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PDA survey shows support for Pharmacy First but concerns over delivery


PDA survey shows support for Pharmacy First but concerns over delivery

Strong support for the Pharmacy First service to be introduced in England from February has emerged from a survey of Pharmacists’ Defence Association members.

Of the 3,500 plus employee pharmacists who responded to the survey, 68 per cent strongly agreed/agreed with the principle of Pharmacy First, with 84 per cent strongly agreeing/agreeing that it could improve patient care, while 77 per cent said it could improve professional fulfilment for pharmacists.

However, 87 per cent of those surveyed also strongly agreed/agreed that if the Pharmacy First service is not introduced or resourced properly, it could damage an already fragile workforce situation.

Some 66 per cent of respondents said that they were not confident that their pharmacy would be able to deliver PFS on from February given the current workload, and a further 29 per cent were unsure. Only 4 per cent said that they had confidence the sector could deliver the new service.

The survey was conducted between 5-12 January, with 40 per cent of respondents describing themselves as employed pharmacists and 44 per cent as locums. Almost half (48 per cent) were working 31 plus hours a week.

The PDA has confirmed that the current indemnity protection provided automatically to pharmacists as part of their PDA membership will cover them for their involvement in PFS. But it has warned that “in light of the hurried launch of the scheme in England, in the event that there are a large number of claims against pharmacists, it may result in future premium increase”.

The PDA, which has complained that discussions around the introduction of the service “did not invite the views of those pharmacists at the coal face as collectively represented by the PDA”, has shared the survey results with NHS England and the Department of Health.

It has suggested changes to the introduction of PFS “to support the patient and pharmacist experience in the early stages, such as phasing in the seven new services, giving the sector more time to get ready and managing the associated marketing campaign”.

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