Pharmacy professionals with refugee status to bolster workforce in Wales
Health Education and Improvement Wales has set out plans to allow pharmacy professionals with refugee status to return to practice in an attempt to address workforce problems in the country.
HEIW said its strategic pharmacy workforce plan will create a registration pathway for “displaced” pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with refugee status and develop “return-to-practice packages” including pharmacy apprenticeships as part of an international recruitment programme.
“We have reached a position in the last two years where it has not been possible to sustain access to the volume and quality of pharmacy services for our population that we would wish to,” HEIW said.
“In Wales, there are examples of pharmacy services having been reduced in both hospital and community. The trend of community pharmacy short notice temporary closures persists.”
HEIW revealed the number of short-notice temporary pharmacy closures in Wales exceeded 2,000 in 2022-23 for the first time. In 2022-21, there were 1,782 short-notice temporary closures.
HEIW chief executive Alex Howells said the plan was a “vehicle for driving radical change and comprehensive improvements in how we develop, value and support our pharmacy workforce.”
“The plan is an opportunity to equip pharmacy professionals with the skills and competence to take up their professional leadership role in relation to medicines use across the general health and social care workforce,” she said.