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BSW ICB has lowest number of pharmacists per 10,000 patients in England


BSW ICB has lowest number of pharmacists per 10,000 patients in England

By Neil Trainis

A report by Bath and North-East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) Integrated Care Board which provides a snapshot of pharmacy’s workforce in ICB areas across England reveals it has the lowest proportion of pharmacists per 10,000 patients in the country.

The report , which was presented to Wiltshire Council’s health select committee meeting last week, showed BSW ICB had 2.1 pharmacists per 10,000 GP-registered patients compared to a national average of 2.9 pharmacists.

Lincolnshire ICB and Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICB were next with 2.2 pharmacists, followed by Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly ICB, Northamptonshire ICB and Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB with 2.3 pharmacists.

Birmingham and Solihull ICB and The Black Country and West Birmingham ICB had the largest proportion of pharmacist per 10,000 patients with 3.5 pharmacists, followed by North-West London ICB, Greater Manchester ICB and Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICB with 3.4 pharmacists.

The report also said there are 64 community pharmacies in Wiltshire and 145 community pharmacies across BSW which had a 25 per cent pharmacist vacancy rate, the second highest in the country. It also had a 28 per cent pharmacy technician and 46 per cent accuracy checking technician vacancy rate.

According to the Wiltshire Times , councillor Monica Devendran told the meeting that residents had written to her to say they had found it difficult getting access to “timely and efficient pharmacy services.”

“Residents, particularly the elderly and those with health issues, have expressed their experiences of long waits in adverse weather conditions and lack of shelter,” she said.

“Additionally, residents have written to me conveying that the current pharmacies are unable to cope with the influx of customers during the peak times, resulting in extended waiting periods and potential delays in receiving essential medication.”

Victoria Stanley, the programme lead for BSW community pharmacy , optometry and dentistry, said there was “a piece of work ongoing at the moment to understand” the reasons behind the vacancy rates and “understand how we can promote community pharmacy as a profession.”

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