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PDA urgently calls for zero-tolerance of violence in community pharmacy

Following member reports of an increase in violent behaviour in pharmacies, the PDA is once again calling on all pharmacy employers to enforce zero-tolerance of violence in every community pharmacy across the UK, with the policy being strictly enforced.

Tue 12th January 2021 The PDA

The PDA wants to see notices clearly highlighting zero tolerance of violence in every community pharmacy across the UK.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) define violence as “Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work” and the PDA has a longstanding campaign to end all such instances of violence in pharmacies. It is long overdue that all pharmacy employers take their responsibility to end violence seriously and act decisively by enforcing a strict policy of zero tolerance from now on.

During 2020, the PDA campaign welcomed statements regarding zero tolerance of violence from the Company Chemists Association (CCA), National Pharmacy Association (NPA), Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) and the GPhC. However, the PDA is extremely concerned now that members are advising that alongside the second wave of the pandemic, there seems to be a further increase of violent behaviour in pharmacies.

The PDA is once again calling on all pharmacy employers to publicly stand up against violence by clearly highlighting their zero-tolerance stance and enforcing that policy against any patient or customer who behaves violently, in any way.

The PDA has a zero-tolerance poster, endorsed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council available for FREE download and display, or each employer might choose to produce their own zero-tolerance poster.

This week pharmacists at Boots have welcomed their employer distributing such posters (see below) and there is no reason why the other CCA member contractors cannot do similar. Pharmacists want to know what is stopping employers from supporting zero tolerance of violence.

Paul Day, PDA Director said: “Zero-tolerance is absolute and no instance of violence, whether a physical act, threat or abuse, should ever be acceptable in our members’ workplaces. We are calling on each and every pharmacy employer to answer the call to stop violence in pharmacies and they need to act now. To truly make such behaviour unacceptable we need to see the whole sector uniting on this issue and acting as one.”




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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