Inadequate staffing levels, patients’ frustration with the time taken to dispense their prescriptions, and medicines shortages is fuelling increased levels of violence and abuse in community pharmacy, according to a survey.
The PDA (Pharmacists’ Defence Association) survey calls for employers to conduct risk assessments and establish preventative safety measures, including a zero-tolerance approach to violence towards staff.
The results of the PDA’s 2021 safer pharmacies survey found that two in five (44 per cent) of respondents reported the presence of physical or violent abuse in the last month. Almost nine in ten respondents felt that the number of incidents has increased in the last year.
Data from Health Education England’s (HEE) pharmacy workforce survey for 2021 reports a 14 per cent drop (full-time equivalent) in the number of pharmacy support staff, compared to the previous year.
The PDA has published a Safer Pharmacies Charter to support staff safety.