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Insight Online – July 2023

This month, learn more about the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, how PDA membership numbers have grown by another 7%, and the appeals process for candidates that sat the registration assessment in June 2023. Also, read about how we are again proudly supporting the Pharmacy Show and take advantage of an exclusive PDA Plus benefit for PDA members.

Tue 25th July 2023 The PDA

In this issue:

  • PDA membership numbers grew by another 7% last year
  • Long-awaited NHS England plan sets out programme for development of the pharmacy workforce
  • PDA to support members impacted by decision to close 300 more Boots pharmacies
  • Appeals process for candidates that sat the registration assessment in June 2023
  • The serious threat of AMR and how the PDA is helping in Ukraine
  • Have you got the right PDA membership following the June 2023 assessment?
  • Latest news
  • The Pharmacy Show: 15 – 16 October 2023
  • Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

PDA membership numbers grew by another 7% last year

PDA membership numbers are independently certified before being announced at each annual meeting and then formally reported. Our 2023 AGM was held on Thursday 29 June and attendees heard the latest certified membership numbers had once again reached record levels.

Newly announced membership figures for the year ending 31 March 2023 show that our membership numbers are yet again at the highest-ever figure. At the year-end date, we had 36,806 members, having increased by a further 7% (an additional 2,296 members) since the same time last year.

We provide membership data annually to the Certification Officer, the government body that regulates trade unions, and employer organisations. In addition, with more than 10,000 members, we have an obligation to publish independently certified membership figures, and so these membership numbers are also externally audited before being reported.


Long-awaited NHS England plan sets out programme for development of the pharmacy workforce

This is the first comprehensive workforce plan covering all of NHS England (NHSE) and focuses on retaining existing talent while making the best use of new technology alongside the biggest recruitment drive in health service history.

An open letter from the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Team at NHSE outlines what the plans mean for pharmacists and other pharmacy roles, including Pharmacy Technicians.

Of interest to PDA members will be NHS England’s aims around:

  • Increasing the number of training places for pharmacists each year, including the consideration of pharmacy degree apprenticeships
  • Expanding the pharmacy technician role to support skill-mix
  • The continuation of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS)
  • The role of technology, for example, hub and spoke models
  • The requirement to increase the number of Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPPs) to support the independent prescribing agenda.

PDA to support members impacted by decision to close 300 more Boots pharmacies

15 months after its New Pharmacy Operating Model (NPOM) reduced opening hours, Walgreens has announced plans to close or dispose of c.300 of their subsidiary Boots’ branches in the UK.

Support for PDA members

We will be doing all we can for members impacted by this decision and we know from experience that there are likely to be wider consequences for other employees beyond those who could be at risk of redundancy.

The company has insisted that the objective of this exercise is not to make existing pharmacist employees redundant, and they hope to be able to redeploy individuals into nearby alternative locations. However, it is unlikely that suitable alternative roles will be available for all and we believe redundancy is a possibility for some.

We will provide advice to members at risk of redundancy and help them understand the options available to them. If their employment ends, we expect them to receive adequate redundancy compensation and fair treatment as they try and seek alternative employment during any notice period.


Appeals process for candidates that sat the registration assessment in June 2023

We would like to remind all candidates who sat the June 2023 assessment, and feel that they have grounds to appeal on receipt of their results, to review the GPhC guidance and gather all evidence before taking action.

The GPhC guidance for those who were unsuccessful in the registration assessment can be found at the bottom of the page here. There are clear grounds for appeal.

Learn more

The serious threat of AMR and how the PDA is helping in Ukraine

We recently hosted a PDA member-exclusive event to detail some of our recent work in the Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) field. PDA Policy Officer, Tasnim Khan was joined by Specialist Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) pharmacist, Bee Yean Ng as they discussed the lessons learnt from Ukraine on managing the risk of AMR.

Tasnim, who is also a pharmacist with a hospital background, began the session by outlining the project and how it started with the Medicines to Ukraine campaign. Through the Federation of Employed Pharmacists in Europe (EPhEU), of which PDA Chairman, Mark Koziol is Secretary General, the PDA supported European-wide fundraising efforts to help provide medicines to Ukraine by displaying posters in community pharmacy windows.

Learn more

Have you got the right PDA membership following the June 2023 assessment?

We have membership categories for all students and exam candidates, whatever the outcome and whenever they sat their assessment.

Last month, trainee pharmacists and some re-sitters sat their assessment exam; the results will be announced on Friday 28 July 2023.

We have once again reviewed our membership arrangements, adjusted internal systems, and undertook significant work with underwriters to ensure that whether a provisional registrant, a trainee, or a re-sitter, there is a PDA membership policy available for everyone.

Learn more

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

23/7/23 – First ‘Shaping your career in pharmacy’ event is a success

21/7/23 – PDA motion passed at the ICTU Biennial Conference 2023

19/7/23 – PDA circulates FIP round table reports to share best practice with members

18/7/23 – PDA LGBT+ Network calls for equality in the workplace

14/7/23 – PDA Regional Committees discuss the recent PDA general practice pharmacist work satisfaction survey

12/7/23 – Boots Newsletter – July 2023

7/7/23 – PDA shares resources for patients that want to lobby their MP about prescription charges

6/7/23 – PDA shares quarterly update from FIP

5/7/23 – PDA Union activities within LloydsPharmacy

5/7/23 – Celebrating 75 years of the NHS

4/7/23 – PDA Union and Boots agree further increase to Trainee Pharmacist pay in England and Northern Ireland

4/7/23 – PDA Reps Network in the NHS meet for the first time

1/7/23 – PDA LGBT+ Network members attend the STUC’s LGBT+ Workers Conference


The Pharmacy Show: 15 – 16 October 2023

We are once again proudly supporting The Pharmacy Show – the UK’s only dedicated trade show and education conference designed for the community and primary care pharmacy sector.

We will be delivering several sessions at the show this year. On Monday 16 October, we will be running a session titled ‘Neurodiverse and disabled pharmacists, securing workplace inclusion.

Mark Pitt, PDA Director of Defence Services will be leading this session which will take place at 10.25 am in the Business Theatre.

Why attend this session?

With many employers facing recruitment and retention challenges, every employee should matter, yet too often talent is wasted due to failure to secure the full contribution of individuals that happen to be neurodiverse or have some form of physical or mental health condition. This session shares learning from the PDA Ability Network as to what needs to change to ensure disability is not a barrier to full inclusion.


Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

As a PDA member, you can take advantage of exclusive PDA Plus offers and discounts. This includes discounts on shopping, domestic appliances, motoring, and more! If you are looking to treat yourself or for a gift for a friend or family member there is something for everyone!

Are you in the market for a new car? Well, with PDA Plus you can save up to 32% off a new car and get a free dash cam worth £39.99 through Motorfinity. This offer includes exclusive discounts for NHS employees and a range of finance options available.






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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