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Protecting pharmaceutical workers from abuse amid Covid-19

Posted onPosted on 23rd Apr

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Paddy Tipping has appealed for the public to be considerate and respectful of pharmaceutical staff following a rise in abusive incidents during the Covid-19 crisis.

The PCC has backed a new campaign led by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) to prevent violence in community pharmacies, warning those who break the law they will be punished.

The industry has seen demand spiral during the global health emergency, resulting in stock shortages and placing unprecedented pressure on services. This has given rise to increased incidents of abuse and threats against some frontline pharmaceutical staff, say the PDA.

“Our community pharmacies are working around the clock to deliver vital medication to those in need and it is absolutely unacceptable that they should face abuse for simply doing their jobs,” said Mr Tipping.

“As frontline key workers, these people are unable to stay at home and put themselves, and their families, at risk every single day to maintain the supply of vital medication to our communities. They deserve the highest respect and patience and should be applauded for what they are doing.

“I would like to reiterate the responsibility of all customers to treat pharmaceutical workers with dignity and respect. Naturally, tensions and anxiety are running high during this pandemic however we must all practice tolerance and understanding and pull together as a community. Those who don’t will be subject to the full arm of the law.”

Community pharmacists are protected from assault under the Assault on Emergency Workers Bill and those breaching the law face tough new penalties. The Bill defines an emergency worker as a person employed for the purpose of providing NHS services or services in support of the provision of NHS services.

Pharmacists can download a resource pack from the PDA’s website to help prevent violence. For more information visit: