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Home  »   Workplace Pressure   »   Pharmacists echo poor working conditions faced in NHS hospitals

Pharmacists echo poor working conditions faced in NHS hospitals

This is the story of every Trust up and down the country with NHS staff facing immense pressures which, hand in hand with staff shortages, is producing the perfect storm.

Tue 7th March 2023 The PDA

Around 77% of respondents to the PDA’s survey which was around scoping broader issues for hospital pharmacists, were looking to change their career or employment status in the next 12-18 months. This is an alarmingly high percentage of individuals who appear to be dissatisfied with their working conditions and/or their general career progression.

The PDA asked what some of these causes of dissatisfaction may be and the top three concerns were pressure and mental health concerns, pay, and expectations. Many respondents also expressed fears around staffing levels, management issues, lack of flexible working, and a poor work/life balance and how these contribute to the concerns stated above.

The PDA was worried to see that many respondents who were looking to change their career or employment status, were also looking to retrain in a different sector outside of pharmacy. It is important to address the underlying issues and improve working conditions so that there is not a continued loss of talented pharmacists. Pharmacists should feel empowered to pursue career paths that suit them without guilt. However, it is important to remember that this is still a loss for pharmacy. There is also still a need for pharmacists to be recognised for all the hard work that they do and the substantial contributions they make toward patient care.

A staggering 80% of respondents felt as though they were being asked to take on more than they should. This is a significant finding as studies have found that a mismatch between expectations, workload, and job control can lead to chronic stress and consequently, burnout.

As an individual, it is important to evaluate the tasks that are being assigned and whether they are in line with the appropriate job description. Although it can be difficult to strictly adhere to a job description, especially in a healthcare setting, if there is a sense of being unable to cope then individuals should feel empowered to raise this with their line manager. The PDA has an employment team that can provide support through this process if there are any uncertainties or difficulties. PDA members are encouraged to contact the PDA Member Support Centre.

Pharmacist Support are also the PDA’s charity partners, which provides support and resources for pharmacists that are struggling at work or home. For more information about the advice and support available visit their website here.

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