The Role of Community Pharmacists

6 min

Understanding Community Pharmacist Responsibilities, Salaries, Finding AvailabilitiesCommuni...

James Mann

By James Mann

Understanding Community Pharmacist Responsibilities, Salaries, Finding Availabilities

Community pharmacies and pharmacists are often the first point of contact for local communities, providing invaluable support, advice, and healthcare services to the general population. These pharmacies work at the front line of healthcare in cities, towns, and villages across the UK, often working from either their own pharmacies or out of local healthcare centers and doctor’s surgeries. 

This article explores the critical roles and responsibilities of community pharmacists in enhancing healthcare. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a community pharmacist and learning about their responsibilities and requirements, then this article is for you. Let’s get started!

Community Pharmacist Roles and Responsibilities

Community pharmacists are responsible for dispensing prescriptions, providing medical information to patients, reviewing patients' medical history,  giving advice related to potential side effects of the medication, and managing inventory. They usually work at retail pharmacy chains, independent pharmacies, and other public health settings.

Let’s take a look at the key roles and responsibilities of community pharmacists in a community pharmacy:

  1. Dispensing medication

This is the primary responsibility of a community pharmacist. This includes verifying the patient's name, medicine name and strength, and dosage form. It also involves giving instructions to the patient on the correct usage of the medication, and dosage frequency, and making them aware of the potential side effects.

  1. Ensure the quality of medicines

Community pharmacy roles also encompass quality control, which is an essential component of their industry. These duties include ensuring compliance with local guidelines related to medication handling, dispensing, and documentation; ensuring the correct storage of medication according to temperature, light exposure, and humidity; verifying the medication name, strength, dosage instructions, and quantity when receiving the supply from the vendor using barcode scanning systems and so on.

  1. Maintain accurate records

A community pharmacist also needs to maintain accurate and up-to-date medical, financial, and patient records. This involves maintaining detailed records of medication dispensed to patients, including the patient name, medication name, dosage, duration of treatment, etc. They also need to securely store patients' prescription details.

  1. Participating in public health initiatives

Community pharmacists are closely involved with the lives of their patients and are increasingly also a part of many public health initiatives. In this regard, they collaborate with other pharmacists, community health centers, and healthcare facilities to promote awareness of public health and common healthcare challenges. This may include promoting healthy lifestyle choices, providing periodic health screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes checks, and conducting immunization programs such as vaccination drives for various diseases in collaboration with healthcare institutions and government initiatives.

Average Community Pharmacist Salaries

The job of a community pharmacist is a very responsible one and community pharmacists tend to be highly respected members of their communities. Let’s explore the various job opportunities and career paths for a community pharmacist.

The salaries for pre-registration trainees can range from £16,000 to over £20,000 annually. Starting salaries for qualified community pharmacists are typically in the region of £30,000 to £35,000, depending on the size of the pharmacy and its location. Obviously, the salaries offered by the smaller chains and independent pharmacies could be less.

As experience grows, salaries can climb to around £45,000, and at a specialist or management level, it can reach £50,000 to £70,000. For locum pharmacists, the payout is usually by the hour. According to the C+D Salary Survey 2021, the average hourly rate for locum pharmacists is around £28.10, although again this varies according to the region one works in.

Independent Community Pharmacies: Advantages and Contributions to Healthcare

Community pharmacies come in two variants: independent pharmacies and chain pharmacies.

So, do independent pharmacies have an edge over chain pharmacies? Research and data seem to indicate that independent pharmacies score over the larger chain pharmacies in three key areas:

  • They offer a more personalized service in patient interaction

  • There is a shorter wait time to get scripts filled.

  • They provide far easier access to pharmacists for patient questions and advice

All in all, community pharmacists at independent community pharmacies have a greater opportunity to establish stronger connections with customers as they can spend more time understanding their unique health needs, leading to higher patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes.

On the other hand, chain pharmacies operate on a larger scale, and their approach could come across as impersonal, transactional, and less customized since they also often lack a local presence. While chain pharmacies also provide equally valuable services, due to the high volume of customers they serve, it can restrict individual attention from pharmacists as time would be a major constraint.


Independent community pharmacies are deeply embedded into their local community ethos and offer services that go beyond dispensing medications. They actively participate in community events, health fairs, and educational programs and also collaborate closely with local healthcare providers to establish streamlined and more nurturing patient care.

On average, patients visit pharmacies 20 times per year, as compared to only 4 visits to a primary care physician. This frequent interaction with their community members enables pharmacists at independent community pharmacies to establish deeper, more meaningful, and long-lasting relationships with their customers.

Get Ready for a Rewarding Career as a Community Pharmacist

Community pharmacists and community pharmacies play a significant role in offering patient-centered care and are the backbone of driving medical research forward. The job of a community pharmacist can be a satisfying career for those who have a natural flair and empathy for people, are at ease with communicating with strangers, and are driven by a desire to serve their communities. 

The good news is that Quad Recruitment UK is here to help launch the careers of such aspirants by leveraging its rich experience in the recruitment field and enabling aspirants to land some of the most lucrative community pharmacy jobs in the UK. From creating the perfect resume to guidance on how to nail that job interview, Quad Recruitment UK has you covered all the way. So, don’t hesitate, get in touch with us now. Get hired today!