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Well u-turn after criticising locums for requesting pay rise

Well: The email should have been worded differently

Well Pharmacy has apologised to its locums for an email reprimanding them for asking for higher pay during the Eid religious festival


Well Pharmacy has backtracked on an email sent by a co-ordinator reprimanding locums in West Yorkshire for asking for more money during the Islamic festival Eid.

In the email, seen by C+D, the Well co-ordinator said the company had been “getting a lot of noise” over Eid rates. It was “surprising” locums were asking for higher rates, as they risked "getting no work at all and [being] out of pocket", the co-ordinator added. 

However, the sender soon recalled the email, which you can view belowand a further email was sent by Well apologising for “any upset or offense caused”.

It stressed the original email should have been "worded differently" to convey that co-ordinators do not have the authority to pay rates outside of the usual range.

"Under investigation"

Well chief operating officer Tim Davies told C+D today (June 27) that the content of the email “in no way represents the views and opinions of Well". "The matter is currently under investigation," he added.

“We appreciate that in peak holiday periods and during religious festivals, demand for locum service increases,” Mr Davies said. “We ensure that our rates reflect the market at those times.”

The original email:


Have you received a similar email from your employer about locum pay?

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


Mohammed Najib, Pharmacy Undergraduate


Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Disgusted with whom? 

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist













Amal England, Public Relations

I agree about the strike. However, this will fix the rates only short/medium term- up on till oversaturation of pharmacists.

I sense a hint of prejudice form the Well coordinator as I remember being offered well over £30 to work on Xmas day.

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Shouty, but correct. If locums suddenly became unavailable on those dates the multiples would go into meltdown

P M, Community pharmacist

yes strike and i'll go to work for a better rate...ta

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

hi its because of  people like you why we get no where in this profession

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist


Pill Counter, Pharmacy

PM is a troll. In days gone by he would have been a grinning slavemaster cracking the whip on his plantations.

Anonymous Anonymous, Information Technology

As a locum myself I would still rather get no work than work for the derisory rates being offered to locums now! 

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Wake up!! Pharmacy is NOT a profession.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

If you are a community pharmacist that is surprised by the year-on-year fall in wages then you are so thick as to deserve a pay cut. If you are a community pharmacist who is surprised by a contractor using threats to your employment as a means of leverage then you are so thick as to deserve your despicable treatment. GET THIS INTO YOUR* SKULL - YOU ARE A COST ON A SPREADSHEET 

*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles

Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

Apply to london transport to work on the tube as a driver.  The only stress is when somebody jumps in front of the train. Rates paid are way in excess of locum rates and free transport for you and a partner. Perhaps with Brexit the number of european pharmacists working here will be reduced. that only leaves reducing the number of uk pharmacists being trained to bring supply and demand back to previous levels. with the cuts to fees being introduced a further supply of pharmacists will be coming on the market . Well done PSNC you have done a excellent job. 

Powerful Locum, Pharmaceutical Adviser

What's with all the "noise"? C'mon this is the reality. Locum rates are going to keep going down. Glad I took the plunge into employment rather than locum. 

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Locums can't be blamed for trying to get 'higher' rates during peak demand times, as buses, trains and aeroplanes do the same and passengers take it as part of the business cycle. Well should be a bit more flexible with its locum rates...

Hanbal Chaudry, Community pharmacist

Wow Tesco £18 an hour. I have paid my locums upto £24 an hour (thought normally £20-£21). It seems that not only multiples are exploiting economies of scale when it comes to buying drugs but also locum services. 

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

Law of supply & demand. Can't really complain, although is a bit frustrating 

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

 "Can't really complain". Mr Eggleston, just what sort of attitude is that to this dire situation for Community Pharmacists? I despair.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser



Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Spoken like a true rent-seeker Mr Eggleston. So if the government ensures control of entry to limit demand whilst simultaneously subsidising university placements to increase supply, there can be no complaint on the basis of unfair competition and market distortion? Of course, you don't think very hard do you Mr Eggleston, anything beyond the special protection of net profit and you begin to struggle with the ideas of market equity and efficiency. 


Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Yes we CAN complain Steve! I presume you're an employee? How would you like it if your boss told you he was cutting your wages by X%.  Remember, first they come for the locums...... then the employees are next !  -------------Cutting wages just because there are too many graduates is short-sighted as it just leads to resentment and a work-to-rule attitude and bad feeling, which the staff and customers pick up on. It might save some money in the short-term, but in the medium and longer term it will be very bad for community pharmacy and community pharmacists. ------------------------I was recently telling a summer student all about my pay and how it has fallen over the years, and her eyes were getting wider and wider!  She said she had done a placement for a week at a chain pharmacy and hated it. Infact, all her peers had hated it too! These students are not going to go into community. They think it is too stressful, too much hard work for little reward and doesn't use their skills. That is BAD for pharmacy. The mass expansion of Uni places that has taken place over the last decade will prove to be terrible for pharmacy, and particularly community. 

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I'm sorry but I am rapidly losing sympathy with pharmacy students. Yes, there was a period in the mid 2000s where it was difficult to predict future employment prospects and wage rates and so a student gamble could be understood, if not forgiven, but now? If you are applying to do pharmacy now and you haven't bothered to discover the reality of the job, then you have only yourself to blame. If you are applying to do pharmacy or are currently studying pharmacy and you are aware of the current reality, then you have no right to claim you have been misled.



Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

I agree, but go on thestudentroom site and read the thread on poor pharmacist prospects and then see the replies to the guys like yourself who try to tell them the reality...... Well, they don't like it! -----------Apparently, if you work hard and blah blah blah...then you will be fine..... and all degrees are competitive.... and.... and.... excuses excuses excuses! I totally agree with your post. 

bilal hussain, Community pharmacist

Guys, if you are on facebook or in whatsapp groups made of locums (or have friends in such groups) I'm sure you'll be familiar with how, starting today, hundreds of locums have emailed Tesco regarding their terrible locum rate drop (they will be paying £18 per hour from july!!).


Please please PLEASE join the email campaign. Send emails to BOTH the following addresses (some templates are available on facebook): [email protected] & [email protected]

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Bilal can you confirm this please?

Snake Plissken, Student

I can confirm it is true. I have seen a letter from Tescos about dropping the rates in July. Other multiples will follow shortly. Really grim news.

Muhammad Siddiqur Rahman, Primary care pharmacist

Yes is true! If you want further details about the Tesco locum rate drop including the email template to send to Tesco, then email me please on [email protected]

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

are Tesco dropping their rates again?

Mohammad Latif, Locum pharmacist

Really offended and unpleasantly surprised when I was also sent this email. Well done to pharmacists out there who are negotiating higher rates. After all they are offering a contracted service which Locum co-ordinators and managers can reject or pay. 
Market forces means some periods rates will be lower just as in some they will be higher. Should have been worded not just differently but approached with a lot more respect and politeness too. And not with this attitude "how dare pharmacists ask for higher rates" like we are some cheap labour. Makes you think how much the profession is changing. 

Let's continue to make this "noise"!

Disillusioned Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

It is an attitude that is prevalent in the Well co-ordinator office, they seem to have  'who do they think they are' drilled into them from the beginning. I think they have a chip on their shoulder's because their pay is so much less.

Also have you seen the job advertised in C&D jobs in Luton that want a Pharmacist 9AM-9PM Sat&Sun for UP to 12k pa?  That works out at £9.61 p/h!!!


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