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Call to action over workplace stress in pharmacy

Danielle Hunt – major concerns about mental health issues in pharmacy

By Richard Thomas

The funding cuts, long working hours and inadequate staffing levels are major causes of workplace stress in community pharmacy, according to a new report from the charity Pharmacist Support.

In a speech delivered yesterday to MPs and senior figures from the profession at Portcullis House, Westminster, chief executive Danielle Hunt said a survey carried out by Pharmacist Support revealed that 97 per cent of potential service users felt they needed some form of support from the charity, with:

  • 61 per cent of pharmacists needing support with stress at work (this rose to 72 per cent of community pharmacists)
  • 59 per cent needing support with their work-life balance
  • 47 per cent needing support managing their wellbeing.

Community pharmacists stood out as having the biggest concerns about their wellbeing. While concerns about mental health featured strongly in the overall survey sample (71 per cent of all respondents), 78 per cent of community pharmacists identified it as one of their key issues, and 68 per cent agreed isolation was a key problem – very close to double the proportion of hospital pharmacists thinking isolation was a core challenge.

The event aimed to raise awareness of workplace stress

Danielle Hunt said: “Given the nature of these findings that have highlighted some major concerns around stress and wellbeing we have decided to launch them publicly to help raise awareness in the sector and to support the activities of many of our partners working with pharmacists.”

In order to draw attention to these issues, Pharmacist Support asked MPs and attendees at yesterday’s parliamentary event, which was held in conjunction with Chemist & Druggist, to pledge their support for the charity’s #GoGreen4PS campaign. The aim of this year’s campaign, running from World Pharmacists Day on September 25 until October 31, is to highlight the mental health issues affecting pharmacists, raise awareness of the services available from the charity and to raise funds to help more individuals.

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