National Pharmacy Association joins Prime Minister’s summit on domestic abuse

21 May 2020

NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette will today join a summit on domestic abuse convened by the Prime Minister.

Other attendees include representatives from the National Crime Agency, National Police Chiefs’ Council, the children’s, domestic abuse, anti-slavery and victims’ commissioners and charities including the NSPCC, Refuge and Women’s Aid.

It was revealed ahead of the ‘Hidden Harms Summit’ that the NPA is amongst business leaders in talks with Home Office officials about a scheme to allow people in danger to get help using a codeword in a range of high street outlets.

NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette, said:

“Our starting point is that local pharmacies are about people, not just pills.  There is a clear and urgent need to support victims of abuse and we want to play our part.

“At the same time, pharmacy resources are already stretched as key health service providers during the COVID-19 crisis, and this is something we have already made clear to officials.

“The Home Office sought our advice and we are talking to them about what would work best in the pharmacy setting. Discussions are ongoing and we cannot give more details at this time.”

Earlier this month, the General Pharmaceutical Council encouraged pharmacies to support the broad agenda of supporting victims and potential victims.

Some community pharmacies are already working with their local charities and constabularies on formal schemes. Hundreds of pharmacies are currently offering their consultation areas as safe spaces, as part of the UK Says No More initiative, which includes at least 60 independent pharmacies.  Many more pharmacies are displaying window posters.

The virtual summit is being convened in response to the unique challenges victims have faced during the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they continue to get support.

Boris Johnson said:

“We have to support the most vulnerable and keep them safe from harm and exploitation. That is why it is vital that we come together and bring all our collective expertise to ensure we are doing everything we can to support those at risk, and to help them rebuild their lives.”