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Shortage of pharmacists in Essex

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  • Shortage of pharmacists in Essex

    Reading all the comments here about the difficulty of locums in getting shifts, I wonder why this doesn't apply in Essex/Suffolk. Our local pharmacy, in North Essex, has been without a pharmacist all day, and the Area manager, who has just phoned me in response to my complaint to Head Office, tells me that they had a locum booked who cancelled at the last minute and that consequently their Locum Co-ordinator has been trying all day, to obtain cover, but that there is no-one available.

    Comments would be welcome, and, hopefully, informative.

  • #2
    One reason I moved to East Anglia was because shortage of locums in the area.
    Other area where there were shortages was the South West.
    Would have thought that University of East Anglia with a Pharmacy School would have solved the problem.
    johnep

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    • #3
      Originally posted by johnep View Post
      One reason I moved to East Anglia was because shortage of locums in the area.
      Other area where there were shortages was the South West.
      Would have thought that University of East Anglia with a Pharmacy School would have solved the problem.
      johnep
      So would I, plus EU pharmacists/ Although it appears many of the latter have been chased home!

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      • #4
        I wouldn't read much into it.

        Of all the closures I worked through the regional managers didn't really give a monkeys about getting cover. It was offer basic rate. Raise by a quid. Maybe raise to bank holiday rate eventually. It was all about following procedures and avoiding complaints. They didn't give a monkeys about the staff.

        Although you have decades of experience, you are out of the system and I think the regional manager is pulling your leg.

        I am sure the locum coordinator was trying to find cover. Just not that hard...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mcitr View Post
          I wouldn't read much into it.

          Of all the closures I worked through the regional managers didn't really give a monkeys about getting cover. It was offer basic rate. Raise by a quid. Maybe raise to bank holiday rate eventually. It was all about following procedures and avoiding complaints. They didn't give a monkeys about the staff.

          Although you have decades of experience, you are out of the system and I think the regional manager is pulling your leg.

          I am sure the locum coordinator was trying to find cover. Just not that hard...
          TBH she didn't SEEM that worried. I did point out that in any day it would be classed as an offence; Breach of Terms of Service. But as you say I'm out of the loop and I don't know how the regs work nowadays.
          Just might ring the GPhC; I'll see what happens.

          I'd be really interested to know if anyone on here was free yesterday. Within reasonable travelling distance ...... say 2 hours......of Colchester.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Merlyn View Post

            TBH she didn't SEEM that worried. I did point out that in any day it would be classed as an offence; Breach of Terms of Service. But as you say I'm out of the loop and I don't know how the regs work nowadays.
            Just might ring the GPhC; I'll see what happens.

            I'd be really interested to know if anyone on here was free yesterday. Within reasonable travelling distance ...... say 2 hours......of Colchester.
            A lot of locums I have worked with in recent years have done closures. Or followed on. I would think they would have the sense to avoid it for £19-20 an hour out of experience. It is a fairly hellish shift even following a closure.

            The last closure I did I followed procedures and put the sign up and then partially pulled the shutters and stayed on site. I did this as on a previous occasion I had had so much abuse from patients and supervisor instructed me to do so. Manager and Regional Manager kicked off.

            On daytime closures after about an hour or two they stop trying to find someone. It's often left to the staff to find a replacement.

            It can't just be my chain as a local pharmacy here had no cover fri sat and mon and already had the signs up running till Monday. Gives the game away. Didn't even signpost lol. Very naughty.

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            • #7
              This area has quite a low population density and relatively long commuting distances to nearby major population centres. But some locum agencies are absolutely useless; Colechester for example is within travelling distance of east London which has many pharmacists who would I am sure be willing to cover if fuel costs were paid.

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              • #8
                I once did three weeks on the IOW, but given free accomodation and travel costs. I enjoyed it especially as enabled to see an old friend from Gibraltar at the Portsmouth Navy Hospital
                johnep

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dosage View Post
                  This area has quite a low population density and relatively long commuting distances to nearby major population centres. But some locum agencies are absolutely useless; Colechester for example is within travelling distance of east London which has many pharmacists who would I am sure be willing to cover if fuel costs were paid.
                  I wouldn't describe this area as 'low population density'. It's not like the South of Essex, of course....... which is why we moved here ....... but as you say travel from East London & Metropolitan Essex is quite easy.

                  Johnep, haven't we discussed the guy you worked for on the IoW before; old acquaintance of mine, got struck off after you worked for him, although not, I must add, because of anything you did or didn't do! Came to me to ask for help in defence; wouldn't accept my advice and got deeper and deeper into trouble.

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                  • #10
                    Yep, that's the guy. basic cause of trouble was his affair with his secretary. He used the other flat on the premises as his love nest.
                    Emergency rate for going to a closure used to be £35/hour. I covered one for a chap. He always paid at the end of the month. I forgot to send in a claim so never got paid for my somewhat frantic afternoon, Once for the horse which had two pharmacies in the same town, I commuted back and forth between the branches when the other locum never arrived. Mainly to do the Methadones.
                    johnep
                    Last edited by johnep; 15th, September 2019, 04:26 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Can't recall whether he divorced his wife, who was an acquaintance ...... same college .....of my wife or whether she divorced him. Could never understand why a lovely girl like her took up with a trainee weirdo like him, as he seemed when we were students, anyway!. Got struck off, as I said, then went to the Channel Islands........ Jersey IIRC, got back on the register, then blow me if he didn't play silly beggars again and get struck off for a second time. Again IIRC he applied to return after four or five years and the Pharm Soc, as the disciplinary body then, said he appeared to have learned nothing and refused him.

                      Haven't heard from his wife, who I think developed MS or something similar, for a few years now. Remember her last Christmas card said something about being very lonely.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Merlyn View Post
                        Can't recall whether he divorced his wife, who was an acquaintance ...... same college .....of my wife or whether she divorced him. Could never understand why a lovely girl like her took up with a trainee weirdo like him, as he seemed when we were students, anyway!. Got struck off, as I said, then went to the Channel Islands........ Jersey IIRC, got back on the register, then blow me if he didn't play silly beggars again and get struck off for a second time. Again IIRC he applied to return after four or five years and the Pharm Soc, as the disciplinary body then, said he appeared to have learned nothing and refused him.

                        Haven't heard from his wife, who I think developed MS or something similar, for a few years now. Remember her last Christmas card said something about being very lonely.
                        This goes back about a decade but there was the case of the leading pharmacist who defrauded the NHS of ~£175,000. I will withold the name out of consideration for his wife (who was at Uni with me) and family. IIRC he got about 18 months. (My feeling is that if he had not adopted an abusive attitude he might have got away more lightly). Never did hear the end of that story.

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