Online recruitment agency WeLocum is creating new "untethered" PGDs, meaning locums are no longer “tied” to a pharmacy and can perform “vital” services without having to rely on the pharmacy having a PGD in place, director Dipesh Patel told C+D last month.
“Our PGDs are registered to the locum so wherever you go, whatever [branch] you work in, you can run that PGD,” he said.
WeLocum introduced eight oral PGDs this week – including antimalarials, emergency contraception and smoking cessation – which can be renewed each year.
“We’re trying to support locums,” he said. But locums with their own PGD can increase the quantity of services, and “increase that employer’s revenue immediately”, Mr Patel added.
Locums more concerned with rates than cuts
The new PGDs are one way locums can help contractors offset the 12% drop in pharmacy funding in England, Mr Patel said.
However, many newly qualified locum pharmacists are more concerned about falling pay rates, rather than the overall impact of the cuts on the sector, he added.
“I would say it is the older generation of locums that are more influenced by the funding cuts. Locums at the moment are quite rightly concerned about earning £20-21 an hour,” he said.
As the effects of the funding drop become more apparent, pharmacists – locums and employers – should work more closely together to improve services and patient care, Mr Patel urged.
“Pharmacists, including locums, should really be looking at how to support the pharmacies that they work in,” Mr Patel said. “Rather than [saying] ‘you should be paying me [this much]’, [locums] should be saying ‘how can I help you to help me?’”