Concerns have been raised over the level of exclusion and discrimination reportedly faced by pharmacists with a disability or long-term condition.

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has revealed early findings of its disability discrimination survey, which is designed to gather the workplace experiences of members who have a long-term condition or disability.

While it officially closes on 30 April, initial responses from around 100 pharmacists have seen high levels of discrimination reported.

The PDA said some 40% of respondents felt they had been excluded from the workforce, and that they had been underemployed or unemployed due to their disability.

More than half (53%) of respondents said they had been subject to discrimination at work and of those, 60% said they had experienced this from managers and 40% from colleagues.

The survey, which is led by the PDA Ability Network, has also so far seen almost 70% of respondents reporting that they not received reasonable adjustments, or had only had partial reasonable adjustments, to accommodate their disability.

Revealing initial findings this week, the PDA described the discrimination and exclusion of pharmacists who have disabilities as ‘a terrible loss of skills and talent’.

Liz Larkin, PDA organiser and co-ordinator for the PDA Ability Network, said: ‘Pharmacists are a talented skilled workforce but a proportion of pharmacists who have disabilities or long-term health conditions are discriminated against and excluded from the workforce.

‘This is a terrible loss of skills and talent, and we need employers to create an environment where disabled members can work safely and without fear of discrimination.’

The PDA Ability Network’s disability discrimination survey can be completed here.