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Home  »   Member NetworksAbilityLatest News   »   PDA Ability Network seconds an emergency motion at the STUC Disabled Workers’ Conference

PDA Ability Network seconds an emergency motion at the STUC Disabled Workers’ Conference

Earlier this month, members of the PDA Ability Network attended the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Disabled Workers' Conference where they seconded an emergency motion on ADHD medication shortages on behalf of the PDA.

Mon 18th December 2023 The PDA

The motion aims to address the national shortage of ADHD medication, which is impacting patients and putting pharmacists at risk when dealing with the backlash. It calls for the STUC Disabled Workers’ Committee to campaign on the issue, lobby the Scottish government to launch an urgent review, and support workers on the frontline.

Maurice Hickey, a PDA Ability Network member who represented both the network and the PDA at the conference, seconded the motion. By doing so, he helped fulfil the aim of the network to proactively address and campaign around issues that affect disabled pharmacists and patients.

Formed in 2020, the PDA Ability Network examines healthcare issues for disabled pharmacists, contributes to debate within the sector, and raises awareness and campaigns around issues impacting disabled pharmacists.

Maurice, who is also the PDA Head of Policy for Scotland, said, “Although so much progress has been made over the last two decades it seems that, under this government, disabled workers have never needed to make more noise than now. 

It has never been more urgent that the PDA speaks out against the current proposals and highlights the iniquities that are inflicted on disabled workers. Susan MacKinnon and I were proud to ‘do our bit’, representing the PDA and its Ability Network, and speaking on behalf of our many disabled members. We were proud to attend the Conference.

Pharmacists understand the long wait for treatment and the current restrictions on the supply of ADHD medicines are leading to anxiety, the reoccurrence of symptoms, and forcing patients and carers to travel great distances to seek a pharmacy with stock. The PDA and Unite the Union both believe this is a situation that cannot and should not be allowed to continue. The failure of NHS Scotland in 2023 to provide treatment to disabled patients who have waited a long time for an appointment and diagnosis is a manifest and shameful dereliction of duty.”

This is the second year that the PDA Ability Network has sent delegates to the STUC Disabled Workers’ Conference to represent disabled pharmacists.

The annual conference, which is now in its 20th year, provides an opportunity for disabled people to share the issues that affect them most in the workplace to set a programme of work for the STUC Disabled Workers’ Committee to focus on. This year, the conference was held on 2-3 December 2023 in Glasgow.


Maurice speaking at the STUC Disabled Workers’ Conference

STUC President, Mike Arnott with PDA Representative and Ability Network member, Susan MacKinnon

read the motion below

Emergency Motion 3. ADHD Medication Shortages in Scotland

“That this conference is extremely alarmed about recent reports, including the ADHD UK survey published November 2023, on the national shortage of ADHD medication including in Scotland. This is having a devastating impact on patients and placing workers on the front line dealing with the backlash.

“Conference notes that recent reports confirm that our NHS staff are being told to not prescribe any of the vital medication to those newly diagnosed with this neurodiverse condition and this is off the back of a seven fold increase in Scots being treated for ADHD in a decade.

“Scottish Government has warned that shortages are due to manufacturing issues and global demand and that it is hoped this will be resolved by the end of December. This agonising wait is leading to anxiety, reoccurrence of symptoms and patients travelling great distances to seek alternative pharmacies to check for stock. This cannot go on.

“Conference calls on the STUC Disabled Workers committee to:

  • Work with affiliates to highlight and campaign on this issue;
  • Lobby the Scottish Government to launch an urgent review;
  • Encourage affiliates to support workers on the front line.”

Mover: Unite the Union


Get involved

  • Follow the PDA Ability Network on social media using the hashtag #PDAability
  • For more information about the PDA Ability Network, click here.
  • If you would like to get involved with the network and its activities, please email:
  • Join the PDA Ability Network here.

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