Your safety is our top priority. The protection of frontline pharmacists and their teams, especially those in at-risk groups, could not be more important.
You should never have to feel that your health is endangered in your workplace. We’ve pushed hard to get you the risk assessments you need to stay safe. Back in May we talked with the Pharmacy Minister about this and raised awareness through online events. We spoke out strongly when ONS data revealed black people are four times more likely to die of Covid19 than those of white ethnicity and called for mandatory risk assessments for high risk groups. We also called for the Government to publish a full action plan after the review from Public Health England into Covid19 and higher risk health professionals. And they did.
Along with the UK Black Pharmacists Association (UKBPA), we’ve pressed ministers in England, Scotland and Wales to support BAME pharmacists and team members to deliver frontline care safely. We also worked together on a survey showing more than two-thirds of BAME pharmacists haven’t yet had a workplace risk assessment and developed a clear set of actions for all employers across primary and secondary care.
The good news is that the NHS in England has now stated risk assessments must take place across all settings within four weeks for pharmacists in at risk groups. Welsh and Scottish Governments have also introduced risk assessment tools that can be used by individuals and their workplace. We’ll be running another survey towards the end of the month to check if you’ve had one. We’ll continue to speak up for our profession and demand that your safety is a priority.
We also asked the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to make it compulsory for patients to wear a face covering in pharmacies, as well as hospitals, to ensure consistency across the NHS. They agreed. Please see the RPS updated guidance section for more information.
Finally, many of you asked us if pharmacy teams are exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge. Again, we talked to the DHSC on your behalf – and they’ve now confirmed that migrant pharmacists and pharmacy technicians won’t have to pay. We’re now urgently pressing government for further clarification on when and how this will be implemented.
We’re continuing to speak to governments across the country, the NHS, the media and other pharmacy organisations to champion pharmacy and resolve the issues which matter to you.
Please tell us about any issues you would like us to raise via [email protected]
Find out what else we’ve been lobbying for.