Urgent action is needed to prevent violence in pharmacies, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association has said as disturbing video footage emerged of an assault on a pharmacist in the workplace.
In a statement to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work and International Workers’ Memorial Day (April 28), the PDA reiterated its calls on the pharmacy sector to implement anti-violence measures in pharmacies and push the Government to help fund those measures.
The PDA, which today released footage of a recent attack on a pharmacist in thire workplace, is also asking the GPhC to ensure that all pharmacies are obliged to prevent violence as part of regulatory standards.
PDA member surveys over the past three years have found that over one-third of pharmacists feel unsafe at work at least half of the time, with 20 per cent saying they feel physically unsafe most or all of the time.
The organisation has long campaigned for a zero tolerance approach to any form of violence in community pharmacies, and is encouraging pharmacists to display its zero tolerance posters in the pharmacy.
It is also encouraging pharmacists to report any incidences of employers failing to implement a zero tolerance approach.
“The whole sector and individual employers now need to double down and make sure that the public understands that there is a genuine zero tolerance of any form of violence in all community pharmacies,” said the PDA.
PDA director of stakeholder engagement Alison Jones commented: “Nobody should accept being abused, threatened or assaulted as part of their job, yet too often that is the attitude that has been able to develop.
“Every time violence has been accepted and the aggressor has avoided any consequences to their actions, it has condemned colleagues to greater risk of recurrence. That is why the PDA is reiterating the call for zero tolerance and for the sector to take further steps to protect its workforce.
“The shocking footage released by the PDA today is just one example of the incidents that pharmacist are reporting to our advice line. As well as a zero-tolerance approach further steps are needed to prevent this from happening.”