Contractor survey 'will inform NHS investment decisions'

Health Education England is calling on community pharmacy contractors to complete a workforce survey it says will help to inform future decisions on planning and investment in the sector. 

The Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey 2021, which launched on May 7 and is open until mid-June, aims to gather a dataset to inform future planning and investment decisions around the workforce, understand the makeup of the workforce and achieve inclusive pharmacy practice, and “help raise the visibility of community pharmacy as a vital part of primary care,” said HEE.

The survey is being emailed to contractors by the NHS BSA. It follows a previous exercise in 2017, and is set to be repeated on a yearly basis from 2022. 

Commenting on the wider context in which the survey is being carried out, HEE said: “Community pharmacy services are expected to transform as new clinical pharmacy services, working practices and digital platforms develop to meet the public’s expectations for a modern NHS community pharmacy service.” 

Chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge said: “We’re asking as many community pharmacy contractors as possible to fill this in please to inform workforce planning and future investment in education/training for the community pharmacy workforce.”

HEE has been criticised for seeking input from contractors only rather than the wider workforce, with pharmacy academic Joe Bush posting on Twitter: “Why would you conduct a community workforce survey and invite less than 10 per cent of community pharmacists to take part.”

“Non-proprietor pharmacists might well have some useful input,” Mr Bush said.

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