Community pharmacists are ‘most likely to be dissatisfied’ with their job compared with their colleagues working in other settings, a report commissioned by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has revealed.

The report, published last week (6 December), surveyed the regulator’s registrants across England, Scotland and Wales in June and July 2019, including almost 12,500 pharmacists.

Of the 12,368 pharmacist respondents, 63% said they had worked in a community pharmacy within the past 12 months and 26% specified that they had worked in an independent community pharmacy.

The report said: ‘Those working in community pharmacy only were most likely to be dissatisfied.

‘Satisfaction was consistently high amongst all settings and sub-settings, except for in community pharmacy.’


Independents more satisfied than multiples


Almost a third of community pharmacists (29%) said their ‘overall level of satisfaction’ was low, compared with just 6% in primary care and 15% in secondary care.

Only 17% of pharmacists who were portfolio working – ie working in multiple jobs or sectors – in their main job said they were dissatisfied.

Portfolio pharmacists and those working in primary care were the joint most likely to be satisfied, at almost three quarters (71%), compared with 54% of secondary care pharmacists and 42% of their colleagues in community.

However, those working in independent community pharmacies were slightly more satisfied than their colleagues in community pharmacy chains – 51% reported that they were satisfied in their job, compared with 50% of those working in a ‘small to medium multiple chain’ and 48% in a ‘large multiple pharmacy chain’.


Poor work-life balance


Community pharmacists were also the most dissatisfied group surveyed in terms of work-life balance.

Almost four in ten (38%) said they were not satisfied in this area, compared with an average of 31% of pharmacists working across all settings.

Less than half of community pharmacists (42%) said they were ‘satisfied’ in this area.

Pharmacists working in primary care were the most satisfied, with 71% saying they were happy with their work-life balance and only 14% saying they were dissatisfied, compared with 54% and 28% respectively for those working in secondary care.

In October, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) called for community pharmacists to be given access to NHS-funded mental health support services in a new campaign, following reports of stress and burnout.

In May, The Pharmacist revealed that community pharmacists’ morale has hit an all-time low, according to a major survey by our parent company Cogora.

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