Pharmacy Workforce

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The challenge

Over recent years, the primary care pharmacy workforce has changed significantly, due to a range of national healthcare policy developments. As a result, there have been changes in employment models, leadership capacity, and career development. Due to the rapid pace of change, a degree of inconsistency has emerged across the primary care pharmacy workforce.  

NECS Research and Evidence team was commissioned on behalf of the NENC ICS to undertake an evaluation of the current workforce across the system. 

Our response

The Research and Evidence team conducted a mixed method evaluation, which involved: 

  • A background scoping exercise  
  • Conversations with key stakeholders; design and pilot of survey and interview guides 
  • Semi-structured qualitative interviews exploring workforce perspectives and views 
  • Thematic analysis and triangulation of evidence to produce findings 
  • Online survey exploring and capturing a broader view of the current primary care pharmacy workforce 
  • Presentation of findings, inviting feedback from key stakeholders 
  • A final evaluation report of findings, conclusions and recommendations. 
      Pharmacist woman in pharmacy


      Following completion of the work, the report was shared with NHS England’s national team for Pharmacy and fed into national discussions about pharmacy training. Our team recommendations were co-produced with the Project Steering Group. They are based on the findings of the evaluation and are set against the wider context from the system knowledge.

      “My rating would be a clear 5. The team has been very available, responsive and have worked with us to develop this. It certainly feels like something we produced together but with your expertise in research complementing the technical and professional knowledge of the steering group.  

      “I’ve been very impressed at how you have managed to take the feedback of so many individuals and perspectives and distil it into coherent themes and recommendations. It’s exactly what I wanted to happen when I commissioned this work.” 

      Ewan Maule

      Director of Medicines and Pharmacy, NENC ICB