Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

sections

Those who hold the purse strings hold the power

The decision by Greg Clark, the minister for universities, science and cities, not to introduce controls on the number of pharmacy students is pretty much what many of us expected. Since extra government funding for pre-registration places will not be made available, it is no skin off his nose if large numbers graduate. If it is not costing the NHS a penny, it seems pointless lobbying our local MP, as Gino Martini suggested (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:490). But even if money were made available, to ensure every student becomes a registered pharmacist does not make sense — there are not enough jobs to go around.

In a recent interview (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:573), David Branford, chairman of the English Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said pharmacy roles in primary care may be the answer to “mopping up” the oversupply. But where is the finance? The new funding contract of £2.5bn, which represents a loss of income of £870, is not the ticket. He goes on to say that if the roles are unsuccessful and the numbers continue to grow, unemployment is inevitable. Well, the inevitable will happen a lot sooner than he thinks, if it has not started to happen already.

So how will the pharmacy schools respond when the best students desert the profession in droves? Will they run the departments with only a handful of top quality students or will they make up the numbers by taking on students who would have struggled to get on to a needlework course, but now fancy their chances as a registered pharmacist?

The problem is that pharmacy has little control over government funding, so we are constantly at the mercy of those who hold the purse strings.

 

Michael Koumis

Ilford,

Essex

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20067454

Readers' comments (1)

  • Agree we have limited influence, however the RPS should continue to represent pharmacy to the Minister and push the advantages of work force planning! That is not wasting talented individuals on a profession where the is limited or no job prospects.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.