Get ready for the 2022 Workforce Survey

The 2022 Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey will take place in the autumn and all pharmacy contractors will be asked to submit data to support workforce planning for the sector.

The survey was first undertaken in 2017 and it was repeated last year.

Recognising the recruitment challenges that contractors are facing, from this year, the survey will be undertaken by Health Education England (HEE) on an annual basis to ensure the NHS and the sector have up to date information on the size and shape of the workforce to support planning at a national and system (integrated care board) level.

Commenting on the forthcoming survey, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services, PSNC said:

“Everybody in the sector knows that contractors are struggling to recruit and retain staff in their pharmacies and that workforce planning needs to be improved, as recently highlighted by Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee.

“Effective workforce planning is impossible without access to high quality data on the current community pharmacy workforce, so PSNC is urging all pharmacy contractors to participate in the 2022 survey when it opens later in the year.

“The results will provide essential data and evidence to enable the NHS to support community pharmacy workforce planning.”


What information will be required for the survey?

The survey will be very similar to the previous two surveys, with questions about the number and full-time equivalent (FTE) number of ten different types of staff (including pharmacists, trainee pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, dispensing assistants, medicines counter assistants and delivery drivers). The survey will also ask about any trainees in the pharmacy.

To understand the make-up of the community pharmacy workforce, as part of the Inclusive Pharmacy Practice programme, questions regarding four protected characteristics (age, sex, ethnicity, disability) will also be included in the survey.

HEE are giving notice of the survey now so that contractors can plan to have data available in autumn to respond to this essential survey.

Who has developed the survey?

The survey has been developed by HEE in partnership with NHS England. They have been working closely on development of the survey with PSNC, AIM, CCA and NPA.

Who will conduct the survey?

HEE will perform the survey. The results will be anonymised and aggregated prior to review for publication. HEE follows clear information governance processes which keep the data anonymised and ensure that participating pharmacies and individuals within the pharmacies are not identifiable.

How will the data be collected?

The data will be collected through two different methods:

  • an online survey; or
  • data collection at head office level through an Excel template.

The survey will be open for a period of up to eight weeks.

What will I need to do?

When the survey launches in autumn, individual pharmacies will be contacted by the NHSBSA to complete an online survey.

Those that do not receive an invitation can expect their head office to submit data on their behalf. If in doubt, check with your head office.

What will happen with the data?

A comprehensive set of survey results will provide the NHS with the data needed to ensure the community pharmacy workforce is visible as part of national and system NHS workforce planning. The anonymised data will be used to inform recruitment and retention and workforce wellbeing initiatives.

Survey results will be anonymised by the HEE Data Service Team, which will be responsible for collecting and processing the data. Access to personal information, such as email addresses or ODS codes (F codes) used by contractors, is restricted to the HEE Data Service Team, in accordance with information governance policy.

The anonymised data will be made publicly available in 2023.

This data will provide an up-to-date picture of the size and shape of the community pharmacy workforce (including where pharmacist roles are fulfilled by locum pharmacists) in order to:

  1. Guide the overall pharmacy workforce planning and development strategy for the NHS;
  2. Inform future investment in education and training for the community pharmacy workforce; and
  3. Support understanding of the capacity and capability of the workforce in community pharmacy as part of transformation plans being developed by integrated care boards.

How can I find out more about the survey?

Visit the survey page on the Health Education England website

Read the FAQs on the Health Education England website