Churton.

The charity generated £1.76 million in income last year, through donations, legacy and investment income. It spent £852,000, including £47,000 offering advice and support and £37,000 on addiction support.

Since 2008, Pharmacy Support has provided more than £1m in financial relief to more than 780 individuals; administered more than 4,500 acts of support; and made more than 1,500 calls to pharmacists, pre-reg trainees and pharmacy students struggling with stressful lives, it said. 

Financial assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis, often based on an individual's income compared with their outgoings, the charity said.

What is your biggest source of stress?

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Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

An excellent job well done for the profession! Fabulous!

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