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Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey 2023 FAQs

The 2023 survey is now closed. The survey data and key findings will be available in 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this survey?

The NHS Long Term Plan and People Plan identified the need for a flexible workforce that will support all care settings. The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) sets out the next phase in the growth and development of the NHS workforce, including the important role of pharmacy professionals across all settings.

The Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey 2023 intends to develop and strengthen the information on workforce and build a picture of the community pharmacy workforce. The data is intended to support decisions where community pharmacy workforce can contribute to supporting clinical service expansion and ensure that education reforms for both professions enable patients to receive more services from their trusted community pharmacies.

Is it mandated?

Yes. New regulations laid out by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) require pharmacy contractors to complete an annual workforce survey from 1st October 2022. View the regulations which have been laid in Parliament and read more about the terms of service changes on the Community Pharmacy England website.

Who is required to take part?

Every community pharmacy in England is required to participate on an annual basis.

What information are pharmacies asked to provide?

The survey asks questions about the number and full-time equivalent (FTE) of ten different types of staff (including pharmacists, trainee pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, dispensing assistants, medicines counter assistants and delivery drivers). The survey also asks about any trainees in the pharmacy. A crib sheet is available to help community pharmacists prepare.

When will the survey data be available?

Data from the 2023 survey will be available at Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey - data.gov.uk in 2024, including the principles used for data cleansing.

Who will have access to the data?

The previous survey data is available at: Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey - data.gov.uk. This is an open access platform, which means that anyone interested in the pharmacy workforce can access the data.

How will the data inform the recruitment of pharmacy workforce to support the Primary Care Recovery Plan?

The data collected will help NHS England to continue to develop a complete picture of the community pharmacy workforce. This will inform future investment in education and training, and effective workforce planning, across all sectors in which pharmacy professionals work. It will also inform NHS England’s ongoing review of the need for growth in primary care multidisciplinary teams from 2024/25 onwards.

Who will lead on the 2023 survey?

NHS England leads on the survey to better understand the community pharmacy workforce. NHS England has a responsibility for the education and training of the entire workforce providing NHS services and to try to establish consistency across the professions and enable informed developments for the workforce.

Who will conduct the 2023 survey?

NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS), will conduct the survey. NECS will collect the data on behalf of NHS England, in accordance with information governance policy. Once collected, NHS England will anonymise and aggregate results at Integrated Care System (ICS) level. NHS England and NECS follow 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:

  • Online survey.
  • Data collection at Head Office level through an Excel template.

What is the process for data collection?

Individual pharmacies will be contacted by NHSBSA to complete an online survey. Those that will not receive an invitation could expect their head office to submit data on their behalf. If in doubt, they are advised to check with their head office.

What other data/findings are available?

Findings from previous national surveys are available on the Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey main page. The 2022 survey data is available at Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey - data.gov.uk and the key findings are available in a slide presentation.  

Where can I find more information?

If you have further questions about the survey which are not answered by these FAQs, please contact the NHS England, Workforce, Training and Education Directorate pharmacy team at: england.pharmacyteam@nhs.net.

You can also find out more on the Community Pharmacy England website.