COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home  »   Latest News   »   Pharmacists highlight poor working conditions faced in NHS hospitals

Pharmacists highlight poor working conditions faced in NHS hospitals

The PDA is publishing the results of the 'scoping broader issues for hospital pharmacists' survey.

Mon 13th March 2023 The PDA

Pharmacists practising in hospitals have responded to a PDA survey with a stark picture of how NHS staff are facing immense pressures which, hand in hand with increasing staff shortages, is producing the perfect storm.

Around 77% of respondents to the survey 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/mental health concerns, pay, and the role not matching their 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 believes that it should be a concern for those responsible for overall workforce plans that the majority of 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 talented pharmacists are retained. Individual pharmacists should feel empowered to pursue alternative career paths that suit them without guilt or repercussions. However, every early loss from the profession means that the enormous personal and societal investment which has been invested in developing that professional is being squandered. There can be very little that is more damaging to the long-term interests of the profession. There is also still a need for pharmacists to be more widely recognised for all the hard work that they do and the substantial contributions they make towards 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 result as studies have found that a mismatch between expectation and reality of 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, individual competence, and a manageable workload. 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 a specialist employment team that can provide support through this process if there are any uncertainties or difficulties, PDA members can contact the PDA Member Support Centre

The PDA’s charity partners, Pharmacist Support, provides help and resources for pharmacists who are struggling at work or home. For more information, pharmacists in Britain are encouraged to visit their website.

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.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)