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Insight Online – December 2023

In the last Insight Online of 2023, we would like to start by wishing you a happy holiday season.

Thu 21st December 2023 The PDA

This month, learn about the DHSC’s Pharmacy Supervision consultation and changes to the Boots Pension Scheme and we encourage you to take part in our workforce temperature check survey. Also, explore some of our useful resources to help you in your career and find out how you can save money this holiday season with PDA Plus.

In this issue:

  • PDA cautiously welcomes the DHSC Supervision consultation
  • PDA investigates claims about Boots Pension Scheme
  • GPhC apology highlights importance of the right terminology and use of protected titles
  • Have your say: please complete the 2023 workforce temperature check survey
  • Appeals process for candidates that sat the registration assessment in November 2023
  • PDA Equalities Council celebrates the year’s successes
  • Latest news
  • The PDA Shop
  • Useful resources
  • Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

PDA cautiously welcomes the DHSC Supervision consultation

We have issued a cautious welcome to the government consultation published on 7 December.

Uniquely on this occasion, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has worked closely with representatives of the pharmacy sector for six months in the run up to the release of its Pharmacy Supervision consultation. It is therefore reassuring to see that the consultation broadly supports the Supervision Practice Group’s recommendations. This builds trust and confidence in the process and consequently, is cautiously welcomed by ourselves.

If the changes proposed in the group’s report are delivered and the process is undertaken in the right way, this is an opportunity for welcome transformational improvements in pharmacy practice. However, it is noted that some of the group’s recommendations have not been taken up at this time and we have sought assurances from the DHSC that they will be.


PDA investigates claims about Boots Pension Scheme

We have written to members in Boots about the recent changes to the Boots Pension Scheme.

Members at Boots who have pension benefits in the Boots Pension Scheme will be aware that the scheme is now subject to a buy-in by Legal and General.

As a result of this, the company is now claiming that an unreduced pension from age 60 was not guaranteed under the scheme rules and, as a discretionary benefit, has ended with the buy-in. We have been investigating the claims and have now sent a mailing to members at Boots. More information and advice will follow shortly.


GPhC apology highlights importance of the right terminology and use of protected titles

A public apology by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) for accidentally using the wrong title for pharmacy technicians on one occasion has contrasted with the ongoing use of an inappropriate term to refer to pharmacists.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) makes clear on its website that there is a risk to patient safety and public protection when there is confusion about the role of someone from whom a patient is receiving advice or care.

Consequently, we are concerned about an equally worrying trend that has been developing over time in which pharmacists are being referred to by the GPhC and others as ‘pharmacy professionals’, a term that is also used for pharmacy technicians. Inevitably, this results in confusion in the minds of the public and makes it more difficult for them to understand that the two roles and responsibilities are very different.


Have your say: please complete the 2023 workforce temperature check survey

Pharmacists continue to tell us that there are several reasons why they choose to work in certain roles and would not consider others. We are once again asking members to provide greater information around this to help inform the debate about the pharmacist workforce. Pharmacists sharing their views and experiences helps us to tell their story and represent their interests.

Learn more and complete the survey

Appeals process for candidates that sat the registration assessment in November 2023

We would like to remind all candidates who sat the November 2023 assessment, and feel that they have grounds to appeal on receipt of their results, to review the GPhC guidance and gather all evidence before taking action.The GPhC guidance for those who were unsuccessful in the registration assessment can be found here. There are clear grounds for appeal.

Learn more

PDA Equalities Council celebrates the year’s successes

The Equalities Council is part of our democratic structure and includes representatives of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Networks. The aim is for members to learn from each other and to work together around intersectional issues.

The third meeting of the Equalities Council, held in November, reviewed the work of the EDI Networks over the last year.

Learn more

Below is a summary of some of the other key news stories that have been published on our website recently:18/12/23 – PDA Ability Network seconds an emergency motion at the STUC Disabled Workers’ Conference

15/12/23 – Intersection Update – December 2023

14/12/23 – PDA BAME Network launches Tokenism Factsheet

13/12/23 – Winners of the Scottish Healthcare Awards 2023 announced

9/12/23 – Think Winter – Pharmacists within the healthcare team

8/12/23 – Pharmacists tackling climate change

5/12/23 – PDA Ability Network Newsletter – December 2023

5/12/23 – Have you got the right PDA membership following the November 2023 assessment?


New PDA merchandise now available!

PDA members now have the option to purchase PDA-branded items, such as lanyards, folders, bags, accessories, and other clothing in the PDA online shop.

Looking to keep warm this winter? The PDA shop has a range of items suitable for the winter weather such as hats, scarves, umbrellas, fleeces and more. All items are available to purchase with your choice of PDA logo and some items come in a variety of different colours.


To minimise carbon footprint, the shop includes practical items that pharmacists will need, and we have partnered with a supplier that includes recycled products in their range. As the supplier also partners with membership bodies in other sectors, the production and logistics also mean that items are generally made to order, leading to further waste reduction.

We are committed to supporting PDA members and often create resources that will help support you in all aspects of your career. Below are some relevant key resources that we’ve produced to help you stay well-informed on important topics.

Redundancy – a guide for PDA members

Our redundancy guide offers a general overview of your rights and explores redundancy consultations, collective consultations, alternative employment, and more.

This guide should not be taken as legal advice. Redundancy cases can be complex, and every case is different. Those who require further detailed information are encouraged to contact the PDA.

Learn more

Social media guidance

Social media has evolved over the years and can be used as a positive tool to help advance the profession and advocate for pharmacists. Social media is also useful for networking across the profession, between professions, both nationally and globally.

Our guidance is to act as a reminder of how to best navigate social media. We would like to encourage members to think about how they use social media and how to best protect themselves.

Learn more

From factsheets and guides to publications and webinars, visit the resources section of our website for further information.

Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

As a PDA member, you can take advantage of exclusive PDA Plus offers and discounts. This includes discounts on shopping, domestic appliances, motoring, and more! If you are looking to treat yourself or to buy a gift for a friend or family member, there is something for everyone!

Did you know that with Gift Card Savings you can buy a range of gift cards and e-gifts at discounted rates? This includes up to 7% on dining out, fashion, health, and beauty, 5% on holidays, 3% in supermarkets and DIY, and much more! Gift cards and e-gifts can be redeemed at a range of stores such as Sainsbury’s, Boots, Pizza Express, and many others! Head to the PDA Plus section of our website to learn more!








The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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