PDA write to GPhC with concerns about lack of H&S reporting by community pharmacy employers

The PDA have formally written to the GPhC with their concerns about the failure of community pharmacy employers to report any instances of likely exposure to the coronavirus in the workplace.

Mon 3rd August 2020 The PDA

The PDA is seriously concerned that there appears to be a failure of Community Pharmacy employers to appropriately report instances of exposure to COVID in the workplace. This situation will not only impact on the individuals affected and reduce the ability of the sector to learn in preparation for future pandemics, it may also undermine patient and public confidence in the sector and therefore we have now formally raised these concerns with the regulator

The PDA have been proactively and positively highlighting the HSE guidance and attempting to ensure all employers of pharmacists comply with health and safety reporting requirements throughout the pandemic. However, while employers in other sectors have made reports, community pharmacy employers stand out as those who have collectively failed to report a single instance.

In the absence of any change of approach by community pharmacy employers and with no indication of any action being taken by the the regulator the PDA has now formally raised their concerns.  With a pharmacy in Inverclyde linked to a new coronavirus cluster, the PDA believe it has never been more important to ensure that the RIDDOR reporting takes place.

The letter highlights that:

Confidence in community pharmacy employers properly discharging their duties regarding the health and safety of patients and employees is fundamental. The responsibility lies clearly with employers and the absence of any notifications whatsoever for work acquired COVID infections in the community sector must cast significant doubt on compliance with these strict obligations

All five principles set out in the “Standards for Registered Pharmacies” identify safeguarding “the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public” as the objective; employers and the regulator have no hesitation in holding individuals to account for any failure to comply with legal and professional obligations.  It is therefore incumbent on the GPhC to investigate further the unexplained and complete absence of work acquired COVID infection reporting by community pharmacy employers.

You can read the full letter here:

thumbnail of 202008030 – Letter to GPhC – CP failure to report COVID exposure

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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