The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has issued a zero tolerance poster for members to display in pharmacies.
A statement from the union says:
"Aggressive patient behaviour was already experienced before the COVID-19 crisis began and the zero tolerance of abuse measure is part of a long-running campaign by the PDA to end violence in pharmacy. However, given the increase in incidents, the PDA is now calling on pharmacy employers to implement the Violence in Pharmacy policy and let patients know that this is their position.
Employers have a strict legal duty to protect the health and safety of their staff at work, and while the blame for any incident sits firmly with the abuser/assailant, employers nevertheless need to do all they can to prioritise the safety of their employees by seeking to prevent incidents as well as acting appropriately if they do still occur."
In addition to calling on employers to act, the PDA has also written to Home Secretary Priti Patel, calling for government support to raise the issue and take whatever measures are necessary to protect pharmacists, their teams and other patients from abuse and assault. The PDA believes that more awareness and support from the police and firm penalties in the courts for those who assault pharmacists is essential.
Previously, the PDA lobbied to ensure that community pharmacists are in the scope of the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018, which makes tougher penalties possible.
For more information, visit www.the-pda.org/violence-in-pharmacy