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Industry bodies: BAME pharmacy teams need more COVID-19 support

The RPS and UKBPA have called on ministers to better support BAME pharmacy workers
The RPS and UKBPA have called on ministers to better support BAME pharmacy workers

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and UK Black Pharmacists Association (UKBPA) have called for greater government support for pharmacy team members from a BAME background.

Following a Public Health England (PHE) report last week  (June 2) that recognised that COVID-19 disproportionately affects BAME groups, the RPS and UKBPA have jointly written to ministers in England, Scotland and Wales calling for greater support for this group.

Sent yesterday (June 10) , the letter comes in three different iterations, addressed to the UK government and to the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales respectively.

In a statement accompanying the letter, the RPS and UKBPA said they “call on ministers to engage with the pharmacy profession to bring about real change to support and protect our workforce”. 

The RPS in England letter, addressed to equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, said the organisations “would welcome a discussion” on how the government plans to “support BAME pharmacists and team members working on the frontline”.

At the time of publication (June 11), C+D was aware of six pharmacy team members who had died of the virus in the UK, four of whom were from BAME backgrounds.

“With 43% of registered pharmacists from a BAME community, we would urge you to engage with the pharmacy profession to bring about real change to support and protect our workforce,” the RPS and UKBPA added.

In the England letter, the representative bodies called for a “robust risk assessment” and protection for people from BAME backgrounds and those who are more vulnerable to  coronavirus due to underlying health conditions.

“There are also wider questions about how we encourage inclusion and diversity across the health service, promoting equality of opportunity, and supporting people from more diverse backgrounds into NHS leadership roles,” they  added in the England and Scotland letters

The RPS and UKBPA letter in Scotland was addressed to Christina McKelvie, minister for older people and equalities, and in Wales to Jane Hutt, deputy minister and chief whip.

8 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of the letters?

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

I see people here are graduated from the Sandra Gidley school of diversity training.....

 

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

It isn't discriminatory to say that everyone is worthy of equal protection. There are reasons why BAME people are disproportionately affected but those reasons aren't known yet. Yes, there needs to be research done to find out why, but right now, because no-one knows exactly why, the response for a BAME person with a recognised vulnerability to Covid has to be the same as for anyone else with a vulnerability for WHATEVER reason. It isn't racist or discriminatory to say this. You could spend months doing the research and inquiries as to the reasons for the BAME vulnerability but how many would die while you were doing it? Just get as many protections as possible in place NOW and sort out the fine print later.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I belong to the BAME class, so I suggest the Govt should send all BAME staff on a paid holiday to self isolate until this situation is under control. Other than this, I don't think there is anything else can be done that is different to what is currently being done for anyone with high risk. 

Why these so called representative bodies only talk? as in demanding MORE to be done and invite for Discussions. Why not spell out exactly what the MORE is and be done with it. As if the problems are always sorted out by Discussing? They just like to create a euphoric atmosphere by making press statements to show that they exist (for the fees paid) and they do care. What a tosh.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

NO FAIR!!! I'm fat and got high blood pressure so can I have a paid holiday too? They are both risk factors as well. I'm also probably older than you so I deserve it more for putting up with pharmacy for longer!

Well said though - risk is risk whatever the cause and everyone is worthy of equal protection.

mark straughton, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Had absolutely no idea UKBPA existed! Why?!!!!

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

The fact you don't understand is the very problem. Not shocking and not surprising.

mark straughton, Pharmaceutical Adviser

There is no problem, as far as I'm concerned. As a black male I've never been made aware of this organisation nor would I even need such an organisation to represent me. 

I think ironically you're the problem......for your own problem!! 

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

'In the England letter, the representative bodies called for a “robust risk assessment” and protection for people from BAME backgrounds and those who are more vulnerable to  coronavirus due to underlying health conditions.'

This is basically what I said in another post and got accused of calling BAME people a disease. Are you going to have a pop at the RPS and UKBPA, Capt FX?

 

 

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