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PDA Regional Committees meet to share the views of members

The PDA Regional Committees are made up of PDA members from across the profession. They meet to discuss current issues in pharmacy ahead of PDA National Executive Committee meetings.

Fri 27th May 2022 The PDA

The Regional Committees are part of the PDA’s democratic structure and are formed to represent members’ views.

Below are details of some of the key challenges that were debated at the second Regional Committee meeting of 2022.

Across England, Scotland and Wales, there were shared concerns across the community pharmacy sector where there have been frequent store closures, particularly from multiples. The PDA is aware that some locums prefer not to work for some multiples or in certain stores due to their previous experience with that employer. For example, if a locum discovers a contractor does not adequately resource a branch and therefore the locum is worried about safety, or where a locum has been threatened with a referral to the regulator because they asked for a higher rate, that locum may decline to work for that contractor or in that branch on future occasions.

Closures seriously have an impact on patients and their access to medications. PDA members are encouraged to report store closures using the PDA’s online reporting tool.

Northern Ireland

The Regional Committee in Northern Ireland noted that PSNI has moved the June and November assessments online this year in collaboration with the GPhC. There was also a discussion around high PSNI fees for pharmacists. Additionally, some members had reported difficulties in accessing the special recognition payment.  Any members in this position are advised to contact the PDA Service Centre.

Members should also be aware that the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) meeting with the GP Federations in Northern Ireland has had to be postponed and a new date is pending.


The Regional Committee in Scotland considered the high patient volume in the hospital sector since a backlog has been created due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There were also questions from members about Independent Prescribing pharmacists being asked to work outside of their remit.

In the community pharmacy sector, it was raised that some multiple pharmacies appear to be prioritising additional private services which may detract from the core pharmacy first plus service to be delivered under the NHS contract. Frequent and seemingly unnecessary store closures and what to do about them were also discussed at length.


The Regional Committee in the North reviewed low locum rates, which members believe are resulting in more store closures than in other regions. They also noted the PDA news article on the blacklisting of locums.

PDA members have shared concerns around some Tesco pharmacies that currently have no pharmacy manager, whilst others that do have managers are experiencing increased demands. Members have also raised issues around self-checking protocols in some Asda pharmacies. Members who have been experiencing these problems have been referred to the PDA Service Centre.

South East

PDA members have shared anxieties in the South East in relation to primary care pharmacists and the introduction of Structured Medication Reviews (SMR) targets from April 2022. The focus of SMR should be on quality reviews, which improves patient care, as opposed to the quantity of reviews undertaken by a pharmacist.

In the hospital sector, members discussed increasing pressures due to interruptions during breaks, pharmacists having to cover multiple wards, or being given extra wards to cover in short spaces of time, as well as staffing pressures. Additionally, hospitals are struggling to get staff through locum agencies with some trusts being unable to recruit.

Wales and West

In Wales and the West of England, issues were raised by members around Well Pharmacy and the increased pressure on pharmacists to carry out more tasks, with more accountability demands placed on them by management in some stores. Members reported that there was not enough staff or capacity to complete the tasks and that pharmacists were being asked to work across two sites. Members are encouraged to engage with the PDA’s ‘It’s Time to Address Stress’ campaign which looks at the causes of stress in the workplace and provides advice on ways pharmacists can access support and improve working conditions.

Members needing support with issues at their workplace should contact the PDA Service Centre. Wider concerns about developments or trends in pharmacy can be raised with members’ local Regional Committee.

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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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