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Pharmacists and other NHS staff have received a commitment of support from their employers on violence at work, however many community pharmacies are yet to take a similar stand, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) bemoans.

Recognising that violence and abuse has featured on many NHS workers, Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care and Ed Waller, director for primary care, NHS England and NHS Improvement released a joint statement.

“Unfortunately, we have received reports that members of staff, including colleagues working in primary care, are being subjected to abuse.

“Everyone has the right to be safe at work, and we want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that violence and aggression towards NHS staff is totally unacceptable.”

The statement added that staff having concerns should raise the matter with their managers.

Besides, staff can also access support through the national health and wellbeing support offer.

The statement is in line with the NHS’ public commitment to zero tolerance of violence against staff.

However, there is often no such commitment when pharmacists are working for community pharmacy employers, the PDA said.

Results of the PDA Safer Pharmacies survey revealed that a vast majority of pharmacists still feel physically unsafe.

The PDA has called upon all community pharmacy employers to make clear statements to employees, patients and customers, about the consequences of any act of violence on their premises.

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