The body representing community pharmacy in Northern Ireland has warned that if the delay in pharmacy pre-
The warning comes on the back of the news that the pharmacy regulatory body in Northern Ireland plans to delay the pre-registration exams from June until August at the earliest.
The exams are for pre-registration pharmacy students who have already completed their pharmacy degree and have been working in practice for around ten months.
The delay means that 150 newly registered pharmacists will not now be joining the pharmacy workforce this summer as planned and at a time when extra capacity is needed.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, community pharmacies were one of the first services to witness a steep and immediate increase in demand for medicines.
A commitment to keep the service going has seen many pharmacists work longer hours and battle with capacity issues due to self-isolation of staff displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy NI, Gerard Greene said:
“This news is a blow to our network because every year we rely on this influx of newly registered pharmacists to take up roles in our community pharmacies. This is even more of a problem during this pandemic as our workforce has struggled with the rise in demand for services and are operating at very limited capacity.”
“The new registrants typically join the workforce over the summer months and the delay in this means we are not likely to see these pharmacists bolster the workforce until the autumn.”
“This is also very different to what we have seen from our medical and nursing counterparts who
“We are calling on the Minister to intervene to get this decision reversed and allow pharmacy pre-registration exams to go ahead in June as normal.”