The Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) has once again called on contractors to maintain zero tolerance for violence at their respective community pharmacy premises at a time when their staff members are facing tremendous workload due to a global pandemic.

Last year, the association had called for necessary steps by the authorities and all stakeholders to end violence against pharmacists at their workplace.

“The PDA wants to see notices clearly highlighting zero tolerance of violence in every community pharmacy across the UK,” the association said in a latest update to the contractors.

“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,” it added.

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 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.

The association is advising that alongside the second wave of the pandemic, there seems to be a further increase of violent behaviour in pharmacies.

The PDA has reminded that all pharmacy employers to publicly stand up against violence by clearly highlighting their zero-tolerance stance. It further suggested the pharmacy teams and contractors to quickly act against any patient or customer who behaves violently at pharmacy premises.

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