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Insight Online – November 2023

This month, read about how we are supporting pharmacists after LloydsPharmacy completed the divestment of their branch network, the Pharmacy First service, and how PDA Student Reps are leading a campaign for fair financial support for MPharm students. Also, learn about upcoming events and workshops that you can get involved in.

Tue 28th November 2023 The PDA

In this issue:
  • PDA supports pharmacists as LloydsPharmacy complete divestment of their branch network
  • PDA responds to GPhC fee decision
  • PDA welcomes the Pharmacy First service and calls for a second pharmacist in the pharmacy
  • PDA secures over £100,000 in unpaid locum fees for members so far this year
  • PDA Student Reps lead campaign to secure fair financial support for MPharm students
  • PDA responds to the latest NHS pension proposals
  • Latest news
  • Introducing the PDA Shop
  • Upcoming events and workshops
  • Enjoy a range of PDA Plus benefits!

PDA supports pharmacists as LloydsPharmacy complete divestment of their branch network

We are continuing to support pharmacists to understand and exercise their rights at work as a final announcement is made by Hallo Healthcare about their LloydsPharmacy business.

On 23 November 2023, Hallo Healthcare advised us that they had divested their final community pharmacy branch, meaning the network where the PDA Union is recognised to represent pharmacists with employment matters has now ceased to exist.

The original recognition at LloydsPharmacy agreed in February 2021 covered more than 2,500 pharmacists working at almost 1,300 pharmacies. Since the agreement was reached, we have negotiated improved pay settlements and been consulted on other changes at work for pharmacists, ensuring their interests have been represented. A network of pharmacists was trained by oursleves to be union representatives at the company and, supported by union officials, they met regularly with senior management.


PDA responds to GPhC fee decision

We are disappointed that the GPhC have not amended their fee proposal after considering multiple consultation responses which opposed their plans.

Before submitting a response to the GPhC consultation on potential fee increases we listened to the views of pharmacists and more than 3,800 PDA members said what they thought. This informed the response we submitted on behalf of all members. Our response can be found here.

PDA members in Great Britain are now making it clear that they are extremely disappointed that their regulator has consulted on an initial proposal, learned that the vast majority of respondents reject it with many raising concerns about equality implications, but has disregarded those concerns and decided to implement the proposal unchanged.


PDA welcomes the Pharmacy First service and calls for a second pharmacist in the pharmacy

We welcome an announcement that has the potential to empower community pharmacists to use more of their clinical skills and reduce the demands on GP practice. We believe this could transform the role of community pharmacy and be a watershed moment for patients and pharmacists in England.

The success of this initiative will depend on how it is implemented and managed going forward. Consistent feedback from members indicates that the current workloads already make it very difficult to deliver any new services, let alone those with such scale and ambition, without a substantial increase in the community pharmacy staff infrastructure. Bearing in mind the increased clinical nature of the services, we are calling for a second pharmacist to become the norm and with the additional funding that has been made available this could be achieved. A second pharmacist approach and a more clinically orientated service could attract more pharmacists into community pharmacy. This would also help to relieve some of the current recruitment and retention issues.


PDA secures over £100,000 in unpaid locum fees for members so far this year

Over the years, we have secured hundreds of thousands of pounds of outstanding locum fees for members, but 2023 has surpassed all previous levels with six figures recovered in just the first ten months for the first time.

In the first ten months of 2023, we have supported locum members to secure £104,182.47 in fees owed to them by pharmacy contractors.

Learn more

PDA Student Reps lead campaign to secure fair financial support for MPharm students

Pharmacy students in England, led by PDA Student Reps, are embarking on a campaign to get the MPharm included on the list of healthcare courses eligible for the NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF).

The NHS LSF is a supplementary fund for healthcare students studying in England* to, ‘support students in the study of elements of healthcare courses necessary in gaining professional registration and to help promote diversity in the workforce, and otherwise to help secure a continued workforce supply in future years.’

Learn more

PDA responds to the latest NHS pension proposals

We have responded to the latest set of proposed changes to the NHS pension scheme in England and Wales on behalf of the 7,000 members who work in the NHS and can join the NHS Pension Scheme.

The latest proposed changes to NHS pensions in England and Wales are unfair for pharmacists and a backward step says Paul Moloney, PDA Union National Officer.

Learn more

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

24/11/23 – The gift is within government to tackle health inequalities

23/11/23 – PDA student campaign is making an impact on NHS LSF exclusion issue

22/11/23 – PDA calls on the government to tackle inequality in pharmacy

21/11/23 – Celebrating Disability History Month 2023

20/11/23 – World AMR Awareness Week

17/11/12 – PDA calls on pharmacists to support World AMR Awareness Week 2023

16/11/23 – PDA LGBT+ Network speaks out against transphobic rhetoric

15/11/23 – PDA to support members at Rowlands concerned with ‘Close, Merge and Divest’ strategy

14/11/23 – PDA welcomes Victoria Atkins MP as Health and Social Care Secretary

14/11/23 – Enter the PDA Luxury Christmas Hamper Competition

13/11/23 – PDA supports Respect for Shopworkers Week

8/11/23 – PDA member speaks at STUC Anti-Racist Conference

7/11/23 – Pharmacist racially harassed by pharmacy team members – UPDATED WITH FULL TRIBUNAL JUDGMENT

7/11/23 – PDA GP pharmacist members meet to discuss work satisfaction

6/11/23 – PDA NAWP Network supports the 17th EWPM

2/11/23 – PDA Chairman speaks at FIP’s event on Astana Declaration on primary health care

1/11/23 – Boots Newsletter – November 2023


Show your support for the PDA

We have intoduced the option for members to purchase PDA-branded items, such as lanyards, folders, bags, accessories, hats, scarves and other clothing.


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.

Supporting charities

We will not take income from this arrangement and instead will donate any commission earned from the sale of these items to charities such as Pharmacist Support and PASS. This means purchasing a PDA-branded item can also generate a donation to charity.

We host a number of events throughout the year all designed to support members at each stage of their career journey. We also host events with our charity partner Pharmacist Support and as an affiliate of the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) we promote training opportunites they have available for PDA members. Below is just a couple of our upcoming online events, please visit the events section of our website for more information.
GFTU Training – FREE online and face-to-face training for all PDA membersThe courses available until 1 August 2024 are:

  • Bitesize sessions on equality, employment law and more
  • Why are wages falling and profits rising?
  • Roots of Racism
  • Big picture seminars including – media bias and the search for the truth.

Learn more and register here.

PDA’s NHS re-banding event

Following the success of the PDA’s previous re-banding event held earlier this year, there will be a second webinar to support more members who are employed on Agenda for Change terms and conditions.

Date: Tuesday 5 December
Time: 1 pm – 2 pm
Location: Online via Microsoft Teams

Learn more and register here.

NI PDA student event

We are working alongside Kyron Media to host a face-to-face event for all pharmacy students in Northern Ireland. At this event, pharmacists working across the industry will discuss their individual careers and share valuable advice.

Date: Wednesday 10 January 2024
Time: 2 pm – 4 pm
Location: Mandela Hall, Queens University Belfast Student Union, University Road, Belfast
Price: FREE

Learn more and register here.

Tackling Sexual Harassment for Workplace Representatives

The General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) is hosting an online course to help workplace representatives understand the nature of workplace sexual harassment, how to spot it, and how to deal with it.

Dates: 22 January 2024 / 20 May 2024
Location: Online
Price: FREE for PDA members. £50 for non-affiliates.

Learn more and register here.


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 for a gift for a friend or family member there is something for everyone!

With the holidays fast approaching you can save up to 4% in-store on your festive food shop with Iceland, Morrisons, M&S, and more! Whether hosting a festive meal this holiday season or stocking up the freezer for yourself be sure to head to the PDA Plus section of the PDA 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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