Layer 1

51% of BAME staff would leave a job over racism in pharmacy, C+D finds

Only 26% of white respondents have left or considered leaving a job due to racial discrimination
Only 26% of white respondents have left or considered leaving a job due to racial discrimination

Fifty-one per cent of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) pharmacy staff have left or have considered leaving their job due to racial discrimination, a C+D survey has found.

The findings emerged from a C+D survey of racism in pharmacy that ran from June 18 to July 27 – gathering responses from 886 pharmacy professionals across the UK – and asked how pharmacy teams have been impacted by racial discrimination from both patients and colleagues.

Of respondents who identified as white, the percentage that has left or considered leaving a job in pharmacy as a result of racial discrimination from patients or colleagues is half that of their BAME counterparts, at 26%.

Outlining other ways in which racial discrimination has affected them, 56% of BAME respondents said they felt “demotivated”, while 53% said it made them, “stressed” and 42% that they felt “less confident” as a result.

Over two thirds (67%) of respondents who identified as Pakistani said they felt “demotivated” as a result of discrimination from colleagues and patients, while 60% of those from an African background said the same. Sixty-one per cent of respondents from an African background said they already had, or have considered, leaving their job due to racism.

The infographic above shows the percentage of BAME respondents who checked each box.

Feeling unsafe and depressed

Almost half of BAME respondents (46%) also said they felt “psychologically unsafe” or “physically unsafe” in the pharmacy as a result of racial discrimination. This compares to 21% for their white colleagues.

One respondent commented that they had been “threatened and told to step outside so they can rip my headscarf off”.

Just under a third (31%) of BAME professionals selected “depression”, “suicidal thoughts” and “self-harm thoughts” as factors describing how racial discrimination in pharmacy had affected them.

Several respondents commented that they had developed anxiety as a result of racial discrimination, with one saying they were “put off locuming” by it.

Career progression

Over a third of BAME respondents (36%) said racial discrimination had adversely impacted their career by “others [being] prioritised in job applications or promotions”. This compares to 16% of white respondents.

The percentages are especially high among African and Pakistani groups, with 40% of African and 44% of Pakistani survey respondents choosing this answer.

Pharmacy staff also reported different treatment when it comes to performance assessments, depending on their ethnicity. Over a quarter (27%) of BAME staff said they had received “unfair performance assessments”, compared to 11% among their white counterparts.

One respondent said they have to work four times harder to “secure my job” but that their “performance always receives less praise as compared to others”.

Pay was another issue affected by racial discrimination, according to respondents to the C+D survey. Overall, 25% of all respondents said their “salary would be higher” if it were not for racial discrimination negatively affecting their careers.

This percentage rose to nearly two-thirds (30%), among BAME staff, while only 12% of white staff indicated the same.

One respondent said the majority of locum pharmacists are of BAME background “because they know they would not be given fair treatment as managers”.

“The frankly disgraceful wages being paid to locums is a reflection of the number of ethnic minority pharmacists in theses sector,” they added.

C+D is reporting on the finding of its recent survey on racism in pharmacy. Read last week’s news story and feature on our website.

What do you make of these findings?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Just to trivialise things - if the C + D was to run a survey on 'How many of you would leave or have considered leaving your job because it is a heap of steaming turd' I wonder what the percentage would be? I definitely have, and indeed am leaving at the end of this year.

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

Locum rates are simply a reflection of supply and demand and morality plays no part in it. There used to be three rates of dispensing fees in the past, based on thresholds. I was told it was to support a second pharmacist but I never knew whether it was true or not.

There were rota arrangments over bank holidays which could attract an additional payment. It was a sector better funded than now. Pharmacy never had an official and annual hard number limit for students.

After the fallow year, the numbers of universities offering degree courses expanded rapidly to fill the gap identified for pharmacists. Pharmacists from overseas locations come too.

It brings us to the state of affairs we have today. There are no soccer-style wages to be had, locum fees to rent private jets, or large scale racketeering from individuals like some in officialdom would try to intimate.

In fact, a decision at board level from the shoe and cream operators would have occurred to suppress what would be perceived as rising costs. No opportunity to save money or undermine the role of a physically present pharmacist will be missed over the next few years to secure profit. If you get burned out, another indebted pharmacy graduate will be waiting to take over for less.

There has never been any real unity of professional purpose in the past. The old regulatory regime did not back you up. They only handed out sanctions. Many have been untreated fairly for DECADES. I hope the PDA can contribute towards overturning this state of affairs.


Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

“The frankly disgraceful wages being paid to locums is a reflection of the number of ethnic minority pharmacists in theses sector,” they added.

This part is downright incorrect. The reason for rubbish locum rates isn't racial. About 15 years ago, locum rates were high, the proportion of non-white pharmacists was the same, but then the financial crash came, the fallow year led to an influx of EU pharmacists and companies realised they could cut lumps out of locum wages with impunity becaue we had no choice but to accept or lose our homes. Dee Dee is quite correct when she says that SOME issues are seen as racist when they aren't. It's just economics in this case.

And PLEASE can we drop the term BAME?? It's a total nonsense of a concept. Why should everyone non-caucasian British be assumed to be the same? That's a very colonial, 'w*gs start at Calais' attitude which has no place in a society which should be trying to get rid of division and promote how much ALIKE we all are as humans.

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

If there real complaints of racism then should be reported.but a small survey like this is poor journalism since tarring all staff they may not get on with has racist is not on. Pharmacy will reflect society 





Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

"if there real complaints of racism then should be reported"

what planet are you living on pal? 

please come down from your white ivory tower and take off you rose tinted glasses, and walk 5 meters in my shoes then tell me to do what your suggesting, it falls on deaf ears!

Racism is an epidemic within pharmacy.  

It's like you telling somebody stuck in a tsunami to swim faster and harder...... impossible to win





Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

'white ivory tower' = racism. You're just proving Dee Dee's point.

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I won't dignify your comment by responding. Love conquers all

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

You referenced colour - that IS racism.

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

it is fairly evident what your position on racism is, "DNA/genetics"!!

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Not at all. I am anti-racist, but I accept, unlike you, that EVERYONE is capable of racism, not just white people.

Dee dee, Community pharmacist

Don't talk nonsense. A 'tsunami' of racism simply dosen't exist. Where's the statistics to back this up? I just see dodgy surveys and anecdotal stories. 

The C&D survey shows that any racism that does exist is directed against pharmacists of ALL ethnicities and not just BAME. 

If it is terribly widespread, wouldn't it have been an issue years ago, before BLM became a cause that C&D have decided to pay lip service to? 


Dee dee, Community pharmacist

Is it truly racism or the misperception of racism? 

I have worked in thousands of pharmacies, and in the vast majority there are staff who are somewhat grumpy and impolite. I imagine this is the same experience for most BAME pharmacists.  BAME pharmacists are almost encouraged to consider such an attitude as automatically racist, when it is not. 

The pharmacy environment is one of high stress and pressure. Staff will behave in a somewhat stressed manner quite often. If a BAME pharmacist is on the receiving end of such a manner then it is not automatically racism. 

We have very sensitive laws on race. If there was any evidence at all that one was behaving in a racist manner, not only would they lose their job, they may also find themselves in a criminal court. 

If there is no evidence of racism or mention of race in ones behaviour, then it probably wasn't racist. 

And if racism is so widespread in community pharmacy, why has it only become an issue now, after all of these years? Bandwagon jumping perhaps? 

And how crass to refer to 'ONLY 26%' of white pharmacists have encountered racism. Downplaying that number is utterly puerile and agenda driven. 26% of any sector experiencing racism is a ridicluolousy high proportion. Shame on you for dismissing it. 

And be careful what you print. You are tacitly giving the impression that non-BAME pharmacy staff are widespread racists, when the exact opposite is true. You are instilling a sense of paranoia into BAME pharmacists with such slanted reporting. 




Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

You need to open your eyes and stop living in denial. 

just smell the coffee!!


Dee dee, Community pharmacist

Living in denial? Hardly, belonging to an ethnic minority myself, I have NEVER encountered racism in this game, and I've been at it for over ten years. 

It is people like you that are in denial, seeking to advance in some type of fake victimhood. 


Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Highly offensive you trivialising racism and trying to dismiss it as a non issue. I wonder if you have any conflict of interests in this matter. 
sad person with rose tinted glasses on! 

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

You're rapidly losing the moral high ground here....

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Midlands, Cheshire & Dorset
Salary dependent upon experience