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Give us equal access to the NHS Practitioner programme, urges RPS President

Today the Department of Health and Social Care announced the expansion of  the NHS Practitioner service, which supports all doctors and dentists with their mental health and wellbeing.

Responding in light of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s campaign on workforce wellbeing, RPS President Sandra Gidley said:

"The ever-increasing demand on our NHS means healthcare professionals work under intense pressure on a daily basis, so must have access to mental health and wellbeing services when needed. 

"Pharmacists currently suffer a two-tier system whereby those employed directly by the NHS can access support, but those delivering NHS services in other settings are denied it.  This is fundamentally unfair.  Today's announcement is a real missed opportunity to create a level playing field for pharmacists who need help in the face of overwhelming workplace pressure.

"Unfortunately there is still a great deal of stigma in seeking mental health support which affects pharmacists as much as anyone else.  Pharmacy is the country's third largest health profession and it's plain wrong to exclude some colleagues from rapid, confidential access to the care and support which other colleagues can benefit from.

“I urge all pharmacists to complete our survey on workforce wellbeing so we can use the data to make the case to government for equal access to mental health and wellbeing support for pharmacists.”

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