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Home  »   Member Voice   »   PDA members at the QE Birmingham work together to influence changes to weekend working hours

PDA members at the QE Birmingham work together to influence changes to weekend working hours

PDA member and specialist pharmacist, Alice Mallinder has shared how, with the help of the PDA, her pharmacy team worked to influence changes to the weekend working hours at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Thu 14th September 2023 The PDA

Recently our Trust undertook a consultation period to review and change the weekend working hours for the pharmacy team. The senior management team led a formal consultation on two new options for weekend working hours. Whilst the aim of the consultation was to improve work-life balance, the pharmacy team did not agree to these options. There was concern amongst some pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and dispensers.

This led to a group of PDA members contacting the PDA, as our union, to see if anything could be done to help the pharmacists object to these proposals. Due to the timeline of the consultation, we had very limited time, so we set up an urgent meeting with Liz Larkin, PDA Organiser, over lunchtime to discuss the issue with as many PDA members as possible. We worked together supported by Liz to highlight our key concerns, and we then amalgamated them into an eloquent letter to the senior management team. Subsequently, the senior management team came back with some alternative proposals that reflected some of our suggestions and were more acceptable to the team.

It was great to feel that we were being listened to and that we had someone external who could help us articulate our concerns as a group. This is the first personal scenario I have encountered where I have been appreciative that I was already a member of a union. Thank you Pharmacists’ Defence Association!

Liz Larkin, PDA Organiser, said, “PDA members at the hospital approached me with their concerns about proposals which they felt would adversely change their terms and conditions. By working together as a group, they were able to successfully voice their concerns, and as a result some of those proposals were not implemented after all. This is an excellent example of how when members work together collectively, they can achieve far more together than they would if they tried on their own.”

By Alice Mallinder, PDA member and specialist pharmacist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, part of the UHB Birmingham Hospitals Trust


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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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