What do Pharmacists say?
We have held several focus group meetings with pharmacists and they have expressed numerous concerns about their current situations. This affirms our Aims and Objectives.
"Working as a pharmacist can be a lonely occupation. I often feel isolated and alone with no-one to turn to for help"
"Sometimes, I make a mistake at work but I am afraid to turn to either the RPSGB or my employer for fear of reprisals."
"I am a locum, and one day I made a mistake. Unbeknown to me, the patient turned to the employer to ask for an apology and he told the patient that I was a self-employed subcontractor and therefore not connected to the employer. The employer did not issue a satisfactory apology. The first I knew about this was when an inspector came to see me to say that from frustration the patient had reported me to the Society. I am now being investigated by the Society – I feel none of this need have happened had the employer not made the situation worse."
"My boss is a non-pharmacist and I am constantly being given priorities that I believe are wrong. I do not know where to turn for advice and fear that if I say something then my career prospects will be damaged."
"I sold my pharmacy and agreed with the new owners to continue to work for the pharmacy for another three years. However, since the sale, the staffing has been severely cut back to what I consider to be dangerous levels. I am very concerned as each day I see unacceptable things happening as a result."
" I put in some suggestions as to how the pharmacy that I work in could be improved. Some of these ideas, though positive, were mildly critical of the higher management. I have recently become aware that my face no longer fits and am thinking of getting another job."
"I am doing my Pre-reg in a pharmacy that I consider too busy for training purposes and I have no tutor because my old one has left the company. I am expected to muddle on, but I am afraid that I will fail my Pre-reg exam or, worse still, get involved in a serious error situation. What can I do?"
"My area manager keeps on securing more residential home business for the pharmacy that I manage. I keep on saying that we are already too busy for this size of pharmacy, but he keeps going. I feel that if I complain more then I will be labelled as a troublemaker, but if I do nothing then I will fall ill from stress and worry. I can barely remember what I did five minutes ago – let alone feel confident that everything is checked correctly."
"I have asked my local PCT if I can have a contract directly with them to provide specialist services that I have paid to be trained for, but I have been told that they can only contract with pharmacy contractors."
"I am a locum and recently, the company that I have been working for, for some years, informed me that they would be cutting my hourly rate of pay. It was a take it or leave it situation, so I decided not to continue working for them. Recently I discovered that the pharmacy has problems in finding locum cover even though they know I am still available. Surely, this isn't right – what can I do about it?"