In recognition of World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April), the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has released CCTV footage of an attack of a pharmacist at their place of work.
The video shows a customer throwing items at a pharmacist, which resulted in a personal injury, according to the organisation.
Alison Jones, director of stakeholder engagement at the PDA, said that the ‘shocking footage’ is just one example of incidents that pharmacists have reported to the organisation’s advice line.
‘As well as a zero-tolerance approach, further steps are needed to prevent this from happening,’ she said.
She added: ‘Nobody should accept being abused, threatened or assaulted as part of their job, yet too often that is the attitude that has been able to develop.
‘Every time violence has been accepted, and the aggressor has avoided any consequences to their actions, it has condemned colleagues to greater risk of recurrence.’
The PDA published the video on its website to reiterate its call for a zero-tolerance policy of violence towards pharmacy staff and the sector to take further steps to protect its workforce.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.
A survey, conducted by the PDA in February 2021, found that 20% of pharmacy staff felt unsafe in the pharmacy at least some of the time.
In March 2020, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) called on the National Police Chiefs’ Council to ensure that pharmacy teams across the NHS are kept safe against all forms of aggressive, violent and abusive behaviour from patients and customers.
This came after increasing numbers of pharmacy team members began reporting cases of abuse during the first national lockdown.