Pharmacist safety review after stabbings

Pharmacist security is to be reviewed (Paul Faith/PA Wire)
Pharmacist security is to be reviewed (Paul Faith/PA Wire)

A review of the safety of pharmacists across the north is to be conducted following a stabbing incident.

The Health and Social Care Board said it will be working with different pharmacy organisations after the stabbing of two community pharmacists in west Belfast earlier this month.

Joe Brogan, Head of Pharmacy at the Health Board said that there had been a rise in the number of incidents of pharmacists being subjected to violence across the north over recent months.

“Sadly we have seen a number of attempted thefts, some of which have involved violence or threats of violence to community pharmacists over recent months.

“I wish to emphasise that we have zero-tolerance in respect of assaults on any staff working for the health service.

“We will be working and supporting pharmacy organisations to review security measures already in place such as time-delay safes and CCTV.”

Mr Brogan said such incidents also flag up the rise in the abuse of prescription drugs, especially when used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs.

He said: “The Board has been working with other groups to raise awareness of this issue and to control access to prescription medicines. We continue to work with our colleagues in the Public Health Agency, Health Trusts, GPs and other bodies to ensure there are sufficient prevention and treatment pathways for those at risk of abuse.

It is really important to highlight the dangers of prescription drug misuse – just because it can be prescribed doesn’t mean it is safe.”