The Pharmacist Defence Association (PDA) has donated more than £150,000 to Pharmacist Support.
A number of years ago the PDA agreed to donate £1 per member annually to Pharmacist Support. The agreement remains in place.
This year the PDA is encouraging employers and pharmacist organisations to donate £1 per pharmacist employee or member to the Pharmacist Support charity and to collectively make a substantive difference to the charity’s funding from 2022 onwards.
Pharmacist Support is an independent, trusted charity, providing a wide variety of support services to pharmacists and their families, former pharmacists and pharmacy students in Great Britain.
The PDA commented:
“With an ever-increasing number of individuals needing assistance and a widening range of services the charity is called upon to provide, it is important that organisations concerned about pharmacists’ wellbeing play their part in providing financial aid to Pharmacist Support. Just one example of support provided is the new counselling service launched in April 2021 which helps to address the high levels of stress and potential burnout present across the profession. This service provides crucial support through twelve sessions of fully funded counselling to pharmacists, students, or trainees.
“Many PDA members who have had their legal and employment concerns addressed by the PDA, additionally call upon Pharmacist Support to help with the impact of such events on their emotional wellbeing. As such the defence association recognises the importance of Pharmacist Support’s activity and has been donating £1 for each member, every year since 2018. This strategic charity partnership between the PDA and Pharmacist Support has now generated more than £150,000 for the benefit of the charity and for those it supports.
“In such unprecedented times, when the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of those working at the frontline of patient care is yet to be fully understood, we all need to get behind the Pharmacist Support charity, so that it can provide even more support for pharmacists.
“The PDA is therefore encouraging pharmacy employers and other pharmacist organisations to make a New Year’s resolution to replicate the PDAs “one pound per pharmacist” scheme.
“Most pharmacists are employed. The largest employers are multi-£Billion corporations with thousands of pharmacists in their organisations, other employers are much smaller with far fewer pharmacists. Similarly, the RPS for example with an annual turnover of more than £20million could also participate and support the charity based on its membership levels and other smaller organisations could also consider such a move based on their size. The “one pound per pharmacist” approach means that all those donations would be proportionate.
“If this suggestion were widely adopted, the total amount raised each year could significantly increase donations to the profession’s charity. In the meantime, all PDA members, including the pharmacy students and trainee pharmacists who receive free membership, can be assured that the PDA still donates £1 on behalf of each and every member to Pharmacist Support, every year.”
PDA Chairman, Mark Koziol said:
“The PDA is founded on the principle that a civilized society is one where those who are in a position to, reach out and give a helping hand to those who are most in need of help. At this time of pandemic crisis, we know that pharmacists, especially those at the coal face have faced sustained and highly stressful pressure and many have reached breaking point.”
“Whilst we will continue to hold employers to account for systemic and routine staffing shortages and other issues, we know that because of the pandemic the extra workload caused by staffing shortages due to illness and self-isolation of a significant proportion of pharmacy staff will not disappear in the short term.
“We believe that if employers and other pharmacy organisations make an important New Year’s resolution to join in with the effort to pay one pound for each of their employees or members to Pharmacist Support, with over 60,000 on the register and some individuals connected to several organisations in addition to their employer, donations could add up to a substantial amount. In turn, this could enable this important charity to do a lot more to support many more pharmacists in need of help.”