Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach has thrown his support behind a new awareness campaign led by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) to prevent violence and abuse in community pharmacies.
It comes after reports of physical and verbal attacks since the Covid-19 outbreak began as customers take out frustrations over delays and stock shortages on stressed health workers.
The PCC warned that attacks on frontline pharmacy staff will not be tolerated as he backed a national campaign calling for tolerance and patience during the health crisis.
Willy Bach said: “Thankfully, I don’t believe that this has been a problem in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and I hope it stays that way. Pharmacy staff are key workers who are putting their lives on the line to bring people the medication they need during this crisis. They have the right to feel safe, as we all do, and should never be attacked, verbally or physically, simply for doing their jobs.
“I have nothing but admiration for all our frontline and key workers in this pandemic. These people cannot isolate at home and should be treated with the utmost respect for their service.
“I’m assured the Force will take robust action against anyone using violence or threats against shop or pharmacy workers during these unprecedented times. It is the duty of every one of us to treat these people with dignity and kindness and understand the bigger picture of what they are being asked to do in truly difficult times.”
New legislation protects community pharmacists and emergency services workers from assault and those breaching the law face tough new penalties including prison.
The Assault on Emergency Workers Bill defines an emergency worker as a person employed for the purpose of providing NHS services or services in support of the provision of NHS services.
Pharmacists can download a resource pack from the PDA’s website to help prevent violence. For more information visit: https://www.the-pda.org/violence-in-pharmacies/
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 23rd April 2020