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Insight Online – January 2023

Welcome to the first issue of Insight Online for 2023. This month, read about the GPhC's standards for pharmacy premises and how we will defend the right to strike. Also, learn about an exclusive PDA Plus benefit for PDA members.

Tue 24th January 2023 The PDA

In this issue:

  • How bad must pharmacy premises be before regulatory action is taken against owners?
  • PDA will defend the right to strike
  • NHS pay update following members survey – England, Wales, and Northern Ireland
  • PDA responds to Rishi Sunak’s new year promises
  • Joint letter calls for workforce plan to include whole of pharmacy
  • NAWP hosts informative Equal Pay events
  • Latest news
  • International news
  • Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!
  • Spotlight On: Morrish Solicitors

How bad must pharmacy premises be before regulatory action is taken against owners?

We have reviewed a small sample of inspection reports completed by the General Pharmaceutical Council relating to community pharmacies in Scotland with concerning results.

In Summer 2022, we raised concerns about the seemingly light-touch approach to regulation relating to pharmacy premises, yet inspections still seem to be declaring that ‘standards are met’, when they are evidently falling far short. We, therefore, ask how bad must evidence of a pharmacy owner’s failure to meet standards be before regulatory action is required?

According to the GPhC’s website, the standards for registered pharmacies set out the requirements for the provision of pharmacy services at or from a registered pharmacy. They state that “Our standards for registered pharmacies are designed to create and maintain the right environment for the safe and effective practice of pharmacy and to improve the quality and safety of services provided to patients and the public.”


PDA will defend the right to strike

We will work with trade unions and others to defend the fundamental right for workers to strike.

The right to strike is a fundamental right through which employees can act collectively to secure and protect pay and conditions. However, the UK government is proposing to further restrict this right. The Trade Union Congress (TUC), who are the main national centre for independent trade unions in Great Britain, are coordinating the challenge to these proposals.

We believe that industrial action should always be a last resort, especially for health professionals such as pharmacists, however having the option to strike is a fundamental right for working people in a fair and free, civilised society. We will work with unions and others to defend that right.


NHS pay update following members survey – England, Wales, and Northern Ireland

On 19 December, we invited members working in the NHS in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to participate in a survey, the results of which would inform a decision on whether to move to any formal industrial action ballot(s). Separate communications have been sent to members in Scotland, where there is a different NHS pay offer.

The communications explained the strict legal requirements regarding the numbers participating in a formal ballot and the level of support for strike action that would have to be met for PDA Union members to participate in lawful industrial action, and receive the legal protection afforded by the 2016 Trade Union Act and other earlier legislation.


PDA responds to Rishi Sunak’s new year promises

We are disappointed that the Prime Minister failed to take the opportunity to explain how he would address the very real and urgent NHS crisis in his keynote New Year’s speech.

Although health is a devolved service, the Westminster government is directly responsible for NHS England, which is by far the largest part of the system, and, through HMRC, the Treasury also controls most of the funding that enables the health systems across the entire UK. The actions of the Prime Minister, therefore, matter to all health professionals.

Learn more

Joint letter calls for workforce plan to include whole of pharmacy

Pharmacy leaders have warned the government about a lack of engagement with stakeholders around the development of its long-term workforce plan.

A joint letter signed by representatives from 14 pharmacy organisations has called for reassurance that the workforce plan, expected by April 2023, will cover the entirety of the pharmacy workforce across the health service, including in community pharmacy.

Learn more

NAWP hosts informative Equal Pay events

Following Equal Pay Day 2022, NAWP hosted two Equal Pay events online during December.

As set out in the Equality Act 2010, men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive Equal Pay. Equal pay applies to all contractual terms, not just pay, so it also includes overtime rates and allowances, performance-related benefits, benefits under pension schemes, hours of work, sick pay, and other benefits.

Learn more

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

23/1/23 – PDA to host member event for national ‘protect the right to strike’ day

19/1/23 – PDA is supporting members impacted by LloydsPharmacy’s decision to close all branches in Sainsbury’s stores

19/1/23 – NEC election nominations

16/1/23 – PDA joins the STUC Anti Racism March & Rally

10/1/23 – Winners of Scottish Healthcare Awards 2022 revealed

9/1/23 – PDA shares 2023 message from International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) President

6/1/23 – PDA Equalities Council meets ahead of Human Rights Day

4/1/23 – BBC Radio Bristol discuss prescription charges


Insight International

Last month, we launched Insight International. This new newsletter itemises the increasingly long and interesting list of international developments that we are involved in, for the benefit of members here in the UK.

Our very first edition included the following:

  • Why the PDA joined FIP
  • How the Medicines to Ukraine scheme is being further developed to support other parts of the world
  • The Annual Congress of EPhEU
  • Anti-Microbial Resistance moving across borders.

PDA shares 2023 message from International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) President

We joined FIP to seek out the very best ideas from a much larger international network for the benefit of our members. The New Year message from FIP President, Dominique Jordan, details some of FIP’s priority activity for this year.

Through participation in FIP activity, we and our individual members not only get to learn from international colleagues, we have the chance to contribute to the international conversation about pharmacy too. The collective views of individual pharmacists can also pass through FIP to international discussions and ultimately to the World Health Organisation, if appropriate.


Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

Did you know that as a PDA member, you can take advantage of exclusive PDA Plus offers and discounts? Whether it’s getting a special gift for a family member or friend or treating yourself to a new car, PDA Plus has exclusive offers for you.

For many of us, the start of a new year is a time to get active. As a PDA member, you can get access to MyGymDiscounts through PDA Plus. The fitness benefits offer you savings of up to 55% on a gym membership! From major chains and independent studios to leisure centres and hotel gyms, there are over 3,600 different locations where you can save money.


Facing family issues? Morrish Solicitors is here to support you 

As part of your PDA membership, you can benefit from an exclusive 15% off Morrish Solicitors’ family law services. Morrish Solicitors’ experienced team of family law solicitors can provide expert advice to help you find the right solution for your family in difficult times.

This discount applies to all areas of family law, including:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Disputes concerning children
  • Adoption
  • Cohabitation agreement
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Civil Partnership
  • Domestic violence

To take advantage of this exclusive offer, please contact:

T: 033 3344 9600






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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