Charter launched for safer pharmacies

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has launched a ‘Safer Pharmacies Charter’ with the aim of ensuring safe practice in pharmacy and improving patient care through better working conditions.

Launched at an event at the House of Commons attended by sector leaders, MPs and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP, the charter defines seven basic standards that should underpin safe practice whenever and wherever pharmacy work is carried out:

  • No self-checking
  • Safe staffing
  • Access to a pharmacist
  • Adequate rest
  • Respect for professional judgment
  • Raising concerns
  • Physical safety.

Explaining why the charter is necessary, PDA chairman Marl Koziol pointed to the growing pressures pharmacists operate under – pressures exacerbated by the funding cuts – and that they are often “hampered” in their efforts to ensure patient safety.

“While numbers of prescriptions are growing, the resources [pharmacists] work with are getting smaller and smaller. Staffing levels are being reduced, trained staff removed to cover other parts of the pharmacy, and targets to sell items or hit other commercial imperatives are forcibly imposed. All this leads to a diminution of patient safety,” he said.

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