We are a statutory organisation set up by the UK and Scottish parliaments, and we are independent from government and those we regulate.
We recognise that industrial action is primarily a matter for discussion between employers, employees and their representative organisations and we have no role in contract negotiations. We would certainly encourage dialogue and constructive engagement to resolve difficult issues.
Pharmacy professionals do have a democratic right to express support for their trade unions, and this includes the right to support and take part in lawful industrial action.
We want to remind pharmacists and pharmacy technicians that they must adhere to our standards for pharmacy professionals at all times, are personally accountable for meeting these standards and must be able to justify the decisions they make. We expect all pharmacy professionals to consider these standards, their legal duties and any relevant guidance when making decisions at all times.
Professionalism and safe and effective practice are central to their role. Whenever there are potential interruptions in service, they must make sure that they use their professional judgement and take any necessary steps to ensure patient safety is preserved. Specifically, they should consider how they can work in partnership as well as play a role in planning and preparing for how people’s individual needs can be responded to, and continuity of care is maintained.
We will continue to engage with our key stakeholders and the regulatory bodies for the other health professions, and monitor developments as they arise.