The CCA stands alongside the General Pharmaceutical Council in condemning any abuse or violence against pharmacy staff. Pharmacy staff are working incredibly hard to meet the increased demand from patients and the public this winter to deliver vital care including the Covid-19 and flu vaccination service. As pressures on the healthcare system mounts, we urge patients and the public to treat pharmacy staff with respect and to follow the requirements for face masks and social distancing.
CCA members takes the safety of their staff, the patients and public very seriously. Our members closely monitor incidents so they are aware of trends and can address concerns. We are concerned to hear of growing rates of violence against staff, including during the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst some members report that incidents have now returned to pre-pandemic levels, any incident of violent or threatening behaviour is unacceptable.
We are working closely with our members, the police and other partners to ensure that pharmacies remain as safe an environment for the workforce as possible. Our members want to ensure their business are not just safe, but are desirable places to work and they encourage staff to report all incidents.
Our members are working closely with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and several of our members signed a letter to the Prime Minister in February calling for a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening, or abusing a retail worker. They are also taking additional actions internally, including:
- the installation of additional CCTV and use of body worn cameras as well as prominent signage highlighting their use to deter abusive behaviour;
- the employment of additional security staff;
- the implementation of physical security enhancements;
- the use of panic buttons with a police response;
- and the issuing of warnings and exclusion letters where public behaviour is unacceptable.
We will continue to monitor any reports of abuse and work with colleagues at the BRC and with the National Business Crime Centre which brings together police and businesses to learn, share and support each other to prevent and combat crime.