The House of Commons Health Committee has called for a pharmacy workforce plan in a new report into the recruitment, training and retention of the health and care workforce.
The report makes a number of recommendations to support recruitment, retention and training, and calls on the Government to develop a pharmacy workforce plan to optimise workloads across primary care, reduce pressure on general practice and hospitals, and support integrated care systems.
The report also recognises the potential of pharmacist independent prescribers to support patient care, backed by appropriate supervision, training, and opportunities for professional development.
RPS England gave evidence to MPs on the Committee at a public hearing in May, highlighting key issues to support the pharmacy workforce.
RPS Director for England Ravi Sharma said: “Today’s report underlines the urgent need for the Government to set out a comprehensive workforce plan for health and care.
“It rightly recognises that boosting recruitment and retention, supporting staff wellbeing, fostering inclusion and diversity, and investing in education and training will be crucial to the future of the NHS.
“Pharmacy teams will play a key role in the NHS recovery, but with continued pressures on staff we need support for the workforce so they can keep looking after patients.
“The next generation of pharmacist independent prescribers will make a huge difference to patient care, but there are some key factors to make the most of their skills.
“I would urge the Government and NHS to listen to the Committee’s call for an integrated and funded workforce plan for pharmacy, which ensures that all pharmacists have adequate access to supervision, training, and protected learning time, along with clear structures for professional development.”
Watch the Committee session in May
Read the committee's report