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PSNC ‘very worried’ about mental health impact of pharmacies' finances

Pharmacy pressure gauge
PSNC is “worried” about the potential impact of pharmacy closures on other healthcare providers

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) is “very worried” about the impact financial pressures are having on the mental health of pharmacy staff.

C+D exclusively revealed earlier this month that 140 community pharmacies closed across England between November 2016 – the month before the 12% funding cut came into force – and May 2018.

In response, PSNC told C+D it is “very concerned” about the closures, which it attributed to “very great financial pressures on the sector”.

The negotiator is “particularly worried” about the impact these pressures are having on the long-term future of “businesses, employees, lives, families, and indeed mental health”, it said.

It has “made all these points to the UK government and will continue to do so”, it stressed.

PSNC is working with other pharmacy bodies “to do all that we can to make a combined case for the sector” to the government.

“Relatively small number” of closures

PSNC is also “worried” about the “potential impact” of the pharmacy closures on other healthcare providers, who may have experienced an increase in demand, as well as on patients who had used their services.

“Closures are still in relatively small numbers so far as we are aware, but we are monitoring the situation carefully and are in close contact with the Department of Health and Social Care about it.”

“Any reduction in the numbers of pharmacies could impact on those who can least afford it,” it added.

Pharmacists under “substantial stress”

In June, Royal Pharmaceutical Society board member Hemant Patel asked the organisation to combat the “devastating problem” of pharmacists’ stress.

Mr Patel, who is also North-east London local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) secretary, told C+D last Thursday (July 26) that pharmacists in his area are under “substantial stress” as a result of cashflow problems and “diminished viability”.

Reports to the LPC of “financial distress and difficulty paying wholesaler bills” have increased in the last three months, Mr Patel added.

The LPC will be “carefully monitoring” stress levels, he said.

Has financial pressure caused you stress in your pharmacy?

Peter Sainsburys, Community pharmacist

I cannot say that I enjoyed my time in pharmacy in the UK. But I am an avid saver and have used the money to go into another field. I am now a freelance worker, I work when I want and how I want. If I don't like a job, then I don't do it.

I am making less money but I am happy, free, and will never look back.

Working conditions for pharmacists in the UK are truly atrocious, and the PSNC, the RPS, the GPhC don't care about you, they only want to line their pockets. Get out whilst you still can.

Chicken Little , Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

I'm worried about the PSNC who are worried about the pharmacies, who are worried about the finances. But who is worried about me?

On a serious note PSNC. Stop being a worried observer and start being a representative/negotiator.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

For years, the PSNC was never worried about unnecessary and unprofitable pharmacies opening - lets inject some 'balance' into this subject.

Hang on a bit. Is this article not mixing up pharmacies and pharmacists? PharmaCISTS have been under a tremendous amount of stress for the last 5 years. What has RPS done about it? Didly squat. 

Now pharmaCIES are under fiancial pressure. Oh PSNC are worried about this.

The worklplace stress and financial worry (of losing your job - thank you PSNC and the new pharmacy contract) for pharmacists over the last few years has been the worst I've ever known it. 

Let's see what the great and the good come up with. The best solution for both contractors and jobbing pharmacists is the same. Get new skills, get out and get out quick. 

Delectable Skeptic, Community pharmacist

Gave my notice yesterday. 

Goodbye cruel pharmacy world.!

Peter Sainsburys, Community pharmacist


Delectable Skeptic, Community pharmacist

Thank you kindly. 

There will be some who continue to enjoy and prosper in pharmacy.  I really wish I was one of them as I've enjoyed my pharmacy career until the last couple of years but the writing is on the wall.  There's only a few people I've mentioned my upcoming exit to but I already have two job offers in my "hobby" field that I love and enjoy (and is way less stressful). 

My advice - save all the money you can whilst looking for an opportunistic exit strategy.

Best wishes and good luck all.

(doesn't mean to say I won't keep lurking and post occasionally, though!).

C A, Community pharmacist

What field are you moving into?

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