Locum Pharmacists’ involvement in the COVID-19 crisis – update 12

Around a third of PDA’s 30,000 members are full time locums or have portfolio careers and this update highlights issues unique to that population and their critical role as part of the pharmacist workforce during this crisis period.

Mon 30th March 2020 The PDA

Specialist Locum Services

Locums are an adaptable, mobile and experienced sector of the profession working in all sectors. We believe they must feature significantly in NHS planning for maintaining safe medicines supply and pharmaceutical care across UK communities as well as be directly involved in any extra-ordinary services that may be commissioned.

In our regular high-level discussions with the NHS and government, the PDA is championing the involvement of Locums in the fight against Covid-19.

Locum Rates; Clarity and reassurances

Please see our COVID Update number 13 for important information about locum rates 

Pay during the lock down.

The trade union movement has been negotiating with government to ensure that the self-employed receive similar financial assistance to that provided to employed colleagues in this crisis period, including those who themselves are in a higher risk medical category and so may need to self-isolate.

The PDA on behalf of locums has added our voice to this call and we are pleased to see that some support measures for self-employed individuals have now been announced.

Demand for locums.

The NHS as the commissioner for pharmacy provision in the community has relaxed the required opening hours for pharmacies. This is intended to let the available resource cope with the volume of workload. We are concerned to hear that some contractors are using this to cancel locum shifts meaning the resource drops and it remains as difficult, if not even more so, for the remaining team to cope with these unprecedented levels of activity. We have told contractor representative bodies and the GPhC that these times of crisis must not be used as an excuse to reduce staffing levels.

Contractors must provide enough pharmacist resource to keep patients safe and make working conditions acceptable for all employees and workers.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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