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Insight Online – February 2022

Welcome to the latest issue of Insight Online! In this issue, we discuss an update on the mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations and our response to the climate emergency. We also learn more about PDA Plus partners MORPh Training in our 'Spotlight On' segment.

Tue 22nd February 2022 The PDA

In this issue:

  • UK Government reverse policy on mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations of staff in CQC regulated roles
  • PDA declaration on the climate emergency
  • UK Government announce outcome of NHS pensions consultation
  • Changes to prescription charge exemptions
  • Pharmacists targeted by anti-vaccination protesters
  • HSE Stress and Wellbeing Survey results
  • Latest news
  • Spotlight On – MORPh Training
  • Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

UK Government reverse policy on mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations of staff in CQC regulated roles

The UK government has announced that the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination of healthcare workers for deployment in certain CQC regulated roles will no longer be implemented on 1 April 2022 as it is no longer considered proportionate.The change in policy was published in a statement from the government, which says that, “regulations making vaccines a condition of deployment for health and social care staff are set to be revoked, subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval.”

The reason for the U-turn was given as, “the balance of opportunities and risks of the policy have now changed with the dominance of Omicron. The booster rollout has been successful, and workforce challenges remain.”


PDA declaration on the climate emergency

Like many other public, private and not-for-profit organisations across wider society and in the health sector, we recognise the climate emergency and the importance of supporting a transition to a fully de-carbonised economy.

Climate change impacts all of us; pharmacists, our practice, our patients, our families, and our planet. Though the causes and solutions to this issue are not exclusively within the boundaries of pharmacy or of the workplace, we believe it is the responsibility of every organisation and individual to play their part in recognising and taking effective action on the issue.

The sum of each local action, no matter how small, can add up to make a global difference. The National Executive Committee formally supported the declaration of a climate emergency at their meeting on Thursday 13 January.


UK government announce outcome of
NHS pensions consultation

The UK government has announced the outcome of the NHS pensions consultation and has set a date for contribution increase as part of a package of changes.

PDA members may recall that the government had launched a consultation exercise on three proposed changes to the NHS Pension schemes. These proposals were explained by us and members’ views were sought. Following this consultation, we submitted a response on behalf of members having access to the NHS Pension scheme.

Unfortunately, the government has not accepted our arguments for a delay to the proposal to increase contributions until the outcome of the next valuation. However, they have at least decided to wait until after the next NHS pay increase is implemented. This means that the increase in contributions should not lead to a decrease in current take-home pay levels.



Changes to prescription

charge exemptions

In the Autumn of 2021, the Westminster government published proposals to align the upper age for NHS prescription charges with the state pension age meaning that people aged from 60 to 65 may no longer receive free prescriptions.

The consultation ran from 1 July to 3 September 2021 and we wrote a robust response, outlining how the proposals fail to consider the real impact it would have on the most vulnerable members of society.

Learn more



Pharmacists targeted by
anti-vaccination protesters

We have seen a rise in incidents of violence and aggression reported by pharmacists working in Covid-19 vaccination centres.

We are receiving an increasing number of calls to our advice line from members working in pharmacies or vaccination centres. These members have been subjected to targeted and deliberate intimidation from protesters who oppose the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Incidents are becoming more common and have seen protesters gaining entry to premises in groups and trying to disrupt Covid-19 vaccinations from taking place.

Learn more


HSE Stress and Wellbeing
Survey results

We have analysed the results of an industry-standard safety survey completed by pharmacists employed at Boots, LloydsPharmacy and Well. The key findings will be published over the coming weeks.

Employers have a duty of care regarding the health and safety of employees and others who might be affected by their business, which includes mental health and physical health. This also involves a legal duty to assess the risks to its employees including workplace stress and the management of work-related stress.

Learn more

Below is a summary of some of the other key news stories that have been published on our website recently:

18/2/22 – Changes to prescription charge exemptions

17/2/22 – NAWP Newsletter – February 2022

16/2/22 – GPhC joins PDA members to discuss the changes to Initial Education and Training

14/2/22 – Advice to pharmacy students as lecturers take strike action

14/2/22 – PDA encourages members to celebrate #HeartUnions Week 2022

11/2/22 – Celebrating LGBT+ History Month 2022

7/2/22 – The transition from community to PCN clinical pharmacy

5/2/22 – Pharmacist Education Summit: Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

2/2/22 – Student Newsletter – February 2022

1/2/22 – Boots yet to respond to PDA’s request to waive restrictions on pharmacists who face cuts to hours and pay


MORPh Training

Welcome to our Spotlight On segment where each month you learn more about our PDA Plus partners and the exclusive offers and services available to members.

MORPh Training provides FREE online and face-to-face CPD sessions for pharmacists, trainees and technicians. MORPh’s peer-to-peer training is aimed at primary care practitioners, but all pharmacists and technicians are welcome.

MORPh’s dedicated team of pharmacists all work for the NHS, predominantly within primary care. They share a passion for the delivery of high-quality training and support to help fellow professionals with their ongoing development. All speakers at their events are experts in their field whether they are pharmacists, GPs, consultants or nurses. To ensure that everyone who needs their training can access it, the majority is funded by industry sponsorship. MORPh’s sponsors have no influence over the agenda, speakers, or content.

All attendees have access to their own personal dashboard for MORPh’s CPD certificates. Attendees can upload training records from elsewhere to keep their own training log up to date ready for re-validation.

MORPh also offers round-the-clock peer-to-peer support in many therapy areas. Those who are interested can sign up to one of their friendly, non-judgemental telegram groups for CVD, PCN support, respiratory, diabetes, or pain. To find out more, head to the MORPh website or email


Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

As a PDA member you can take advantage of your exclusive PDA Plus offers and discounts that save you money on your everyday spending.

With PDA Plus you can get your own TOTUM Pro discount card which gives you access to fantastic discounts on 350 UK brands online and on the high street. These discounts include 10% off Co-op, up to 30% off at your favourite restaurants, and more! Today you can get 15 months for the price of 12 months (14.99). You can also download the TOTUM Pro app so that you never miss out on offers.






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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