Pharmacy Futures Campaign – recruitment drive underway

Pharmacy Futures Campaign – recruitment drive underway
Recruitment drive for community pharmacy - Chief Pharmacy Officer Cathy Harrison with NI Pharmacy Forum Chair Sheelin McKeagney

Over 1,000 jobs are needed for the Northern Ireland pharmacy sector in the next five years – with over half of those needed in community pharmacy.

More than 1,100 additional roles will be required over the next five years, says the Pharmacy Forum NI. The opportunities – which will see current vacancies filled as well as new roles created in response to the development of new pharmacy services – will include up to 560 community pharmacists.

The search and recruitment will be supported by the ‘Pharmacy Futures NI’ joint campaign, launched today by the Department of Health for Northern Ireland and Pharmacy Forum NI – the professional leadership body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland.

Demand for community pharmacists

“Over the past decade in particular we have seen demand for pharmacists increase significantly as new roles have been created in the hospital and general practice sectors – many of which have been filled by experienced community pharmacists,” said Sheelin McKeagney, Chair of Pharmacy Forum NI.

“While all of these factors have placed enormous pressures on the existing workforce, they have given us an opportunity to attract, recruit and retain more pharmacists into the sector in Northern Ireland.”

Pharmacy workforce review

The requirement for the roles has been identified in the Department’s ‘Pharmacy Workforce Review’. Developed specifically to respond to the Review’s recommendations, ‘Pharmacy Futures NI’ is initially aimed at students thinking of entering the profession and pharmacists working away from home who may be thinking of returning to Northern Ireland.

The Pharmacy Futures NI campaign will run from today, 9 November 2020, until early January 2021. Over 30 ‘Pharmacy Champions’ will act as key communicators during the campaign, charting their career pathways and sharing their career highlights and experiences in the profession.