Pharmacy Team Relief Fund

There have now been two opportunities for community pharmacy teams to apply for relief from the Pharmacy Team Relief Fund, provided by the Ministry of Health and administered by the Council, since October 2020.

This email is to update you on the relief fund progress and advise that applications for the third, and final, tranche of funding are now sought.

Update on Tranches 1 and 2

Approximately $0.9 million has been allocated to successful applicants to tranches one and two, and almost all of their pharmacy teams have received workload relief and had a break to rest and refresh.

The Fund continues to fulfil its original intention of helping community pharmacy teams that meet such criteria as: working in a community pharmacy; providing services to Māori and/or Pacific peoples; possibly working as a sole practitioner; and those in independent, or independent franchise-held pharmacies.

Applications for the Pharmacy Team Relief Fund Tranche 3

With the first two tranches now allocated, we are making the third, and final, tranche of approximately $0.8 million available. If you did not apply under the first two tranches and believe your pharmacy team meet some or all of the criteria, please apply now for the third tranche.

Applications to Tranche 3 Funding can be made here.

The process for tranche 3 applications will close Sunday 21 March 2021.

Please note:

  • Once a pharmacy has a successful application, no further application for that pharmacy should be made.
  • Applications will be prioritised according to criteria outlined in the Pharmacy Team Relief Fund Policy and Process. An upper limit for pharmacist and technician hours for the third tranche is set to help ensure that as many pharmacy teams needing relief have the opportunity. The relief available for any one pharmacy license, is 5 days per 1.0 FTE pharmacist, and 5 days per 1.0 FTE technician regularly working in each pharmacy.
  • When regular pharmacist and technician are able to take a break due to a successful application to the Fund, they should not be required to use annual leave for their break. The Fund is for the benefit of pharmacy team members, rather than the business. The cost of locum or relief cover is paid for by the Fund, there should be no significant extra cost to the business.
  • Council has taken action to separate the administration of the Fund and will not use the information provided by applicants for regulatory purposes. We will protect the privacy of the information we receive and use it only for the relief fund. We are confident this will allay any concerns in the sector about the Council’s role in bringing relief to over-stretched community pharmacy teams.

Offers to provide Pharmacist or Technician Services

Some pharmacy teams are unable to source pharmacists or technicians who are available to provide relief. We need more pharmacists or technicians who are willing to be relievers, which may necessitate travelling to other parts of the country. Funding is made available to meet travel and accommodation costs. We are in greatest need for technicians, so if you have a technician (perhaps part time) and could ‘lend’ them to another pharmacy for a short time, or if you know a technician with work availability, we need their help urgently.

Any pharmacist or technician with work availability please click here.

If this email does not apply to you, but you know of a pharmacist or technician who may be in need of relief, or could provide relief, please forward this email to them.

Many thanks
Pharmacy Council

Click here for the Application Form