Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Volunteer database helps the frontline

I'm Johnathan Laird, the owner of Pharmacy in Practice and I've committed to fund a platform which supports community pharmacy at this time of incredible workforce pressure. An employment matching platform has been set up to crowd source and match volunteers or paid workers with community pharmacy employers who need help at this unprecedented time.

The platform has sourced 230 people who want to support community pharmacy teams across the UK in the seven days since its inception. 44 community pharmacy teams have asked for help.

The tool hosted on Pharmacy in Practice and led by myself and Professor Mags Watson allows people who can help in community pharmacy to share where they can work and what skills they can bring.

The tool also allows community pharmacy employers to add jobs which are then advertised free of charge on Pharmacy in Practice and across social media. Pharmacy owners are invited to post any job they wish. This includes dispenser roles, pharmacy technician roles, customer assistant roles and even just an advert for a spare pair of hands.

This is not ‘the’ answer but it is ‘an’ answer. This is a temporary system with a team of people behind the scenes volunteering their time to help those community pharmacy teams at this most difficult and unprecedented time.

We’ve seen there is an abundance of people willing to help but what we really need is for community pharmacy owners to get on to the website and post job adverts if they need help. These jobs will be snapped up by volunteers and/or paid workers who are now waiting for roles to be posted.

Whilst registered pharmacists may find opportunities using this tool, we see the benefit of this to mobilise absolutely anybody who can offer temporary help in their local community pharmacy. So far, we have helped placed dispensers, pharmacy technicians and some people who wish to simply lend a spare pair of hands.

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For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge of our careers. We’re doing everything we can to help.

Since the pandemic began, traffic to our website has doubled, and our one-to-one support team has helped more than a thousand pharmacists.

Our members make all this possible. Without this income, we can’t keep supporting pharmacists.

So we need your support. If you find our tools and guidance useful, we need you to become a member — and to help us do even more.

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