More work needed to tackle institutional racism, says RPS

Commenting on yesterday’s report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, RPS President Sandra Gidley said:

“While the report focusses on the health inequalities experiences by Black, Asian and minority communities, we are extremely disappointed in the reports’ playing down of institutional racism across the UK and its assertion that ‘very few’ of the impediments and disparities that exists within society are directly to do with racism. There are many determinants of health, as evidence shows there is a complex interplay of deprivation, environmental, physiological, behavioural and cultural factors. These health inequalities are further driven by social context such as structural racism, which is well documented.

“A report like this had the potential to give a voice to individuals and communities who unfortunately experience racism. It had a unique opportunity to lead on real and lasting, positive change. However, the tone and content of the report unfortunately leads us to conclude that this has been a missed opportunity.

“We at RPS have been listening carefully to the experiences of our diverse membership to better understand the racism they face, both within their professional and day to day lives. The lived experiences of our members simply do not concur with those made in the commission’s report. Institutional and systemic racism still has an impact in society and is notable within the pharmacy profession, particularly in the over-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals in Fitness to Practice cases and the differential attainment gap for black pre-registration pharmacists.

“Finally, in light of the commission’s report, we want to reassure our membership that we will continue to listen to them and reflect their views and experiences in all our activity. We are fully committed to implement our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy and to fulfil the commitments made in our recently published Anti-Racist Statement to create a more unified profession that stands with the communities we serve.”