CCA estimates community pharmacy to experience equivalent of three fallow years by 2024

The Company Chemists Association (CCA)’s workforce finding showed that by 2024 eight years’ worth of growth of the pharmacist workforce will have been
funnelled away from community pharmacies.

“In 2019, when NHS leaders realised they were unable to find enough GPs to meet the public’s needs, they hastily decided to recruit pharmacists and other
healthcare professionals to fill the gaps. This was implemented without any corresponding efforts to increase the supply of pharmacists, creating huge shortages,”
said CCA.

“The bulk of the NHS’s recruitment drive was paid for using additional money ringfenced by the NHS – the £2.4bn Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). We
estimate over the life course of ARRS funding (2019-2024), the equivalent of eight years of growth in the number of pharmacists in England will have been funnelled
directly into primary care at the expense of other sectors.

At the current rate, CCA estimate that community pharmacy will have experienced the equivalent of three fallow years by 2024.

To ensure the pharmacy network is protected and able to take pressure off other parts of the NHS, there are several urgent measures which must be implemented.

Countering the impact of primary care recruitment: Community pharmacists should be commissioned to provide ‘packages of care’ on behalf of GPs, rather than taking
pharmacists away from accessible high street settings.