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The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has reiterated its calls to end violence against community pharmacy teams at their workplace.

The latest call by the association on Wednesday (April 28) has come in the wake of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021 and International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD).

Citing its previous surveys over the last three years, the PDA has noted that more than one-third of pharmacists do not feel safe for at least half of their time at work, and 20 per cent has reported not feeling physically safe for most, or any of the time.

A shocking CCTV footage released by the PDA on Wednesday has showed the extent of a recent attack on a pharmacist at their place of work, resulting in personal injury. On this occasion, the police were called, and action was taken.

The association has also called out the violence and abuse some pharmacists and their teams still face while delivering NHS care.

“Nobody should accept being abused, threatened or assaulted as part of their job, yet too often that is the attitude that has been able to develop,” Alison Jones, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at the PDA, said.

“Every time violence has been accepted, and the aggressor has avoided any consequences to their actions, it has condemned colleagues to greater risk of re-occurrence. That is why the PDA is reiterating the call for zero tolerance and for the sector to take further steps to protect its workforce.”

Organisations representing the employers of community pharmacists have supported the PDA’s call for a zero-tolerance policy.

The PDA has also welcomed the #ShopKind Campaign which sees organisations such as Asda, Boots, Morrison’s, Superdrug and Tesco sign up to encourage people returning to the high street to be mindful of the essential role that keyworkers have played during the coronavirus crisis.

The PDA added that it believes that the whole sector and individual employers now need to double down and make sure that the public understands that there is a genuine zero tolerance of any form of violence in all community pharmacies.

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