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Insight Online – March 2022

Welcome to the latest issue of Insight Online. In this issue, we discuss planned breaches of NHS contracts and how we have joined pharmacy organisations across Europe to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We also learn more about PDA Plus partners PG Mutual in our 'Spotlight On' segment and highlight some upcoming events.

Tue 22nd March 2022 The PDA

In this issue:

  • Planned breaches of NHS contract damage pharmacy
  • PDA joins pharmacy organisations across Europe to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine
  • PDA reveals findings of a recent Workforce Survey
  • PDA writes to CCA members about their poor safety ratings
  • The systematic closure of pharmacies
  • NAWP produces factsheet to mark Endometriosis Awareness Month 2022
  • Latest news
  • Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!
  • Spotlight On – PG Mutual
  • Upcoming events

Planned breaches of NHS contracts damage pharmacy

We are highlighting concerns of pharmacists about what appear to be deliberate breaches of the NHS contract by some community pharmacy businesses. These breaches have the potential to cause harm to patients and damage the reputation of the profession.

Community pharmacy employers are in control of the working environment in their own pharmacies and have a responsibility to ensure safe staffing levels. Despite robust evidence highlighting there is no actual national shortage of pharmacists, it is acknowledged that some community pharmacy employers are struggling to fill vacancies and/or secure the services of a locum. Many pharmacists are unwilling to work in the sector, and others plan to leave, as evidenced by our recent surveys.

However, despite a locum population potentially being available to work in those pharmacies and the closures, therefore, being avoidable, some concerned pharmacists have told us that some businesses are now explicitly saying that if locums will not agree to work for less than a so-called “maximum” hourly rate, the business will close the pharmacy for either part of, or the whole day. Some of these full or part-day closures are being communicated significantly in advance of the actual day.


PDA joins pharmacy organisations across Europe

to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine

The Chairman of the PDA, Mark Koziol is also the Secretary General of EPhEU – a European organisation representing the interests of employed community pharmacists. At a recent executive meeting of EPhEU it was agreed that the respective member unions work together to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

The joint statement can be found here.

This is the first step. More practical initiatives are set to follow.


PDA reveals findings of a recent Workforce Survey

We recently conducted a survey that asked pharmacists in all four UK nations across all sectors of pharmacy about their current roles and future career plans.

Last month, the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) told the Telegraph Newspaper that vacancy rates have more than doubled between 2017 and 2021 for its member companies. The CCA claimed that almost a fifth of its members’ pharmacies will be forced to reduce their opening hours, limiting patient access to prescriptions, due to a shortfall of 3,000 pharmacists.

We launched a short snapshot survey which closed on Friday 18 February 2022. Over 2,500 individuals responded and we released some of the initial feedback provided by employed and locum pharmacists.

The feedback showed that unsatisfactory pay and working environments, lack of professional fulfilment, and poor management all rank highly as reasons expressed by pharmacists for deciding to reconsider their current positions.


PDA writes to CCA members

about their poor safety ratings

We have invited the largest community pharmacy businesses to commit to improved safety, after survey responses from pharmacists working in CCA member pharmacies were comparatively the worst within the entire community pharmacy sector. The surveys of pharmacists which are conducted annually show that the situation has markedly deteriorated in this last year.

PDA Chairman Mark Koziol has written an open letter to the pharmacy superintendents at Asda, Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy, Morrisons, Rowlands, Superdrug, Tesco, and Well formally inviting them to act upon reports of safety levels in their pharmacies.

Learn more



The systematic closure of pharmacies

In December 2021 we highlighted the issue of sporadic and temporary pharmacy closures in Scotland by meeting with civil servants and engaging with the National media in Scotland.

Questions were also asked in the Scottish Parliament about the issues we had highlighted. The intention was to help ensure that pharmacies continued to open after significant numbers of members raised concerns that pharmacies were appearing to be temporarily closed by their owners in a systematic fashion.

Learn more



NAWP produces factsheet to mark Endometriosis Awareness Month 2022

This International Women’s Day, NAWP launched a factsheet to raise awareness of Endometriosis – a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

March is also Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis can affect women of any age. Currently, 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK has endometriosis.

Endometriosis is classed as a chronic condition, which means it can impact not just health, but also work, studies and relationships.

Learn more


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

21/3/22 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2022

18/3/22 – Pharmacy students: visit the PDA at the BPSA Annual Conference 2022

17/3/22 – PDA to host Inaugural Student Member Conference in NI – 28 April 2022

16/3/22 – PDA responds to CCA challenge

15/3/22 – PDA Regional Committees meet to discuss pressing issues in pharmacy

11/3/22 – Welcome to the March 2022 PDA Education update

5/3/22 – Boots Newsletter – March 2022

3/3/22 – PDA reps networking event hailed a success


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 save up to 35% off a new car with Motor Source Group. This exclusive deal is on all makes and models of new cars includes nationwide delivery available to your door and there is a full range of finance options available. Click below to learn more about this offer.


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.

PG Mutual was created in 1928 by pharmacists, enabling them to protect their incomes against incapacity with PG Mutuals’s Income Protection Plus policy. Today the idea is essentially the same. As a Mutual, members have always been at the heart of everything that PG Mutual does. With no external shareholders, any profit made is returned annually to members as part of their policy.

Protecting members’ income means they can concentrate on recovery if an illness or injury should leave them in the position of being unable to earn an income, safe in the knowledge that PG Mutual could provide them with a monthly benefit up to the age of 65 years if necessary.

*Highlights of Income Protection Plus include:

  • Insure up to 70% of your gross income, or £1,200 per week, whichever is lower
  • No penalties for claiming or limits to the number of claims you can make
  • Cover until you sufficiently recover or reach age 65, whichever comes first
  • Choose from a range of deferment periods, starting from as early as day 1 of incapacity, to best suit your needs
  • Profit Share Account – PG Mutual returns any annual profits to its members
  • Enhanced Loyalty Bonus – aims to provide members with a minimum capital sum of £10,000 and six-months income benefit to your family in the event of your death.

*T&C applies. Visit


Visit us at the BPSA Annual Conference 2022

We are inviting pharmacy students to visit us at the BPSA Annual Conference where we will be carrying out a number of activities over the course of 2 days as a way to offer continuous support to students.

From 6 – 7 April 2022, we will be at the BPSA Annual Conference which will take place at Aston University in Birmingham. Find out what we will be up to at the conference here.

PDA Student Member Conference NI 2022

As part of our sponsorship of the Pharmacy Student Leadership Award, we are inviting all pharmacy student members in Northern Ireland to attend a half-day conference led by Una O’Farrell, Locum Pharmacist and PDA National Officer for NI.

This event is being held at ICC Belfast. Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day. Find out more here.

GFTU invites PDA members to a series of free economic seminars

Our affiliation to the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) gives further development opportunities to PDA members. As part of this affiliation, you are invited to attend 3 seminars in June 2022 that will take place via Zoom. These seminars are:

  • Dealing with the rising cost of living – 13 June 2022 from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm
  • Threat to the environment & policies to confront – 16 June 2022 from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm
  • Financialisation and the productive economy – 23 June 2022 from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm

Each seminar will discuss economic issues. These issues should be discussed if new policies are to be developed with trade union participation to achieve a new deal for working people, communities, and the environment.








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and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

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