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Vox pop: is bullying a significant issue in UK pharmacy?

Nipa Patel



Bullying does occur in pharmacy, in particular lately I have noticed this in GP practices. I feel some of the reasons it is occurring in this sector is due to working in isolation, in-experience and poor mentoring.


More mentoring with colleagues experienced in the role is a way forward. Experienced pharmacists working in general practice could take on the mentoring for a finite period of new pharmacists nearby. I am doing this and currently support 4 pharmacists in general practice and 1 pharmacy technician.


The types of bullying I have seen (not experienced first hand) is :


  • forced reduction in appointment times – even though agreed a longer time frame.
  • coercion/force to sign prescriptions even though pharmacist felt it was out of their clinical competence.
  • work overload: given more work than able to do in set time period, setting them up to fail, inadequate support- then blame for failing.
  • regular excluded from meetings.


To support my 5 mentees if they are experiencing bullying, we set aside face to face time to talk things through to identify the problem and give clarity about the issue, I support them in signposting them to resources and give them the confidence to raise the issue to deal with it constructively. The Pharmacy Support organisation is excellent as well as RPS professional support services are just a few of the many organisations that can help.


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