The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has formally written to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) over the failure of community pharmacy employers to report any instances of likely exposure to the coronavirus in the workplace.

The PDA has said that it is seriously concerned that there appears to be a failure on the part of pharmacy employers to appropriately report instances of exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace.

In a letter to chief executive of GPhC Duncan Rudkin, PDA said: “This situation will not only impact on the individuals affected and reduce the ability of the sector to learn in preparation for future pandemics, it may also undermine patient and public confidence in the sector and therefore we have now formally raised these concerns with the regulator”.

Whilst employers in other sectors have reported instances of Covid-19 exposure, community pharmacy employers “have collectively failed to report a single instance,” PDA director Paul Day mentioned in the letter.

“Confidence in community pharmacy employers properly discharging their duties regarding the health and safety of patients and employees is fundamental.

“The responsibility lies clearly with employers and the absence of any notifications whatsoever for work acquired Covid infections in the community sector must cast significant doubt on compliance with these strict obligations.”

Last month, a survey of PDA members about how the pandemic had been managed by employers included information from 556 respondents that work in community pharmacy.

Of the community pharmacists, 122 said that they had caught Covid-19 and of those, 49 believed that they caught the virus in the workplace.

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