PSI- The Pharmacy Regulator has launched first of its kind report in Ireland
- Report highlights the need for measures to ensure sustainable supply of pharmacists in patient-facing settings to meet current and future needs
- Findings provide a pharmacy perspective, for the first time, into national workforce planning initiatives for health and social care system
PSI – The Pharmacy Regulator has launched the Workforce Intelligence Report, a first of its kind in Ireland, examining the emerging risks to the future availability of pharmacists in patient-facing settings.
Its aim is to provide for a sustainable supply of pharmacists to meet current and future needs in patient-facing settings, and to enable pharmacy to play a full role in the development of the future integrated healthcare system.
The report contains six key recommendations with a series of actions, highlighting that a multi-agency stakeholder response is required to address the complex issue of workforce planning.
- Strategic Workforce Planning – Actions include the establishment of a multi-agency group focused on national workforce planning; the production of an annual workforce pharmacy survey report; mandatory workforce survey for all pharmacists.
- Leadership of and for the Profession – Actions include considering the appointment of a Chief Pharmaceutical Officer; assessing the feasibility of a professional leadership body; setting and implementing a plan for the vision and role of pharmacy as part of future integrated healthcare; and developing a national strategy for the future role of pharmacy technicians.
- Innovation and Technology – Priority areas are the design and development of national eHealth projects with pharmacy involvement; introducing changes to reimbursement and regulatory processes that facilitate digital solutions to reduce the administrative burden associated with manual paper-based activities.
- Attracting and Recruiting Pharmacists – Actions include ensuring there are enough students being trained to meet demand; conducting an annual sentiment survey of student experiences; streamlining the recognition process for pharmacists from non-EEA countries who wish to practise in Ireland.
- Career Sustainability and Progression- Key items include access to dedicated leadership and governance training to support career progression, development and recognition of advanced and specialist practice.
- Working conditions – Actions include the establishment of a forum for community pharmacist employers and employees regarding best practice in relation to working conditions, expansion and promotion of a range of workplace health and wellbeing resources.
PSI Registrar and Chief Officer, Joanne Kissane, said:
“We are pleased to present this report, which we regard as a milestone for pharmacy workforce planning in Ireland. The challenges facing pharmacy are not unique to Ireland. Global trends correlated in the report show these challenges can be attributed to our ageing population and complex health conditions, combined with challenges in recruiting and retaining pharmacists.
“This work was undertaken with the objective of ensuring that we have a sufficient supply of trained pharmacists equipped to provide high-quality, safe, and effective services to the public. It is about ensuring improved patient outcomes and enhancing the healthcare system overall. It is our intention that we will continue to build upon the findings presented here today and continue to contribute data and insights about the pharmacy workforce to nationally led strategic workforce planning and modelling.”