RPS Scotland is delighted to have been a co-signatory alongside the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, GPhC, CPS, the Directors of Pharmacy and the National Pharmacy Technicians Group on a letter to all pharmacy teams in Scotland reassuring anyone who needs to access wellbeing support that they can do so confidentially without it impacting on their career.
Clare Morrison, RPS Director for Scotland, said: “It is fantastic that pharmacy teams across Scotland have access to a range of resources, including the National Wellbeing Hub, but we are aware that there are barriers to accessing support. These include perceptions that services are only available during the working day and that accessing support is reported to employers. This letter makes it clear that the National Wellbeing Hub is completely confidential and there is no impact on career progression by accessing services. It is vital that anyone who needs support accesses it as soon as possible in order to prevent ill health and poor wellbeing at work. We hope this letter gives people confidence and reassurance to access services when they need to.”
The text of the letter is as follows:
Every pharmacy team, regardless of sector, has played a vital role in the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To each of you, you have our admiration and sincere thanks.
We also recognise that all of your efforts in ensuring that patients and members of the public are receiving the best pharmaceutical care available irrespective of the setting, may mean you feel exhausted. As we head into the Winter season it is critical that every member of the pharmacy team ensures they look after themselves, consider their own health and wellbeing and of those around them. And this is why we are writing to you.
To support you, along with the wider health and care sector, there are a range of resources available through the NHS Scotland National Wellbeing Hub (www.wellbeinghub.scot). The National Wellbeing Hub is for all members of the pharmacy team, working in all settings and we encourage you to make use of this resource as necessary, and for employers to support their teams in its use.
What is the National Wellbeing Hub?
The National Wellbeing Hub is first and foremost completely free and entirely confidential. It can be accessed when you need it, at a time that suits you, has no links to your organisation and does not require any referral or input from them.
NHS Scotland’s National Wellbeing Hub provides access to information, resources and support for all health and care workers in Scotland. The resources and toolkits provided by the National Wellbeing Hub are evidence-based services that support the psychological wellbeing of people working in health and care.
Additional resourcing has been secured through the NHS Recovery Plan which will further support the 24/7 National Wellbeing Helpline, our National Wellbeing Hub, and Coaching for Wellbeing which are already available for all members of the pharmacy team; alongside tailored psychological interventions for staff, providing individualised wellbeing support focusing on people’s physical and emotional needs.
There is also the Workforce Specialist Service for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, which is a confidential multidisciplinary mental health service with expertise in treating health and social services regulated professionals. The Scottish Government worked alongside the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to develop the service specifically for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
The National Wellbeing Hub and the support it can provide is there for you to access and use. We would urge anyone in any pharmacy team who feels they need assistance or advice to feel confident to seek the support they need and we would encourage you to use the services offered by the National Wellbeing Hub.
Thank you once again for all of your efforts and dedication during these unprecedented times.
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
Director for Scotland
General Pharmaceutical Council
Director for Scotland
Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Directors of Pharmacy Group
Community Pharmacy Scotland
National Pharmacy Technicians Group Scotland