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DDA invests in rural recruitment and retention study

Research also aims to quantify the value of dispensing

July 9th 2019

Tagged: DDA news

By Ailsa Colquhoun

The National Centre for Rural Health and Care (NCRHC) has secured academic funding for research into the recruitment and retention of staff in rural dispensing practice.

The research has two key research objectives, which will be delivered by focusing research in four areas. It was prompted by the DDA and will involve the input of DDA chief executive Matthew Isom.


  • understand the facilitators of, and barriers to, taking up and/or remaining in rural dispensing primary care employment
  • elucidate the value placed on dispensing from the perspectives of the multidisciplinary team (including district, as well as directly employed, practice staff).

Research focus

  • How does dispensing income support and sustain rural practices? How would loss of dispensing status impact the retention of staff and service provision for patients?
  • What are the challenges and facilitators for the recruitment and retention of managerial, non- clinical and clinical staff for dispensing rural practices?
  • What are the incentives and disincentives for owning, running and/or working in a dispensing practice?
  • How do issues of rurality impact on recruitment and retention of staff?

According to the NCRHC, relatively little has been published of direct relevance to rural primary care in England and it says: “Understanding factors affecting recruitment and retention for all team members, is needed to maintain high standards of primary care. Dispensing medications in rural practice is not only a service valued by patients, but also a significant contributor to financial stability of such practices.”

The DDA subscribes to the NCRHC.

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