The Pharmacist Defence Association (PDA) has called on the Company Chemists Association (CCA) to ask its members to immediately adopt a “zero tolerance” approach with clear statements to patients and 100% enforcement measures that put the safety of pharmacists and their teams before the profit that can be made from an abusive member of the public.
The long-running PDA campaign to end abuse and violence in pharmacies has recently gained significant prominence as incidents of abuse and violence experienced in pharmacies has increased during the COVID crisis. The campaign has now brought the issue to the attention of politicians, police forces and the general public.
The PDA made a statement on their website and made the following comments:
“On Thursday 9th of April, the PDAs most recent survey of members on this subject appeared as a special extended feature on ITN’s News at Ten programme.
“The blame for any incident sits completely with the abuser or assailant, however, the environment and context in which these incidents occur and the known consequences for committing such abuse are often within the control of the employer and employers have a legal responsibility for the health and safety of their employees.
“The PDA applauds the leadership of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) who provided their members with “zero-tolerance” posters back in January 2019. The PDA urges all NPA member pharmacies to use these posters and enforce that policy.
“However, it is not aware that such an initiative is the policy of the pharmacy multiples and it has now formally called on the Company Chemists Association (CCA) to ask its members to confirm that they will strictly enforce a policy and display notices confirming a zero-tolerance approach, or alternatively, allow pharmacists to display the posters already provided to them by the PDA.
“Every employer needs to do the right thing and ensure all their pharmacies clearly display such notices and enforce a zero-tolerance policy.
PDA Chairman, Mark Koziol commented:
“This shouldn’t be a difficult decision to make, there must be no delays or excuses. Pharmacy staff are being abused and even attacked today and it needs to stop; we need immediate action from the CCA.”
“If the CCA is unprepared to do so, then it must explain why it will not encourage it’s members to prioritise the safety of pharmacy employees. The PDA will continue to use all platforms including the national media to make the safety of pharmacists and their teams a priority.”