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66% support disciplinary action for racist pharmacy colleagues

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75% of all respondents believe “more people need to call [racism] out when it happens”
75% of all respondents believe “more people need to call [racism] out when it happens”

Two-thirds (66%) of community pharmacy staff believe racist colleagues should face disciplinary action, a C+D survey can reveal.

A C+D survey on racism in pharmacy that ran between June 18 and July 27 – gathering responses from 886 pharmacy professionals across the UK – revealed that 66% of pharmacy staff think one way to tackle racism from colleagues is through “an effective complaints procedure” that includes disciplinary action against team members who display racist behaviour.

A respondent identifying as a “young black pharmacist” who commented on the C+D survey said they “personally reported a racism issue to a manager” but “no action was taken, in fact she defended the accused person because they have been working together”.

Another respondent said that “really nothing can be done [because] if a black pharmacist were to complain about any discrimination, they [would be] deemed aggressive and unreasonable”.

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

Call it out

Asked what needs to happen to tackle racism from colleagues in pharmacy, three-quarters (75%) of all respondents chose “more people need to call it out when it happens” from a list of available options.

Close to two-thirds (63%) agreed that “promoting a safer environment where employees feel like they can talk to managers if they have issues” is necessary to addressing racism between colleagues.

Over half (51%) of respondents pointed to “hiring more people of different ethnicities” as key to tackling racism from colleagues.

One respondent suggested implementing more diverse hiring panels as a means to stamping out the problem.

Another said that in their pharmacy they only “hire Muslims as my boss only trusts [people who follow] this religion. I have suggested hiring different ethnicities, but he is so against it”.

Reports of discrimination were not limited to those from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background. Respondents who identified as white mentioned experiences including being “overlooked” for a job that went to a BAME colleague “who was the same nationality as the pharmacists”.

Several respondents reported facing racism from patients as a result of being from eastern Europe. One pharmacy professional said that as an eastern European woman she sometimes receives inappropriate comments from patients, including being told that she should “be happy to go out with English men”. Another respondent said racism can be an issue if patients “see [the] eastern European surname”.

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, alongside yesterday’s and Monday’s news stories.

40 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of these findings?

Marc Opolo, Locum pharmacist

"More people need to call out racism when it happens".
Okay. In 2019 I endured racism from several Day Lewis stores, from Broxbourne in Enfield to Swanage in Dorset. I called it out in the most polite, professional way I could, and I ended up getting blacklisted by Day Lewis Pharmacy.
Where was the GPhC then? Who should I have reported this to?
What annoyed me the most was that I worked my socks off this company.
I would get praised one day, in one store, then go to another store and get spat on with racist abuse and micro-aggression. I walked into a store 9am to find a pharmacy tech fumbling around in the CD cupboard with no pharmacist present. Same tech was later preparing and giving out unchecked medicines. I complained to the area manager, then I got made to feel like the idiot by Day Lewis management, I was black, the tech was a white woman. Micro-agression? Racism? You tell me.
Eventually I got fed up with the lack of accountability in the management of community pharmacy ans switched to hospital. Politics is still there, but this time there are safeguards and a better complaints process, and you actually get to use your brain, and not just bag items like a "monkey". 

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I feel your pain mate. I suspect the racism apologists will be out in force tell you it's in your head and you are crying wolf or being a snowflake!!!

as people of colour we have it bad from all angles... 

I am shocked by the racists on here they need to be held to account, they are either in denial or are undercover racists maskarading as pharmacists

 

 

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Is pharmacy the only "profession" that makes excuses for racism???

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

It is of no surprise to me and, I strongly suspect, the vast majority reading these idiotic posts ( mine included),  that the morons advocating that 'racism'should be a disciplinary matter are not in the real world. Their naivety is very dangerous because , without opposition and they have their way , you will not be able to say anything in your workplace for fear of it being deemed racist by some eejit with a chip on their shouder. You were warned by me here. All I can say now is brace yourselves for the self destruction which is about to come. 

I will not post anymore on this issue 

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

Well what a host of virtue signalling , self congratulationary, snowflakes a lot of you are. Totally expected. The fact that there was a poor survey  response and only 66% supports disciplinary action for racism being taken to mean that a majority of us are racist and need to be 'educated' says it all about you.. Have you any idea how offensive you sound ?? I have said before that I call out racism whenever I come across it, I do not trivialise it  and that should be sufficient for an individual. We are supposed to be educated people. This will inevitably end in even more positive discrimination for perceived minorities and will fuel resentment at what is seen to be preferential treatment. This has been going on for years. Strewth, you have well and  truly swallowed the 'woke ' pill on this one.

 

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I wonder if you would be the saying the same if the shoe was on the other foot!

 

Dave Downham, Manager

Gammon for tea, Tim?

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Pathetic 

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

And [email protected]@@@@@S to you for such a constructive comment 

Dave Downham, Manager

SNOWFLAKE!!!!!

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

With mustard, I hope

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

'Well what a host of virtue signalling , self congratulationary, snowflakes a lot of you are'

Are these all the cliched terms you have learned from the internet packed into one poorly formed sentence?

'Totally expected'

You are the sought of person who always knows what other people think? How surprising.

'We are supposed to be educated people'

So why dont you express you point of view in a way that demonstrates it?

'This will inevitably end in even more positive discrimination for perceived minorities and will fuel resentment at what is seen to be preferential treatment. This has been going on for years. Strewth, you have well and  truly swallowed the 'woke ' pill on this one'

There is nothing inevitable about any of that, you have just invented it as a universal truth. Can you specify what 'this' is, as it pertains to community pharmacy? Can you provide any evidence that it 'has been going on for years'?

 

 

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

'Sought' is an incorrect word in this instance. 'Sort' is the word you are looking for. I could make mirrored comments about all the woke nonsense you pour out in nauseating quantities but I cannot be bothered.  This is typical, you always think you are in the right and the only valid opinion is yours. You perceive individuals as unable to deal with racism as and when it occurs. And you will always disagree with anything I say and vice versa. Suffice it to say that if and when the issue of racism is built into a code of ethics/ disciplinary action in its own right then you will see a lot of abuse of it from people who have axes to grind; I wonder by how much your retention fee will increase annually under such circumstances to deal with such nonsense. 

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

'This is typical, you always think you are in the right and the only valid opinion is yours. You perceive individuals as unable to deal with racism as and when it occurs'

I wouldn't claim to know what is the best way to deal with racism in pharmacy. I wouldn't claim to know the exact nature and extent of racism in pharmacy. I have never been subjected to racism myself, so I don't even know how it feels for those who have. 

I do know it exists. I don't feel threatened by it's discussion. I know hyperbolic, overly defensive nonsense when I see it. Most people who work in pharmacy are not racist, but the minority who are have to know that their time is up. That goes for racist customers also.

If you listen to the experiences of those who have been subjected to racism, they are not in anyway saying everybody is racist. They are merely identifying instances when it has happened to them and describing how very little was done about it. There isnt going to be any type of 'civil war' in pharmacy because the vast majority of us are on the same side. If anything, this is about the overwhelmingly decent majority sticking up for each other. 

You just need to calm down a little. 

 

 

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

Fair enough comment. I am an indigenous white  male ( the absolute bottom of the pile to some political types) and  have been on the receiving end of unprovoked racist slurs during the my course of working life. I could tell you the exact places it happened but I shall refrain from doing so for fear of starting, at the very least, a keyboard war. Suffice it to say it was in the North. So I do know what it is like to experience racism. Not pleasant at all . This was going back a few years before racism became the latest buzz  theme. My answer to the situation was to refuse to dispense any prescriptions for these people unless they apologised on the spot and/or give the owner 24 hours notice of quitting citing the reason why. Not very convenient for the owners but sometimes you have to stand firm. I did not tolerate racism back then nor do I tolerate it now. I can fight my own battles and do not need the likes of gphc sticking their oar in and it is the prospect of them being involved, which this article suggests should be the case, which has really irked me.. they cause enough discord in the profession already.

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

'I can fight my own battles and do not need the likes of gphc sticking their oar in and it is the prospect of them being involved, which this article suggests should be the case, which has really irked me.. they cause enough discord in the profession already'

Well you can go it alone and the vast majority of pharmacists have chosen to do so. I would prefer to go with aggressive trade union representation - a minority position in community pharmacy. Ultimately, none of this will matter. The sector is being dismantled without resistance. The weakness of the individualist, lower-middle profession that is community pharmacy, has made it a walk over for the corporate, regulatory and government class. 
 

 

Dave Downham, Manager

"I will not post anymore on this issue"...

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

So now pharmacy is going to have its own #metoo, where anyone can allege that they have been subjected to racism and accuse someone. It follows that someone could lose their livelihood over an unsubstantiated allegation. You are encouraging school playground tittle tattle and tale telling. Have none of you stopped to consider that by drawing attention to racism it could have the reverse effect of what you want to achieve. People are sick of having this constantly rammed in their faces. You are coming across as a group of woke individuals who consider those outside your field of view as rampant racists in KKK dress. Stop being so condescending and grow up.

For the record I do not condone racism in any form  and I do call it out if  I come across it- and,yes , white people are subjected to racist abuse as well - I am just so fed up of having it rubbed in my face and being told I am priviledged and inherently a white supremacist.

The extreme left cultural marxists have now invaded pharmacy.

Don't care what any of you think of me. I've spoken my mind which is my right .

 

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

'You are encouraging school playground tittle tattle and tale telling'

Racism isnt tittle tattle or tale telling. What people are being encouraged to do is to speak up about prejudice in the workplace.

'Have none of you stopped to consider that by drawing attention to racism it could have the reverse effect of what you want to achieve'

I have considered it and then quickly dismissed it as nonsense. Drawing attention to racism calls out the guilty people and that is exactly the effect you want. If the reverse effect of drawing attention to racism is that people become more racist or become less suppportive of anti-racism, that is a flaw they need to resolve in themselves.

'People are sick of having this constantly rammed in their faces'

Some people perceive it as being rammed in their face. Yes, a small number of individuals might go overboard on occassion, but the vast majority of this movement is very reasonable people trying to talk about the racism they experience. By doing so I dont feel they are ramming anything in my face.

'You are coming across as a group of woke individuals who consider those outside your field of view as rampant racists in KKK dress'

Nobody has suggested anything of the kind. This is hyperbolic ranting.

'The extreme left cultural marxists have now invaded pharmacy'

Are you going to provide any evidence of this or are you just repeating a phrase you have heard on the internet?

'Don't care what any of you think of me. I've spoken my mind which is my right'

A lot of people who care what people think say this. Nobody is saying it isnt your right, what members of minority groups are saying is that they are no longer going to stay silent and they will be speaking their mind.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

'I have considered it and then quickly dismissed it as nonsense. Drawing attention to racism calls out the guilty people and that is exactly the effect you want. If the reverse effect of drawing attention to racism is that people become more racist or become less suppportive of anti-racism, that is a flaw they need to resolve in themselves.'

Agreed 100%, however I'm sure you acknowledge that in the short term, white the tooth is being pulled things will get worse before they get better.

'You are coming across as a group of woke individuals who consider those outside your field of view as rampant racists in KKK dress' - while maybe this statement could be seen as a little OTT, again it seems like the narrative at the moment is to consider anyone who is white and not actively out protesting to be actively racist. This is blatantly not the case.

'Racism isnt tittle tattle or tale telling. What people are being encouraged to do is to speak up about prejudice in the workplace.' - no-one is saying that genuine racism is tale telling. However, there will be people who use race to inflate any common grievance they have against another without justification, but the consequences to the individual so accused could be huge - loss of job, home and potentially life. The burden of proof in any of these type of cases seems to lie with the accused not the accuser.

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

'no-one is saying that genuine racism is tale telling'

Plenty of people are incapable of understanding what racism is, that is the whole point. For many, the fact that they 'didnt mean anything by it' or it was a part of 'how they have been brought up', makes what they have said or done, not genuinely racist. The fact that it has been inserted into this discussion so quickly, speaks volumes.

'However, there will be people who use race to inflate any common grievance they have against another without justification'

There will always be somebody who will misuse a grievance procedure, but the overwhelming majority who use it justifiably should not be tarnished by this unfortunare fact of life.

'The burden of proof in any of these type of cases seems to lie with the accused not the accuser'

Has this been established by documented cases or is it an assumption? Any investigator must take a complaint seriously, but then investigate further to establish proof. If you can show me the evidence where the system assumes guilt until you prove your innocence, I will be very interested to see it. My twenty years experience tells me that is guff.

 

 

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

OK, point 1 - yes, there are plenty of people who don't 'get' racism. These are the sort of people who, if they were told what they were saying was upsetting would change their ways. However, there are far too many who get and use racism only too well and if any attempt is made to educate them, well, it will just make them worse.

Point 2 - tricky one to balance - it's like the crying wolf story. Anonymity throughout any grievance procedure would be the ideal but this doesn't seem to happen. It seems that anyone can make a spurious grievance about anything with impunity because even if the grievance is unproven, no action is ever taken against the person making the grievance.

Point 3 - same as point 2. Mud sticks. My thirty years experience tells me this is true.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

You speak sense in this post, Tim. There will be those out there who just have an axe to grind, a big chip on their shoulder about a perceived non-racially motivated injustice and will use the racism angle to big it up. It's also true that any kind of protest polarises opinion and can make the situation worse, especially in the short term. HOWEVER, no-one should be made to feel inferior to anyone else for any reason.

I also agree with you when it seems that in the leftie world white automatically means racist. This is obviously not true and one thing I will never do is be ashamed of being a white British person going back umpteen generations (which seems to be what the media agenda is about) just as no-one should ever be ashamed or made to feel ashamed of being not so.

Cymraeg Locum, Locum pharmacist

The day when disciplinary action is taken against Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson for the racist statements he's made is the day when Britain actually gets serious about stamping out racism.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

And Prince Philip!

I would still argue that overall this country is one of the most tolerant in the world though. In an awful lot of countries, this argument would not only not be happening, it would not be ALLOWED to be happening. Racism is a far more complicated issue than can be sorted by disciplinary action against random politicians.

david williams, Community pharmacist

Dara and Lucky ex-locum are correct. The 34% who don't support action against racism are a worry.

|However, as the article adresses, racism comes in many forms. Ethnic minorities have as many internal biases (weaknesses) as the rest of us. Discussing it in an open and honest manner, is vital to changing all our perceptions. Even mine.

Tim B, Locum pharmacist

For goodness sake stop talking bollocks !

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Steady on. You cannot deny that racism exists - there are racist murders on the news more or less every week, I'm sure you've seen it with your own eyes (unless I'm being blindist) and there are undeniably people suffering because of it. In a supposedly civilised and professional arena like pharmacy, discrimination of any form has no place and anyone who says different is not fit for the position.

Not-So-Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

It's frankly appalling that a full third of pharmacy professionals (albeit from a small sample size which normally implies the only people who responded have very strong views one way or the other) think it not a disciplinary matter to be racist to a colleague. What is also worrying is that ONLY 886 people could be bothered to respond. This implies that the problem is actually bigger than the survey results would have us believe because a huge proportion don't really care (or it could be a simple case that only 886 people read the C and D website....). Freelance Chemist seems to think I am a racist because I believe it's in human nature, a view supported by the results of this survey. He's totally wrong. I am fully behind any campaign to eliminate any 'ism' you care to mention because I believe strongly in equality.

The sharing of experiences is a good place to start. Some of the things I have read recently have shocked me to the core, with actual physical racial abuse being given to people who are trying to help others. I have obviously never experienced this sort of thing - I'm in the majority as a white man, I'm quite big and if anyone gave me physical abuse, they would distinctly come off second best, but to hear the experiences of those that have is sobering. I genuinely thought that pharmacy was an inclusive place - the intra-pharmacy racism is particularly worrying.

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I have at no stage called you a racist. I don't know you how could I make such a claim? I just happen to not agree with your dismissive attitude towards such a vital topic...

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