The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), alongside the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) and NHS England, has developed a joint set of principles to improve inclusion, diversity and belonging in pharmacy.
A joint statement, published on 25 September 2020, outlines the principles, which aim to “create a safe environment for real change”. The bodies hope to make pharmacy professionals “an exemplar among UK health professionals for equality, diversity, inclusion, fairness and belonging”, and commit to a “zero tolerance” policy towards harassment, bullying and discrimination in the workplace.
They also pledge to proactively seek to learn about, and understand, communities and cultures with the aim of offering better care, and to champion national and local policies and initiatives to address health and workforce inequalities.
The statement was developed following a roundtable on inclusive pharmacy professional practice, which was held on 5 August 2020 and hosted by Sandra Gidley, president of the RPS; Liz Fidler, president of APTUK; and Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer for England.
The RPS said that all national pharmacy organisations in England have signed up to the joint statement of principles, adding: “We’re now developing key priorities for action which we’ll all work together on, reporting back to a second roundtable in early 2021.”
Gidley said that the Society’s ambition “is that pharmacy takes the lead amongst all the healthcare professions for championing inclusion, diversity and belonging. Our own inclusion and diversity strategy embodies this and is being progressed with the support of our Action in Belonging, Culture and Diversity group members.
“Creating change isn’t easy and requires us to challenge ourselves to understand our communities better. In this way we will not only become more effective practitioners but our whole workforce will benefit.
“Embracing inclusive practice will enable us all to take an active part in improving patient care and bring about a positive and lasting impact on the profession.”
Amandeep Doll, the RPS’s inclusion and diversity co-ordinator, recently spoke to The Pharmaceutical Journal about the Society’s I&D strategy. The full interview can be read here.