In July 2005 Audit Scotland published a report called "A Scottish Prescription - Managing the use of medicines in hospitals" [1.8Mb]. Within paragraphs 88-93 of this report, it was recorded that recognition of workforce data on pharmacy staff was not well developed. It gave two recommendations. These were:
The Scottish Executive Health Department should
- Improve workforce planning for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The SEHD and NHS Boards should ensure that workforce planning includes pre-registration pharmacist posts and that sufficient training posts are available to meet the future needs of the service
- Work with NHS boards and the pharmacy profession to develop meaningful measures of activity for pharmacy staffing to inform workforce planning.
In April 2009, Audit Scotland published a follow up report called "Managing the use of medicines in hospitals: follow-up review". A key message was that "Workforce planning for hospital pharmacy staff is still not well developed and it is not clear if boards base their pharmacy workforce projections on local service needs". A key recommendation was:
The Scottish Government should work with NES, ISD Scotland and the boards to develop national pharmacy workforce planning information that supports boards in taking forward workforce plans and workforce development.
In response to this, the SG have set up a Pharmacy Action Plan Steering Group and created a Pharmacy Workforce Planning Project. As part of this, it was agreed that NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and ISD Scotland would work together to analyse data that NES collect on the pharmacy workforce.
- Key points from the September 2012 vacancy collection include: As at 30th September 2012 there was 2222.8 (WTE) pharmacy staff in post within Scotland (excluding special health boards) compared to 2198.9 (WTE) in 30th September 2011, a 1% increase.
- The pharmacy vacancy rate (excluding special health boards) as at 30th September 2012 is 4.1% compared to 4.7% as at 30th September 2011.
- The largest proportion of the pharmacy staff workforce, as at 30th September 2012, are within AfC band 8a accounting for 18.7%. The second most common band is Band 5 accounting for 18.3%. This compares to 17.2% Band 8a and 18.2% Band 5 as at 30th September 2011.