Recruitment of pharmacists

Recruitment of pharmacists

It is more difficult to recruit and retain staff in remote and rural areas. The 2022 NES workforce data survey shows that there is a lack of pharmacists in remote and rural areas, as per the Resource Allocation Formula (NRAC). There are only two schools of pharmacy in Scotland (in Aberdeen and Glasgow, both urban areas), meaning it can be hard to attract both students on placement and pharmacy graduates to remote and rural areas. In addition, students who travel from remote and rural areas to train may never return home. Medical models encourage people to work in many different areas of Scotland and experience working in different environments and contexts. This needs to be encouraged for pharmacy too. Currently, there is evidence of Health Boards in remote areas providing a bursary to encourage students to train in their area. This is a cost with Boards in urban areas don’t have to bear. There should be a centralised programme to allow pharmacy students to try out working in different areas to allow people to see the differences and make informed choices about their career paths. It is also hard to attract pharmacists to work permanently in remote and rural areas due to a lack of availability of locum cover. Both the lack of availability and the increased cost of arranging locum cover can mean pharmacists working long hours and struggling to arrange leave. The potential knock on effects on wellbeing and a poor work/life balance mean working in remote and rural areas is not an attractive option for most.


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