Boots to fund Pharmacist Support coaching scheme

Pharmacist Support chief executive Danielle Hunt

Following a pilot that saw Boots UK fund sector charity Pharmacist Support to provide one-to-one coaching services, the two organisations are expanding the scheme to reach more pharmacists across Great Britain.

The 2017 pilot offered pharmacists facing difficult times access to six one-to-one hour-long sessions with a trained coach. These sessions focused on work-related and personal issues, including dealing and negotiating with colleagues, building resilience, assertiveness and confidence as well as managing stress and anxiety.

The pilot was well received, with some participants saying it had been greatly beneficial to their day-to-day functioning and improved their overall outlook.

It was inspired by a 2016 survey of members of the now-defunct Boots Pharmacists’ Association that highlighted a need for a service that could help pharmacists negotiate workplace issues and personal stress.

Boots UK has made a donation to the charity in order to fund the scheme's further development, with precise details of the scope and content of the expanded project set to be finalised later in the year after Pharmacist Support has completed market research that will be used to inform both this project and the organisation’s new overall strategy.

Pharmacist Support chief executive Danielle Hunt said the charity was “absolutely delighted” that Boots was supporting an expansion of the coaching project, adding that in a “time that continues to be challenging for the profession,” donations like this “allow us to continue to make a difference”.

Boots UK chief pharmacist Marc Donovan said: “These are challenging times both for the pharmacy profession and the population as a whole and Boots is keen to ensure there is support available for all pharmacists to help them manage the stresses faced.”

“The company has been working with Pharmacist Support on a range of wellbeing projects for a number of years now and the next phase in this partnership is the development of coaching resources that we hope will be available to all pharmacists.”

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