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Insight Online – July 2022

This month, read about PDA Chairman, Mark Koziol's reflection on his recent visit to Ukraine as he takes medicines funded by EPhEU into the conflict zone. Also, read about pharmacy owners in Scotland being allowed to close their pharmacies on Saturdays and an announcement of job reductions at NHS England.

Tue 19th July 2022 The PDA

In this issue:

  • A personal reflection on the recent visit to Ukraine by PDA Chairman Mark Koziol
  • Scottish Government allow private business owners to deny patients access to pharmacies
  • PDA responds to announcement of significant job reductions at NHS England 
  • PDA hears distressing accounts of the June 2022 Assessment 
  • Light touch regulation of pharmacy owners endangers pharmacy
  • Legislation on fit notes enacted
  • Latest news
  • Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

A personal reflection on the recent visit

to Ukraine by PDA Chairman Mark Koziol

As Secretary General of EPhEU, an umbrella organisation of pharmacists’ unions across Europe, PDA Chairman, Mark Koziol, was given the task of setting up a scheme to help Ukrainian hospitals with supplies of medicines, following requests for help from EPhEU members in Ukraine.

Three days after his return, Mark shares his first report of taking medicines funded by EPhEU’s fundraising efforts into the conflict zone.


Scottish Government allow private business

owners to deny patients access to pharmacies

We are concerned that decisions made by some Health Boards in Scotland allow pharmacy owners to close their pharmacies on Saturdays, regardless of any negative impact on patients and other parts of the NHS. This includes neighbouring pharmacies, addiction and mental health services, and minor injury and A&E units. We have been raising concerns with the Scottish Government about pharmacy closures for a considerable time and yet closures have been allowed to continue.

There is a myth widely promoted by some employers that there are insufficient pharmacists available to staff community pharmacies. Reality shows that record numbers of registered pharmacists are available to work, while workforce and wellbeing studies demonstrate that too few pharmacists are prepared to work in the poor conditions offered in some community pharmacies. The ‘shortage’ of those prepared to work in these environments is further aggravated by the pharmacy owners self-imposing maximum rates for locum pharmacists offering to work for them.


PDA responds to announcement of significant

job reductions at NHS England 

The chief executive of NHS England has announced that the organisation is expected to be between 30-40% smaller than the current combined size of NHS England, Health Education England, and NHS Digital as the three organisation merge by the end of 2023/24. This means 6-8,000 job losses.

Organisational change can be highly worrying for employees and we are there to defend and support any of our members that will be affected. As an independent trade union, we can help pharmacists understand and exercise their rights at work. Details of the impact on each job across the three current organisations are expected to become clear in the coming months.


PDA hears distressing accounts of the June 2022 Assessment

PDA members supported each other as they came together at a PDA network meeting on Thursday 8 July to share their experiences and concerns following the June 2022 Assessment.

We have been inundated with enquiries from concerned members following the issues they experienced during the 29 June assessment and are responding personally and as promptly as possible to provide tailored support. The online event was an opportunity for members to share their experiences and stories and to link up with others to form a support network.

Learn more

Light touch regulation of pharmacy owners endangers pharmacy

The PDA is concerned that the pharmacy regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), is not utilising its powers when policing pharmacy owners who allow their premises to fall well below acceptable standards.

We believe that a failure of enforcement is undermining the wellbeing and motivation of pharmacists and their teams and could seriously affect and endanger their patients as well as being a factor in workforce ‘shortages’

We have seen a report concerning a pharmacy in Midlothian which was inspected recently and where there were multiple serious concerns.

Learn more

Legislation on fit notes enacted

From 1 July 2022, legislation came into force that adds pharmacists and others, such as nurses, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists, to those healthcare professionals that may legally certify fit notes.

The change in legislation is set to prepare for changes to GP IT systems. This will mean that fit notes, a certificate that outlines any restrictions on a person’s ability to work, can be issued digitally and by members of the primary care team aside from GPs.

Learn more

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

18/7/22- PDA BAME Network launches Anti-racist Pharmacy Toolkit

15/7/22 – Joint Statement from LloydsPharmacy and PDA Union – Pay settlement 2022

15/7/22 – Student Newsletter – July 2022

14/7/22 – NAWP supports the 16th European Women Pharmacists Meeting

13/7/22 – A forthcoming documentary exposes the reality of US pharmacy: ‘Would You Like Shots with That?’

11/7/22 – I’ll never forget that knock on the door

7/7/22 – Joint statement – Boots & the PDA Union (26 April 2022)

7/7/22 – Pharmacists On Call: What are the impacts?

6/7/22 – Insight Magazine – Summer 2022

5/7/22 – Trainee and potential pharmacists need to share details of issues with online exams

3/7/22 – PDA is represented at the STUC Youth Conference

2/7/22 – PHARMACY ECO-SYSTEM: Appropriate decisions needed on skill mix and respective responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians

1/7/22 – PDA responds to the GPhC’s consultation ‘Draft equality guidance for pharmacies’


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 that save you money on your everyday spending? Whether it’s going to the supermarket or getting a special gift for a family member or friend, PDA Plus has exclusive offers for you.

It’s that time of year that many of us take advantage of the great outdoors, so whether you’re into camping, cycling, or more as a PDA member you can get access to a 10% discount at Halfords. There are hundreds of stores across the country, so you’ll be able to take advantage and get your hands on driving accessories, bikes, and camping supplies. This 10% discount is available in-store and online so click below to learn more about this offer!







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