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Insight Online – January 2024

This month, we shared your concerns with the Commons Health and Social Care Committee as part of its inquiry into pharmacy. We also provided you with an update on the HMRC's locum tax status enquiry.

Mon 29th January 2024 The PDA

Frontline pharmacists’ concerns about Pharmacy First implementation shared with DHSC and NHS England officials

We have ensured that the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England and senior DHSC civil servants have heard the views of employed and locum pharmacists on how the Pharmacy First Service (PFS) is being introduced.

NHS England and Community Pharmacy England agreed the terms for the introduction of PFS to commence on 31 January 2024. However, these discussions did not invite the views of those pharmacists at the coal face as collectively represented by us. In response to feedback from members, we conducted a survey to understand the reality of the sector’s preparedness for the introduction of the scheme.



Locum tax status enquiry update

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) began an enquiry into the tax status of locums engaged in community pharmacy in 2019. In August 2023, the HMRC wrote to all affected community pharmacies setting out their intended approach to compliance enquiries for the tax years ending 6 April 2023 and prior years.

The HMRC review began before the Covid-19 pandemic. There has always been a possibility that the outcome would be that the HMRC would conclude that the way community pharmacy businesses engage locums could indicate they should be treated as employees for taxation purposes.



PDA Chairman gives evidence to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee

We welcomed the opportunity to give evidence to the influential Health and Social Care Committee as part of its inquiry into pharmacy.

Following on from written evidence previously submitted to the select committee, PDA Chairman Mark Koziol was able to provide comments on issues such as the state of morale among the pharmacist profession, what could be achieved through better commissioning arrangements, ideas around the future regulation of premises and professionals, and how pharmacists skills could make a significant contribution to patient care if more focused on medicines.

We will publish the supplementary evidence in due course. In the meantime, if you missed the session you can view it here.



PDA members in the Boots Pension Scheme to complain about the removal of an unreduced pension option

PDA members have sought our support following recent communications about the removal of the option to take a full pension from age 60.

PDA members who have benefits in the Scheme and who have concerns about the change have the right to use the disputes procedure at Boots to complain about the removal of the option to retire at 60 without a reduced pension.

Learn more

Lloyds/Sainsbury’s enhanced redundancy claims update

This is the third update of January 2024 for PDA members regarding the announcement that Diamond DCO Two Ltd, formerly called Lloyds Pharmacy Ltd, is considering voluntary liquidation.

Earlier this month a preliminary employment tribunal hearing was held for the claims that were issued for PDA members who had been employed in Lloyds Pharmacy’s situated in Sainsbury’s stores and who had been made redundant last year. This hearing was to allow the Tribunal to make Case Management Orders to enable the parties to properly prepare for the final substantive merits hearing.

Learn more

PDA reiterates advice to pharmacists working in online settings

The BBC has highlighted an investigation it has undertaken about prescription drugs being sold online without robust checks.

We have previously cautioned pharmacist prescribers who work for online pharmacies about the specific risks associated with remote prescribing using a questionnaire-based model, typically with no direct prescriber/patient interaction.

Learn more

Below is a summary of some of the other key news stories that have been published on our website recently:

25/1/24 – NAWP Newsletter – January 2024

24/1/24 – NHS Employers Disability Summit 2023

19/1/24 – The Responsible Pharmacist and Pharmacy First Service

16/1/24 – Pharmacists in England are invited to complete the Prescription Charges survey 2024

13/1/24 – Insolvency plans update of ‘Lloyds Pharmacy Limited’

12/1/24 – The work of PDA NHS Reps in the last year

11/1/24 – Community pharmacy breaches NHS contract to cut costs

10/1/24 – PDA students continue to campaign for fair funding – now with the support of their MPs!

6/1/24 – Pharmacists query open letter from the GPhC and Chief Pharmacist for England

5/1/24 – Pharmacy First Service (PFS) survey

5/1/24 – PDA responds to insolvency plans of ‘Lloyds Pharmacy Limited’

5/1/24 – PDA to host member-exclusive supervision consultation events

We host a number of events throughout the year all designed to support PDA members at each stage of their career journey. Below are two of our upcoming online events and courses.

CV-writing and interview skills course

This course will help members who are looking for career progression or new opportunities. You will receive advice on developing your CV and preparing for interviews so that you can effectively advertise your skills and greatest strengths.

Learn more

Supervision consultation event

This free online event is about the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) consultation on supervision. If implemented, this important consultation will make significant changes to pharmacy practice.

Learn more

Visit the events section of our website to stay up to date on our upcoming events, courses, and programmes.



Submit your abstract to the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

Are you working on an exciting project in the field of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, or pharmacy education? Submit your abstract for the FIP world congress by Friday 15 March for a chance to present your work next September in Cape Town, South Africa. Click here to submit.

If this is your first time submitting an abstract for the FIP congress, check these useful guidelines and tips to increase your chance of acceptance.



Discounted legal fees for dispute resolution services

One of the services offered to PDA members by Morrish Solicitors’ dispute resolution team is contested probate. This is where a deceased’s will is challenged by their spouse, children, or other dependents if they feel they have been treated unfairly.

When this happens, a claim can potentially be brought under the Inheritance Act, as long as:

  • The claim is made within six months of grant of probate
  • The claimant has a recognised relationship with the deceased
  • There is proof, e.g., they were financially dependent on the deceased

How does the court decide? There is a range of factors including the size of the estate; the financial status of the competing beneficiaries; the health of any claimants; and any obligations the deceased had towards the claimants.

PDA members receive a 15% discount on Morrish Solicitors dispute resolution services. These can be provided in-person, over the phone, or by email or post. If you would like more information on contested probate, mediation, or any other type of dispute resolution, contact or call 033 344 9600.




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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