Of the temporarily registered pharmacy professionals who responded to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) survey, 46% (582) said they were “not sure yet” if they would return to work during the pandemic. Just over a fifth, 23% (287), said they would not be going back to work in the sector.
The GPhC sent the survey to 6,123 of the “fit, proper and suitably experienced” pharmacists and pharmacy technicians added to the temporary register since March 27 to bolster the sector’s workforce during the COVID-19 outbreak. The regulator received responses from 1,255 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians based in Britain.
Speaking about the survey during a community pharmacy webinar last week (May 7), GPhC CEO Duncan Rudkin said the regulator is aware that “a very significant proportion of [registrants] are still considering whether to return”.
“Many have, and that’s great. They haven’t all gone through the national signposting process – many of them are working in community pharmacy, having joined up with employers”, he added.
The GPhC register shows that “there is still capacity in that temporary workforce and the names of those temporary registrants are available on the GPhC website”, Mr Rudkin said.
The survey also found that 31% (386) respondents had either already returned to work or were planning to do so.
A total of 109 registered pharmacists had already started working by the time the GPhC published the findings of its survey on April 23. Of these, 61% (66) were working in community pharmacy.
Similarly, 68% (63) of the 93 pharmacy technicians who had already returned to work were helping in a community pharmacy setting.
More than a third, 38% (157), of pharmacists who were undecided on working during the pandemic said the environment they would work in was community pharmacy, with 24% (42) of pharmacy technicians stating the same
Some of the pharmacists who were hesitant to return to work “mentioned that they or family members are in at-risk groups, meaning non-contact work was essential”, according to the GPhC’s findings.