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RPS: Employers and unions must find solutions to burnout and closures


RPS: Employers and unions must find solutions to burnout and closures

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has urged pharmacy employers and trade unions to hold face-to-face discussions to explore ways of addressing “unprecedented levels of burnout among pharmacists,” branch closures and potential strike action.

Pharmacy’s professional leadership body warned the challenges facing the sector are being compounded by the growing cost-of-living crisis, with looming winter pressures expected to make things worse.

It called on collaboration between employers and unions, as well as employed and self-employed pharmacists, to ensure patients "benefit consistently from access to high quality, adequately staffed, safe pharmacy premises". 

The RPS also urged governments, NHS organisations and pharmacy teams to “define clear prioritisation plans which can be embedded in organisational business continuity plans.”

These plans, the RPS said, should make clear which pharmacy services are “essential and must always be provided” and those that “can be de-prioritised at specific levels of pressures.” The RPS once again called for “zero tolerance of abuse across pharmacy". 

“Pharmacy is under significant pressure. Pharmacists across all sectors of the NHS have remained accessible to the public and provided essential services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.

“The challenges of the pandemic and its longer-term consequences continue, and these are now being compounded by the escalating cost of living crisis. Many fear what is around the corner when winter pressures are added to the mix.”

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