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PDA General Practice survey

After a hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic, the PDA believed that a survey of members working in general practice would be beneficial to seek the views of members working in primary care.

Fri 29th September 2023 The PDA

The questionnaire was drafted with support from primary care pharmacists in the PDA’s Regional Committees and ran for four weeks during May and June 2023. The survey had a significant number of questions, and the PDA thanks those members who took the time to complete it as they have provided a fascinating (and at times concerning) snapshot of how things are on the general practice frontline.

The survey had an overall response rate of 1,378, with some interesting variations in the responses from pharmacists across the four UK nations.

Some key areas of concern raised by a significant number of respondents were:

  • Inadequate induction and a lack of ongoing general training and support from practices (in some cases for relatively junior pharmacists).
  • Pay not reflecting the level of expertise and responsibility of their role (prescribers expected to take on GP prescribing and, in some cases, diagnostic activities, whilst being paid significantly less than their medical colleagues).
  • Not being provided with suitable work locations (pharmacists expected to undertake telephone medication reviews whilst seated in open plan offices or other inappropriate settings).
  • Being given tasks which fall outside their areas of routine practice with no additional training or support (e.g., being asked to take responsibility for setting up and running heart failure clinics with no previous experience and no support or supervision from the practice).
  • Being given workloads that far exceeded the time available to carry them out safely (e.g., up to 100 tasks a day plus clinic appointments in addition to query fielding; with structured medication reviews to be completed in 10 minutes).
  • Not being given sufficient time for training (being told to take annual leave for training time which should have been provided as part of the PCN scheme).

Despite all of the above, it is encouraging to see the number of pharmacists now working in general practice and that many respondents found the work they were undertaking professionally rewarding (albeit still feeling that they were undervalued).

Across the four UK nations, it was found that:

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents felt that their workstations were adequate and suitably located for their activities.
  • 41% of respondents felt that their induction had been good or great.
  • Just under 60% felt that they were receiving adequate ongoing training and support to enable them to carry out their roles.
  • 65% felt that they were regarded and treated as a full member of the practice team.

There is sufficient data to support a series of articles looking at different aspects of general practice pharmacy and areas of concern, and the PDA will continue to analyse the responses to inform future communications.

The PDA hopes that the articles will be a suitable launchpad for further discussion and interaction with members and other stakeholders. The PDA will be inviting readers to share their comments or experiences.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact

Learn more

PDA GP work satisfaction event

On Tuesday 24 October the PDA will be holding its first online event exclusively for GP pharmacist members. At this free event, GP/PCN pharmacist members are invited to hear about the results of the PDA’s recent GP Work Satisfaction Survey. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss their experiences in the workplace and how they can work together with the PDA and each other to achieve changes at work which will improve their working environment and the patient experience. Learn more

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.






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