Insight Online – July 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of Insight Online - the regular mailing that keeps you up-to-date on PDA news and events, as well as issues that may affect you at work.

Tue 21st July 2020 The PDA

In this issue:

  • PDA reveal results of COVID-19 risk assessment and PPE survey
  • Risk assessments are crucial to reducing COVID-19 in the workplace
  • Pharmacists at LloydsPharmacy begin their formal campaign for union recognition
  • Boots Pharmacists Pay Claim 2020
  • Reflecting on the PDA’s work to help in the fight against COVID-19
  • How the coronavirus crisis has impacted on pharmacy students – part 3
  • Have you joined a PDA equality network yet?
  • Latest News
  • Take advantage of your PDA Plus member benefits

PDA reveal results of COVID-19 risk assessment and PPE survey

Thank you to everybody that completed the recent PDA survey which examines the experience of pharmacists relating to risk assessment and the use of PPE during the pandemic. The survey had a particular focus on the treatment of BAME pharmacists who have been shown to be at increased risk of COVID-19-related harm. The BAME Network was the first to complete the survey before it went out to the wider membership.

We received 745 responses to the survey, which was completed by a cross-section of pharmacists of different ages, working across a variety of sectors, but with the majority in community pharmacy. In terms of unfair allocation of higher risk duties at work compared with colleagues of similar job profiles, the majority of respondents were unsure of the reason. In the case where a reason was known or speculated about, the graph below indicates the reasons.


Risk assessments are crucial to reducing COVID-19 in the workplace

PDA urge employers and pharmacists to ensure that risk assessments are carried out in every workplace, for every pharmacist in every pharmacy setting. This comes after the PDA launched a Risk Assessment Toolkit to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in community pharmacies.
Across the country, PDA members alongside other NHS staff in CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) are having risk assessments as plans are being agreed for working arrangements for the rest of the pandemic and the period that follows.“Risk Assessments are vital to keep all workers safe during the pandemic and should be happening for all pharmacists and pharmacy teams in all pharmacies across the UK in every sector,” says Richard Hutton, PDA Union Regional Offical for the North and Regional Committee Coordinator.

Pharmacists at LloydsPharmacy begin their formal campaign for union recognition

In response to calls from pharmacists at LloydsPharmacy (Lloyds), the PDA Union has applied to the government’s Central Arbitration Committee for trade union recognition at the second-largest community pharmacy employer in the UK. This is especially important at this time because the company has announced plans to make job losses and changes to employment contracts.

In the legal process, such a formal application must be preceded by an initial letter to the company asking for recognition and this was submitted at the beginning of February 2020. The letter followed an earlier series of discussions between the company and the union about the possibility of recognition.


Boots Pharmacists Pay Claim 

It is now one year since the PDA Union and Boots entered into the recognition agreement that gives the PDA Union the right to negotiate on behalf of members working with Boots on issues such as pay. In line with the agreement, the PDA Union has submitted a claim for improvements in pay and other associated items.

Read more

Reflecting on the PDA’s work to help in the fight against COVID-19

Since the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, the PDA has had a critical role to play in raising pharmacist issues and concerns with government and appropriate stakeholders alongside supporting members as they cope with the stress and uncertainty of working on the frontline during a global pandemic. In the latest in our string of ‘coronavirus and its impact’ series of interviews, we caught up with PDA Head of Organising & Engagement, Collette Bradford as she reflects on how the PDA has helped to support members in the fight against COVID-19.

Read more

How the coronavirus crisis has impacted on pharmacy students – part 3

In the third instalment of our ‘coronavirus and its impact on pharmacy students’ series, we talk to Jagraj Thandi, a final year MPharm student at Birmingham University. Find out about Jagrag’s experiences and why he decided to join the PDA and become a union rep.

Read more

Have you joined a PDA equality network yet?

Earlier this year, we launched four member equality, diversity & inclusion (EDI) networks to further our work on equality and bring groups of pharmacists together. The PDA already help individuals to stand up to any form of discrimination through casework support, which is already a core part of what we do to help pharmacists at work, however, we will typically only get asked to be involved after the discrimination has already occurred.

The four growing EDI networks (NAWP, BAME, LGBT and Ability) provide a structure through which PDA members can work together to proactively tackle discrimination and the causes of discrimination.

Get involved 
Be part of the discussion. Join a PDA Member Network today!

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

17/07/20 – PDA Pandemic Series Update – 17 July 2020

15/07/20 – How the coronavirus crisis has impacted on pharmacy students – part 4

09/07/20 – PDA response to Boots announcement

08/07/20 – National Executive Committee to determine a formal response following the recent LloydsPharmacy announcement

06/07/20 – PDA comment on Wright review of PSNC

06/07/20 – Concerns as community pharmacy fails to report cases of COVID-19 among employees

05/07/20 – PDA launch the #PharmacistsInAction social media campaign

04/07/20 – PDA Pandemic Series Update – 4 July 2020

02/07/20 – PDA calls for regulation of the business behaviours of pharmacy owners who damage the reputation of the profession

02/07/20 – Record membership growth at PDA

01/07/20 – Director of Policy Vacancy


Take advantage of your
PDA Plus additional member benefits

For many years we have provided the PDA Plus benefits package as part of our membership offering, in addition to our core work of representing our valued members and the profession.

Being a PDA member gives you unlimited access to the many PDA Plus discounts on offer when and wherever you need them. whether it’s a meal out with friends, your weekly grocery shop, income protection cover or renewing your car insurance, PDA Plus has a deal that could save you money.So what are you waiting for? Log in to your PDA Plus account today and start saving money.


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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