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  • Lack of Staff

    I was working at a pharmacy today, not too busy, but steady with about fifteen addicts. There was, in total, including me, two staff to run the whole of the shop! Yes me and one other.

    Does this just happen to me or do others find this crap going on? :x

  • #2
    Staff, what staff??????????

    Apothecary

    No you are not alone, this happens to me all the time.
    Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
    Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
    Thank you for contributing to this site.

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    • #3
      Re: Lack of Staff

      Originally posted by Apothecary
      I was working at a pharmacy today, not too busy, but steady with about fifteen addicts. There was, in total, including me, two staff to run the whole of the shop! Yes me and one other.

      Does this just happen to me or do others find this crap going on? :x
      It seems that minimum staffing is the norm these days. Which is fine as long as no-one is sick or on holiday.

      I believe that it is now getting beyond a joke and it's time that the RPSGB pulled their collective fingers out and did something about it!

      I would have said that as the PCTs are now policing us maybe they should do something but most of the members I've met couldn't find their fingers let alone know how to pull them out of wherever they've stuck them! :evil:
      Linnear MRPharmS

      Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: The biggest cause of brain damage and 100% preventable.

      In pregnancy: 1 fag is not safe, 1 x-ray is not safe and 1 drink is not safe.



      For handy pharmacy links try
      pharmacistance.co.uk

      If you like my posts or letters in the journal try my books!
      eloquent-e-tales

      Comment


      • #4
        Staff Problems

        I have to agree with you all, and especially Linnear! :lol:

        I too am a bit sick of going to stores where the "sorry you're on your own" is the theme of the day.

        A few weeks ago I went to a rather busy store, and was told I'd be on my own from 1.30 to 6.30pm. I told the manager that it was too busy for one person to label, dispense, check scripts, deal with queries and look after the 20 or so methadones clients they had. The dispenser from the morning said she'd be happy to stay, but the manager said the company had banned all overtime so she couldn't!

        I put my best professional head on, and told her I believed this was dangerous to the public. I said I would work until 1.30, bill them for that amount of time, but I'd then have to go home. She soon allowed the dispenser to stay, saying she would sort out the overtime issue!

        My advice would therefore be if it's a danger to the public, due to lack of staff, then refuse to do it. If you make a mistake under those circumstances the inspectors will not be very impressed you put up with it! You are putting yourself at risk of being over stretched, making erors, and getting to big trouble for doing so!
        Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
        Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
        Thank you for contributing to this site.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi,

          I absolutely agree with admin and Linnear on this,

          the lack of staff I find in some shops I go to, makes the job dangerous to the public and if I make a mistake whilst I'm there, it's my head on the block.

          A shop I work at, has over the last 2 years, increased its methadone prescriptions from 50 to 150 and at the same time, cut 2 staff (and believe me they were not overstaffed to begin with, I mean which shops were?)

          The multiple now wants me to start doing all this MUR's, diabetes testing, blood pressure monitoring, intervention form filling, minor ailment schemes, etc etc etc (broom up my arse!)

          I've expressed my concerns to the area manager (who gets a big bonus for hitting their targets for these and I was told, You will do it!!.)

          Well I can't do it, it is too dangerous as far as I'm concerned, so I will be moving on to another job, which I understand is fine by the company as they have a foreign pharmacist in the wings to replace me. (I just hope they know what awaites them and haven't signed a long term contract!!)

          Why does the Society allow this to happen?

          They are keen to strike off an individual pharmacist for commiting an error under such conditions but allow the company which provided such conditions to continue to operate and keep these conditions.

          To me, its like prosecuting the kid for getting his arm torn off by the weaving machine, in the old Victorian woolen factories and lettting off the mill house owner!

          Anyway, enough vitriol, anyone got any suggestions how we change it?

          Mister Pharmacist

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mister Pharmacist
            Hi,

            I absolutely agree with admin and Linnear on this,
            Of course! :wink:

            The multiple now wants me to start doing all this MUR's, diabetes testing, blood pressure monitoring, intervention form filling, minor ailment schemes, etc etc etc (broom up my arse!)
            I think this is the problem, the new contract was voted through by block votes from the multiples who just want the money and don't care what pressure their staff are under

            I've expressed my concerns to the area manager (who gets a big bonus for hitting their targets for these and I was told, You will do it!!.)
            Area managers have a hard time, they have very little time after their promotions to get used the pre-frontal lobotomy and then having their heads rammed up their a**.


            Why does the Society allow this to happen?
            The society has always been afraid of crossing the multiples especially Boots. Look at what they have gotten away with over the years.

            They are keen to strike off an individual pharmacist for commiting an error under such conditions but allow the company which provided such conditions to continue to operate and keep these conditions.
            Please see above.

            Anyway, enough vitriol, anyone got any suggestions how we change it?
            I set up pharmacistance in the hope that we could get all pharmacists talking and working together. I hope that there are enough sensible pharmacists (If any such thing exists :wink: ) for us all to get together and finally be heard

            Then we could fly around the world on our winged pigs and end world hunger! :P
            Linnear MRPharmS

            Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: The biggest cause of brain damage and 100% preventable.

            In pregnancy: 1 fag is not safe, 1 x-ray is not safe and 1 drink is not safe.



            For handy pharmacy links try
            pharmacistance.co.uk

            If you like my posts or letters in the journal try my books!
            eloquent-e-tales

            Comment


            • #7
              lack of staff, ,and pay..

              Up to last year I was managing a branch doing 8000 scripts a month. Most days I was the only one dispensing, checking, taking repeats over the phone. One member of staff was serving on the counter (so there were 2 of us in total). Never got any help from HO, i suppose i didnt complain loud enough. Mind you I was too exhausted anyway to pick up the phone to complain. All this was for 15.75 an hour. When I left I learnt they were paying a locum substantially more. Now they have a perm manager who said he was given a salary package he could't refuse (for sure it is not the 15.75 an hour). Plus they also helped him to recruit 2 more members of staff . Is there a case for me to complain? Can anyone advise?

              Anyway on the subject of MUR, you cannot not do it, you get pestered with phone calls at least one a day. In the end I did it for a bit of peace and quiet. Am proud to say, i had only ever made a few minor errors during my 12 years on the register. What happened recently?... 2 errors on the trot all happened because i had to do mur and having scripts shuffed under my nose for checking. Staff was told not to disturb, but what can they do when customers get irate, they knock on your door expecting you to check the prescriptions. Do the nitwits agreeing to the new contract realise what they have done to the profession?. Doctors dentists dont move their backsides unless they get paid good money. We are old to jump and we ask how high...Any thoughts on this topic?
              Last edited by uglybuginn; 7, July 2006, 10:16 PM. Reason: additional info

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi and welcome

                I'm sure we have loads of thoughts on this one! I'll write a longer reply when I have more time, but I don't think you can complain now about the conditions you had then - if you get my drift. You have to ensure you get a good deal when you start I've always thought. They will pay a locum more, it's simple supply and demand.

                On the MUR front, I personally agree with what you say 100%.

                Part of the problem is the society and how it behaves, and how much crap most pharmacists will put up with. On here we have quite a mixture of people, and if you have time read through the posts that interest you to get the idea of where a lot of us stand on things like this.

                Anyway, welcome aboard! It's always nice to get new members, and we are still growing quite nicely. We have some fun debates, some serious debates, but above all we have each other to share our experiences with. I hope you get at least some new friends/contacts out of this forum.

                Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
                Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
                Thank you for contributing to this site.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by uglybuginn
                  Is there a case for me to complain?
                  Probably not at this stage
                  Staff was told not to disturb, but what can they do when customers get irate,
                  Hand the script back to the patient telling them that if they are unable to wait 15 minutes that they might be better off trying elsewhere.

                  Jeff

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Does the new NHS contract not include a clause about adequate staffing levels, which is why we have to declare how many weekly hours' dispensing staff on the FP34 (or WP34 in my case)? I don't have a drugs tariff at hand at the moment, but I seem to remember that you need at least 1.5 full-time equivalents' staff (including Phcist) if you do more than 4000 items/month, 2 FTE's for more than 6000 items/mont etc...? It does sound like you were getting a rough deal though- £15.75/hour is roughly £33k/year for a 40-hour week, which I wouldn't touch with a bargepole, not even as second phcist...
                    I'm sure you can sell yourself better!
                    Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hello,
                      Yes you are quite right, the money should have been better but at the time i was too stupid to act. Plus when i first started at the shop it was only 5000 items a month with dispensing help, so the money seemed fair. Couldnt threaten to leave because of pension and share scheme. However in the end due to family problems i asked for a transfer to a different area, same company, earning quite a bit more doing just 4000 items. It lead me to believe that they got away with it. With regards to staffing level, the declaration to ppa came into force recently, but not at the time i was there, so it would not come to light then. In any case, all the while i was able to cope nothing was going to be done, even though i was on the course of self-destruction. In fact i wouldnt be able to do dispense, check 8000 items single handedly now, not quite sure how the hell i ever managed that.
                      I didnt mind the fact that the locum employed after i had left was paid at £25/hour. That's what being a locum is all about. What i am gutted about is that
                      the new manager being recruited to replace me had been offered around 8k more than i got, plus extra staff given to him too. so at this moment i wonder if i could raise a grievance with the company concerned

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My gut feeling is that you're going to have to put this one down to experience, especially if you are currently still working for the same company; starting a grievance complaint could make life a tad uncomfortable.
                        The only possible angle to attack might be down the lines of "constructive dismissal", if the company had so grossly overburdened and underpaid you that you felt you had no choice but to leave, but you'd need a bl***y good lawyer to argue that one for you...
                        I'm glad to hear that you are no longer being exploited like before!
                        Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zoggite
                          Does the new NHS contract not include a clause about adequate staffing levels, which is why we have to declare how many weekly hours' dispensing staff on the FP34 (or WP34 in my case)? I don't have a drugs tariff at hand at the moment, but I seem to remember that you need at least 1.5 full-time equivalents' staff (including Phcist) if you do more than 4000 items/month, 2 FTE's for more than 6000 items/mont etc...? It does sound like you were getting a rough deal though- £15.75/hour is roughly £33k/year for a 40-hour week, which I wouldn't touch with a bargepole, not even as second phcist...
                          I'm sure you can sell yourself better!
                          Whenever I have negotiated myself a job, I just act like I'm in an Egyptian market. They start low, so I start high and so on. When it gets to what I want I accept. I have never taken the salary offered to me.

                          I was offered a job this year, for 38k for a four day week. Thats the sort of amount you should be aiming for.
                          Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
                          Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
                          Thank you for contributing to this site.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Lack of Staff

                            in the drug tarrif ,under " payment for essential services"
                            from 1 oct 2005, inorder to receive full prctice payments for contractors, a claim form for the relevant month minimum dispensing staff levels should be submitted as following
                            # of items/month minimum DISPENSING staff level" notice the DISPENSING word"
                            2000-3500 40 hours/week
                            3500- 5000 56
                            5000-6500 75
                            6500-8000 94
                            8000-9500 112
                            9500- 10999 131
                            >11000 150

                            i.e dispensing staff includes a PHARMACIST, pre-reg trainee" half the working hours are counted", and assistent dispenser i.e DIFFERENT THAN COUNTER ASSISTENTS

                            pharmacy contractors will be required to emply a staff member for an extra 19 hours for each additional 1500 items dispensed once the 110000 level is reached.

                            for example, if a pharmacy dispenses 7000 items/ month, " which means they should emply a minimum 94 hours DISPENSING STAFF"including the pharmacist( pharmacist for 40 + pre-reg accounts for 20 hours even that he is working for 40 hours, other dispensers accounting for remained 34 hours weekly " i.e 2 dispensers working half a day weekly". this is all inorder to receive the FULL PRACTICE FEEs. lets say the pharmacy who dispensed 7000 items as in this example hired staff worth of 70 hours not 94 weekly, then they will receive practice payment based on 5000 items.

                            conclusion there is no actual law to protect minimum staff present as simply for multiples cutting staff hours weekly, with same level of dispensed items monthly, would benefit them more than the 400 pounds difference they receive for practice payments ( 7000 items x 34.5 p is around 2200 pounds/ month, hence they will be getting 5000X34.5 = 1700 pounds for practice payments oer month but they have managed to save 25 hour weekly = 100 hour monthly = around 700 pounds monthly)

                            yes THEY THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY. remmember for a big multiple this means they have to pay less 300 pounds/month/shop, if they do it for lets say 300 shops of the 2000+ they have, this mean around 1 million pound saving by following these simple calculation. oh let's remmember that they do not even pay anything for the 40 weekly hours pre-reg student work as the government give them 16000 pounds....... so in reality cutting staff and replacing them with pre-reg students would save the big multiples MILLIONS of pounds

                            i hope my figures make sense, as i believe i have to clalrify it in a better way
                            [COLOR=Olive]xxxx They tried to break my back, but i survived. whatever doesn't kill you, will only makes you stronger xxxx
                            [/COLOR]

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                            • #15
                              Re: Lack of Staff

                              all this is good about the minimum staffing levels but how does anyone check if a pharmacy is keeping to these rules?
                              We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams and God damn we are that good

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