Abstract for: Using system dynamics to inform future pharmacist student intake in England until 2040

This paper describes the use of system dynamics in a major piece of work supporting the Department of Health, Health Education England and wider Government policy. The Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) carried out an in-depth review of the pharmacist workforce in England, projecting and analysing the future supply of and demand for pharmacists between 2012 and 2040. The purpose of the review was to inform future pharmacist student intake at university level and was driven by the need to provide sustainable, high-quality pharmacy services in a complex and evolving environment. The work was set in the context of recent increases in the number of students studying pharmacy at university and proposes for training reform. System dynamics modelling was extensively used to produce a range of supply and demand projections across challenging and uncertain scenarios. This enabled potential policy interventions to be tested for robustness, with uncertainties and sensitivities fully recognised. The methodology and framework used allowed the CfWI to work transparently with pharmacy system professionals and stakeholders, eliciting knowledge of those closest to the system. The review, its findings and suggestions are currently being used to support major discussions regarding the future pharmacist workforce and training environment in England.