Results of our recent Workforce Wellbeing survey are out
Back in September, Pharmacist Support collaborated with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to run our third joint annual workforce wellbeing survey. Analysis of the results has revealed consistently high levels of workplace stress.
Ongoing risk of burnout
Nine out of ten (89%) respondents were at high risk of burnout, a figure unchanged from last year’s survey, and shockingly, 57% of respondents reported being frequently unable to take a rest break or were not offered a break at all.
Seven out of ten (68%) reported their mental health and wellbeing had been negatively affected by their work or study. One in three (33%) had considered leaving their role and the same number had considered leaving the profession altogether, demonstrating high levels of disaffection.
The working environment needs to support individuals
With a clear mission and new 5 year strategy in place the charity has spent the past two years championing the wellbeing of our pharmacy family. We have responded to this data with the launch of a new major wellbeing campaign (ACTNow) and new counselling service. We recognise, however, that as a small charity we cannot do this alone.
“Individuals alone cannot prioritise their own wellbeing if the working environment does not support these individuals to thrive” commented Pharmacist Support Chief Executive Danielle Hunt.
“Our focus at the charity this year will be on developing resources to assist organisations to better support wellbeing in the workplace. Collaboration to tackle the root causes of these issues is needed urgently to start reversing the trends we have identified in the past three workforce wellbeing surveys. We believe prevention should be prioritised; however, we also need to ensure that those who are experiencing difficult times are able to seek timely support. The survey highlights barriers to support that we must address, including concerns about confidentiality and lack of time to access services, as well as addressing the fact that 44% of respondents said they felt that they should be able to manage without seeking help.
We need a change in workplace culture
“A culture change is needed that supports people to seek help and to remove the stigma around poor mental health. Given almost 60% of respondents said they are more likely to seek support for their mental health and wellbeing from an independent charity, we as the professions independent charity must continue to do more to raise awareness of the independent and confidential support we provide.”
The RPS is calling for immediate action to ensure that pharmacists have access to rest breaks and are able to take them. It is also calling for governments, the NHS and employers to urgently address the workforce issues that are impacting pharmacists’ wellbeing. Actions that are required include better access to information, prioritising essential work and effective workforce planning.
Since 2019, the charity has been working closely with the RPS to better understand the mental health and wellbeing of the pharmacy workforce. Our annual surveys help to inform the development of a programme of work to support improved mental health and wellbeing in pharmacy.
Click here to view the full 2021 Workforce Wellbeing Survey report
Alongside publishing the workforce wellbeing survey report, RPS has also published a statement on the needs of the workforce, which sets out the actions that are urgently required to support the profession.
Click here to view the statement on the needs of the workforce