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Home  »   Latest News   »   Findings from our Survey of Hospital Pharmacists

Findings from our Survey of Hospital Pharmacists

At the PDA, we’re constantly working to ensure the services we provide continue to meet and exceed our members’ expectations, and to improve our services where pharmacists tell us that we need to.

Mon 19th March 2018 The PDA

Pharmacists often have common interests and concerns, whichever area of practise they work in, but those in a particular area of practise also have specific matters which are of importance to them. Some of the PDA’s initiatives apply across different sectors of practice – for example the Safer Pharmacies Charter – but others are focused on one sector in particular.

At the end of 2017, the PDA carried out a survey of hospital pharmacists, to find out what’s working well, the challenges they face and what members want from the PDA as hospital pharmacists.

The survey received 535 responses. These were invaluable in helping us understand what we need to do as an organisation to support hospital pharmacists. We wanted to share some of the key findings from the survey.

Among the 535 respondents, 88% were employees (5% bank pharmacists and 7% locums). 93% were managed by a pharmacist, 7% by a non-pharmacist.

Working conditions

We put some statements to pharmacists and asked whether they strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree or strongly disagree. We have analysed the responses, which told us, for example:

  • 89% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I am empowered to act on my professional judgement”. 11% were neutral or disagreed.
  • 73% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “The organisation has a good patient safety culture”. 27% were neutral or disagreed.
  • 68% agreed or strongly agreed that they can take statutory rest breaks (at least 20 minutes’ uninterrupted break after 6 hours of work and a minimum of 11 hours between shifts). 32% were neutral or disagreed.

The fact that a significant proportion of pharmacists were not in agreement with the questions above is cause for concern. Other worrying results included:

  • Just 19.28% agreed or strongly agreed that “staffing levels at my workplace are sufficient for the workload”; the figure for “I have sufficient time for training at work” was 26.48%.
  • 60.8% of respondents were neutral, disagreed or strongly disagreed that “the organisation would be happy for me to talk externally about the culture within it”
  • Just 41.31% agreed or strongly agreed that “I am satisfied with my opportunities for career progression” (41.31%)
  • 38.14% said they agreed or strongly agreed that “My work has an adverse effect on my health”.

The PDA’s focus for the future

Pharmacists shared their reasons for joining the PDA. Respondents told us what we are doing well, but also helped us to understand where we need to do more to inform pharmacists about the benefits of membership and where we could focus to improve our services.

We will continue to develop our services and encourage members to contact us when they have any issues that need our help.


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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