In an effort to reduce the strain that GPs are under, approximately 4,500 pharmacists have been transferred from hospitals and small pharmacies, now recruited into general practise.
However, moving personnel from other parts of the NHS, risks putting the UK healthcare system under excessive stress, and causing potential breakdown.
“4,500 pharmacists have been transferred from hospitals and small pharmacies, now recruited into general practise“
The situation has been labelled "not sustainable," by the Company Chemists' Association’s Chief Exec, Malcolm Harrison. Explaining how, since the change, the remaining workforce is having a difficult time keeping up.
Further problems are expected to ensue as nurses walk out in the first Royal College of Nursing strike over a wage raise issue. This will likely increase the number of people seeking medical attention from pharmacies.
The RCN has advocated for a wage increase that is five percent higher than inflation, giving nurses a total pay increase of more than 17%.
According to Mr. Harrison, the cost of local pharmacists climbed by up to 80% in the UK since 2020.
He noted that the strain on the employees had made an already dire situation of pharmacy underfunding much worse, making it difficult for them to function.
“In September, we announced a further £100 million investment in the sector which will enable pharmacies to manage routine oral contraception without a GP prescription, take minor illness and urgent medicine supply referrals from A&E and provide extra support for patients newly prescribed anti-depressants.”
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