The findings of this year’s annual Workforce Wellbeing Survey will help the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) to advocate on behalf of the pharmacy profession, for whom continual stress has become ‘normal’, the organisation has said.

The survey, launched today in partnership with Pharmacist Support, is anonymous, and open to pharmacists in all settings, including students and those who are not RPS members.

In the 2021 survey, 68% of pharmacists surveyed said that they were negatively affected by their work or study, 33% said that they had considered leaving their current role and 32% said that they had considered leaving the profession entirely.

It also found that nearly nine in ten pharmacists were at high risk of burnout.

Professor Claire Anderson, RPS president, encouraged pharmacists to complete the wellbeing survey, saying: ‘The pressures faced by pharmacists in every sector are intense and have been for some time.

‘Being continually stressed seems to have become the “new normal” but it’s not sustainable long term and really affects the physical and mental health of many pharmacists and their teams. There's much evidence that demonstrates a stressful workplace can impact patient care too, as well as pharmacists’ own health.’

‘We want to gather the evidence we need to advocate on your behalf to employers and organisations so they act your needs and make the working environment a healthier and happier place,’ she added.

Danielle Hunt, chief executive of Pharmacist Support, partners in the survey, also commented: ‘As the profession’s charity, data is crucial to help us better understand the current challenges and pressures within the profession.

Pharmacist Support’s own wellbeing campaign launches next week.

‘This year the charity’s ACTNow wellbeing campaign that kicks off on 25th September focuses on workplace culture and stigma. The campaign will acknowledge that our workplaces can have both a positive and negative impact on our wellbeing.

‘We will be exploring how we can embed positive wellbeing practices into the workplace, recognising that a cultural shift will only be realised through collaborative working and the commitment of organisations across the profession.

‘We encourage everyone to have their say, to help the profession to work together to address wellbeing.’

Pharmacist Support’s ACT Now campaign asks pharmacists to allow time for wellbeing, consider the needs of others, and take action.