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PDA Research Update

In this PDA Research Update, we explore all of the recent investigating that we have done in hopes of advancing the interests of pharmacy, supporting pharmacists, and reducing risks to patients. In this update read about the results of the 2022 Safer Pharmacies Survey and how you can have your say on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare workers' sentiment toward vaccination.

Tue 7th March 2023 The PDA

In this issue:

  • Call for PDA members to take part in International research on behalf of WFPHA
  • PDA’s Safer Pharmacies Survey 2022
  • Vaccinations data highlights the contribution of community pharmacy in Covid-19 campaign
  • PDA members highlight pressures relating to medicines supply issues
  • Pharmacists echo poor working conditions faced in NHS hospitals

Call for PDA members to take part in International research on behalf of WFPHA

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), an NGO in official relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO), is starting a project to analyse if and how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare and public health workers’ sentiment toward vaccination.

In particular, WFPHA seeks to understand any sentiment changes concerning Covid-19 and seasonal flu vaccinations.

WFPHA invites all health professionals to fill out this survey and share their opinion with them, including but not limited to public health professionals, physicians, nurses, dentists, midwives, pharmacists, social, and community health workers working in any setting from hospital to academia, at the Ministry of Health or with communities, etc.

Has the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on your attitude toward vaccination? Your opinion matters! 

You can participate by completing the survey found below before 31 March 2023.

Thank you for helping improve everyone’s health!


PDA’s Safer Pharmacies Survey 2022

Keeping patients safe is key to the role of every pharmacist, but less-than-safe working conditions risk harm to patients as well as damaging consequences for pharmacists, such as impacting on their physical or mental health.

Consistently, we support members who experience challenging conditions and less than optimal physical work environments, which not only impacts patient safety but pharmacists’ physical and mental health and wellbeing. To help address these issues and enable us to take a proactive approach to support our members, we conduct an annual survey of pharmacists based on the seven commitments in the Safer Pharmacies Charter.

With the benefit of having several years of feedback from members around the Safer Pharmacies Charter, in addition to handling around 5,000 calls to our Member Support Centre each year, we can comment from an informed position on the state of safe practice environments for pharmacists, and where risk to patient safety occurs.
The member survey conducted in 2022 saw an increase in participation, in line with our growing membership numbers.

Vaccinations data highlights the contribution of community pharmacy in Covid-19 campaign

In February 2021, we launched ‘A Thousand Little Ships‘, a proposal to maximise the NHS mass vaccination capability when demand was expected to dramatically increases once the second doses began. Analysis of vaccination data shows the successful contribution that pharmacists working in communities have made.

Back in early 2021, over 10 million people had received their first Covid-19 vaccination as part of the national programme. This was achieved through a huge effort by the NHS, and a repurposing of the workforce and physical spaces to meet the challenging deadline of all priority groups being vaccinated by mid-February in the race against the virus.

We called for the government and the NHS to integrate over 13,500 community pharmacies into the vaccination programme to ensure that there was capacity in the system when more groups were needing to be vaccinated as they became prioritised by the JCVI.


PDA members highlight pressures relating to medicines supply issues

PDA members recently participated in a survey during the week before Christmas 2022 at the height of challenges around medicines availability, some of our findings were featured in a recent Health Service Journal article about shortages.

We have been hearing from pharmacists in the community pharmacy sector about the challenges they are facing in fulfilling prescriptions for some of the most common medicines, including antibiotics. The issue has been covered widely in the national media in recent weeks as many patients have had difficulty accessing medicines, including those prescribed for children as pharmacies experienced stock shortages.

Whilst at this time of year the incidence of infections and illnesses can be heightened, demand has been seemingly higher than usual. We surveyed PDA members between 22 December and 28 December 2022 to hear more about how the situation has been impacting them and the patients in their care.


Pharmacists echo poor working conditions faced in NHS hospitals

This is the story of every Trust up and down the country with NHS staff facing immense pressures which, hand in hand with staff shortages, is producing the perfect storm.

Around 77% of respondents to our survey which was around scoping broader issues for hospital pharmacists, were looking to change their career or employment status in the next 12-18 months. This is an alarmingly high percentage of individuals who appear to be dissatisfied with their working conditions and/or their general career progression.

We asked what some of these causes of dissatisfaction may be and the top three concerns were pressure and mental health concerns, pay, and expectations. Many respondents also expressed fears around staffing levels, management issues, lack of flexible working, and a poor work/life balance and how these contribute to the concerns stated above.







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