Nineteen of the pharmacists worked in a variety of different pharmacies,
both independents and multiples. Six worked regularly in one or two pharmacies. Verbatim transcripts underwent directed content analysis using NVivo software. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Central Lancashire Research Ethics Committee. Locums reported a rapid process of assessing staff competence and also identified the possible safety risks in attempting to change usual practice in the pharmacy. Resistance of staff to locum authority was described. Locums also reported a lack of support from employers in managing difficulties with staff, with threats to future employment if issues were raised. Assessing staff competence and work processes was seen as important for safety: “you’ve got 17-AAG to be able to pick up very quickly how the staff in that place work, to allow them to do their job as they feel comfortable so they don’t make mistakes” (FG2 male, over
40). Change in processes was identified as a possible risk: “it would be very dangerous to get the staff to change for one day, so you don’t, you work with it” (FG1 male, over 40). Passive undermining of locums by staff was noted: “[staff] say come back when the regular pharmacist is in even though you’re here and you can help” (FG1 female, under 40) and also more active, even aggressive behaviour: “[staff] were banging on the [consultation room] door and they were shouting at me, ‘come on you’ve got prescriptions out here, come on hurry up’ ” (FG5 female, under 40). Locums perceived a lack of support buy AZD4547 from employers for these issues: “I know for 100 percent… they will always, always favour their own
staff over you triclocarban as a locum because they don’t need you…they’ll keep their own staff happy so that the staff will run the shop for them” (FG3 male, under 40). Further employment was also potentially at risk: “the company didn’t do anything they just said you’ve got to put up with her or don’t come back” (FG2 male, under 40). This paper describes a sometimes difficult working environment for locum community pharmacists, involving them assessing and managing risk to patients during the working interactions with staff. This can present a challenge to locum professional autonomy, where locums may be in conflict with staff over patient care issues. This challenge is compounded by risks to future employment when issues are raised with company management. The impact on patient care of pharmacies run entirely on varied locum staff is worthy of further study. 1. Shann, P. and Hassell, K. 2004, An exploration of the diversity and complexity of the pharmacy locum workforce, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London. A. Tonnaa, A. Weidmanna, R. Laingb, I. Tonnab, G. McCartneyb, D.