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Home  »   Latest News   »   Community Pharmacy closures: Employed pharmacist offered to work, but employer chose to close.

Community Pharmacy closures: Employed pharmacist offered to work, but employer chose to close.

In a further example of unnecessary community pharmacy closures, a pharmacist employed by a major chain anonymously recalls how their employer chose to decline their offer to cover the shift and decided to close that store for a day instead.

Wed 17th August 2022 The PDA

This example of a large pharmacy chain choosing to close rather than pay one of their own employees to be the Responsible Pharmacist is important, because too often debate around the issue of avoidable full or part-day community pharmacy closures is diverted into discussion of locum rates.  In this instance there was no locum, no rate negotiation, no question of unaffordable rates, just an employer choosing to close rather than open even though they had a pharmacist available. 

“My store was closed on a weekday recently. The pharmacist on duty was off sick and that caused a short notice change. However, I offered to work as long as the company would do the short notice pay for me. It was less than 24 hours to the next shift.

The planner told me that they don’t have the authorisation to approve short notice pay. I mentioned to my line manager about the short notice pay. They said the terms and conditions for me to work had been passed on to the planner on duty. Unfortunately, my store still ended up closing although I offered to work.

We are short staffed already and now need to play catch up due to the closure. Temporary closures do not only affect patient safety but also put more pressure on the already worn-out staff. The amount of stress they are getting from the frustrated and annoyed patients during and after the closure is immeasurable. This further increases the risk around patient safety. “

In this example, like others seen by the PDA the community pharmacy business was aware of a specific individual available to cover the shift and therefore enable them to be open for patients. In no way could this situation be described as a “shortage of pharmacists”.

The PDA is calling on those responsible for patient safety in community pharmacy to act meaningfully on this issue.

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