The number of pharmacists contacting the charity increased 32% in January-October, compared to the same period in 2015, it confirmed last week.
Enquiries had been steadily increasing since the charity’s relaunch in 2008, Pharmacist Support said, rising from 291 in 2009 to 814 in 2015.
However, the volume of calls, emails and online support requests to the charity totalled 144 in last month alone.
This increase can be “directly related” to a number of factors: the controversial September registration assessment, newly qualified pharmacists looking for work, pharmacists seeking alternative careers, and fitness-to-practise issues, Pharmacist Support said.
September’s exam had an unprecedented low pass rate of 41%, compared with a 95% pass rate for the June sitting. The exam had already proven controversial before the results were released, with some students threatening to protest over the perceived difficulty of the two papers.
Chief executive Diane Leicester-Hallam said the charity had received “lots of calls from trainees who failed” the September exam, and there was “some confusion” around how the pass marks were calculated.
Most of these students are “disappointed” and just looking for advice on the options open to them, such as alternative careers, she told C+D.
The charity has not yet received any calls in relation to the government’s decision to cut 12% from the pharmacy budget in England. However, this may change once the cut comes into effect next month, Ms Leicester-Hallam said.