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Seven out of 10 pharmacy employees are stressed at work, C+D Salary Survey reveals

The proportion of pharmacists saying they suffer from stress has risen 11 percentage points between 2011 and 2014

Initial findings from the C+D Salary Survey have revealed that more pharmacists are suffering from stress each year from 2012 to 2015

Almost three quarters of pharmacists and pharmacy staff are now suffering from stress, the C+D Salary Survey 2015 has found. 

Initial figures from this year's survey, which is still open, reveal that 72 per cent of 267 employee respondants said they had suffered from work-related stress in the past 12 months. Previous C+D Salary Surveys have shown a steady rise in the proportion of stressed pharmacy employees, from 61 per cent in 2011 to 70 per cent last year.  

Pharmacists who have completed the current survey emphasised the stress they endure on a daily basis, with one respondent admitting they had considered swapping pharmacy for a minimum-wage job to "avoid stress caused by inadequate support staff". Others said they felt "stressed nearly every day" and that "staff are being squeezed for more and do not receive anything in return". 

Pharmacy Voice told C+D that IT issues, which are "often outside of [pharmacists'] control" were one cause of stress. The lobbying group also highlighted medicines shortages and a need to adapt to new NHS commissioning structures as other sources of workplace pressure. 

Raj Jain, pharmacist at WR Evans (Chemist) Ltd t/a Manor Pharmacy in Burton-on-Trent, explained that competition between local pharmacies could be a "big factor" towards stress, along with increased dispensing volume and a pressure to meet targets. 

Mr Jain suggested talking to other members of staff as one technique to minimise workplace stress."There aren't many support networks in pharmacy that you can turn too," he added. "We as a company have our own helpline." [There is also Pharmacist Support's Listening Friends helpline; 0808 168 5133 - Ed.]

Amanda Smith, manager of Heath Pharmacy in Halifax, said stress was "definitely going up" due to the additional services pharmacists were being commissioned to deliver."We need to delegate [these] services but the [commissioning] specifications say we're not allowed to do that. We are torn in several different directions."

Have your say about workplace pressures in this year's Salary Survey.

Have your stress levels increased over the past 12 months?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information

Rajesh Shah, Community pharmacist

Community Pharmacy has become a logistic entity with poor funding and not enough skill mix of staff. Most of us are fire fighting the moment we step in each morning . Am I living on a different planet.?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"""talking to other members of staff as one technique to minimise workplace stress"""

Talk about what?

Considering """increased dispensing volume and a pressure to meet targets""" Do you really get that much time to talk, even if that was the solution?

Having a help line to get people to talk is not enough, we need to target the route causes for the stress which are workload, reduced support staff, unnecessary targets, frequent threats from managers for not achieving these targets etc. By talking we can only get the things out of our chest not from the brain, which will be there always and make you more stressed !!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

""" competition between local pharmacies could be a "big factor" towards stress, ""

What rubbish. This is where the 3 out of 10 matter.

""increased dispensing volume and a pressure to meet targets""

This is the right reason.

AMANDA WHITEHEAD, Pharmacy technician

No targets needed for independent pharmacies.

Antonio Lex, Primary care pharmacist

find me a job that has no stress, especially with our pay

[email protected], Community pharmacist

Find me a job with the same wage, the same level of stress, without the possibility of facing criminal charges for a simple mistake or the possibility of hurting/ killing someone.

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Could I suggest that the Stress/£salary ratio for employee Pharmacists has to be one of the highest of any profession. And it is getting worse.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I am sure the 3 out of 10 are those who create stress for the 7 stressed Pharmacists !!

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