The first ever national community pharmacy workforce survey to look at training and education needs for pharmacists working in community pharmacies has been launched.
Health Education England (HEE), which oversees the development of the entire NHS healthcare workforce, will send its Community Pharmacies Workforce Survey to more than 5,000 independent community pharmacies.
HEE, which is running the survey with NHS England, said responses would “inform the commissioning of clinical education and development for community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and the wider team”.
This could include a prescribing qualification for pharmacists working with care homes and in urgent care, access to clinical pharmacy education, and clinical leadership training for pharmacy technicians.
The survey data may also be used to map community pharmacy availability against populations that have identified lower health outcomes.
Community pharmacies will receive an email giving them access to the survey, which closes on 31 September 2017.
Professor Elizabeth Hughes, director and dean of education and quality HEE (London and South East), said: “This national survey builds on work previously undertaken by Health Education England in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Thames Valley and London.
“This is one of several schemes linked to further clinical education and development for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians which have been commissioned by HEE working in collaboration with NHS England. Now is the ideal opportunity to articulate the size and shape of the community pharmacy workforce to support HEE’s refresh of the pharmacy workforce plan.”
Christopher John, workforce development lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, welcomed the survey, saying: “We support the collation of workforce data as workforce intelligence about community pharmacy is still lacking.”
The pharmacy multiple chains have already completed the survey via the Company Chemists’ Association.