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Home  »   BAMELatest News   »   BAME Pharmacists’ Network – October 2021

BAME Pharmacists’ Network – October 2021

Welcome to this month's BAME Pharmacists' Network Update.

Fri 29th October 2021 The PDA

Welcome to this month’s BAME Pharmacists’ Network Update. Read about how the network celebrated Black History Month 2021 with an online event titled ‘No more tick boxes’. Also, in case you missed it, see the PDA’s article ‘Celebrating Black History Month 2021’ and find out more about the Race and Ethnicity Terminology Factsheet that was launched by the network last month. Learn more. 

In this issue: 

  • BAME Pharmacists’ Network celebrates Black History Month with an online event
  • Reforming a school of pharmacy to promote racial inclusion via a student-staff partnership project
  • Pregnant and working during the pandemic
  • Empowering BAME pharmacists to improve health outcomes in the BAME community
  • My journey into global health
  • Keep up to date with the BAME Pharmacists’ Network on social media
We encourage you to share this mailing with like-minded colleagues. 

BAME Pharmacists’ Network celebrates Black History Month with an online event

Earlier this month, the PDA BAME Pharmacists’ Network celebrated Black History Month 2021 with an online event titled ‘No more tick boxes’. The event featured the author, Roger Kline, Research Fellow at Middlesex University and former NHS Equality Director.

The discussion with Roger Kline was centred on his ‘No More Tick Boxes’ report that highlights the principles drawn from research evidence that would promote fairer recruitment and career progression especially for practitioners from BAME backgrounds with a focus on the public sector.

Elsy Gomez Campos, BAME Pharmacists’ Network President, opened the event which was then chaired by Dorothy Egede, the network’s Honorary Secretary. Roger Kline shared with the group his motivation for writing the report and stated that seeing minority groups being treated unfairly at work sparked him to question whether the systems currently in place to help tackle race discrimination in the workplace are actually working or have they ever worked. Roger determined that in isolation, policies won’t bring about the change needed.

Roger emphasised the importance of inserting accountability as it focuses on organisations and helps to change behaviours. He further underpinned the need to scrutinise, debias and remove affinity processes in order to remove discrimination and make recruitment and development fair.

LEARN MORE

Reforming a school of pharmacy to promote racial inclusion via a student-staff partnership project 

By Adanna Anthony-Okeke, fourth-year University of Nottingham student
 

BAME Network Coordinator, Manuella Asso interviewed Adanna Anthony-Okeke on her recently launched report, ‘Reforming a United Kingdom School of Pharmacy.’

The report was published in June 2021 and highlights the need for greater inclusion and diversity within both pharmacy-related learning materials and learning environments. The report took about eight months to complete and was created by Adanna and a team of pharmacist colleagues at the University of Nottingham.

Adanna explained she was motivated to start the project following an experience where she asked a lecturer what cyanosis – a condition that causes your lips or skin to turn blue, would look like on a black person.

Dissatisfied with the response, she was forced to conduct her own research to find this out. Another triggering instance was when she witnessed an actor during a simulation in an OSCE exam make disparaging and stereotypical comments about African countries.

Due to these situations, this report has been created to help educate students on the diverse needs of minority groups and in turn deliver an adequate level of care to all. The students’ primary focus was tackling the decolonisation of the curriculum.

The findings showed a lack of representation of conditions on black skin, minimal statistics about conditions largely affecting black people, and a lack of representation of black healthcare professionals. The students made recommendations such as including relevant information within the teachings. The suggestions received widespread acclaim from the staff, and some members of staff had reported making changes to their learning materials after reading the report.

Additionally, Adanna described the positive response from her university and their willingness to get things right. Lastly, on allyship, Adanna praised some lecturers for taking ownership and recognising that their lack of cultural awareness in relation to health during their degree, could have resulted in having a negative impact on their communication with ethnic minority groups. 

Adanna emphasised the importance of being an ally of the BAME community and concluded that “Allyship is about working towards creating diverse and inclusive communities and standing up for the rights of those who are marginalised.”

Learn more

  • The full report can be found here
  • Mind the Gap is a clinical handbook of signs and symptoms in black and brown skin
  • More information on how to become an ally of the BAME Network can be found here
  • Proud to be an ally by Paul Draycott

Pregnant and working during the pandemic

By Rachel Francis-Nweke, Urgent Care
and General Practice Clinical Pharmacist
 

“Could I work from home one day a  week?” I asked.

Being the only black person within my  General Practic


I asked to work from home one day a    week, not due to the pandemic, but  because of the fatigue I began to feel  being  34 weeks pregnant and already    having to look after 2 children under 3.  This request was granted, but it wasn’t  easy. I had to self-advocate perhaps due to  my low-risk assessment and because I  appeared to be coping well.
e team, meant I  had risks unique to me within the setting  according to Covid studies. My risk  assessment was however low, but I had  refused the vaccine at the time as it had  only become available with limited  information on pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

This meant having uncomfortable conversations regarding legal obligations in pregnancy as per ACAS which technically were independent of the pandemic.

All my clinics however, switched to telephone and it was striking a balance between protecting my physical health and mental health. Coming to work meant I would not be isolated at home, so reducing my days onsite was a better compromise for me.

What advice would I give to anyone else in the same position? Here are my top tips:

  • Familiarise yourself with your legal rights in pregnancy. ACAS is a great site for this.
  • Be prepared that there may be an unconscious bias, but don’t assume it is the case.
  • Find someone in authority you trust to be honest and open about your concerns, it could be your line manager or practice manager for example.
  • Ensure you ask for a risk assessment if you have not had one. It is important that everyone is on the same page (and follow the recommendations).
  • Do not be afraid to advocate for yourself. It can be exhausting but it is necessary. Black women typically carry ‘stress’ well, which means we need to speak up if we need support. If you do not speak up, those that can support you will not know that you need it.
  • If you feel that social distancing or mask-wearing is an issue, again speak to someone you trust and remove yourself from that environment or colleague as soon as possible.
  • If you are a member of the PDA please contact them if you are having problems exercising your rights at work.

Remember: The decisions you make at this point are to protect yourself and an unborn child that has no voice.

Learn more

  • Public Health England – Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19
  • ACAS – Your maternity leave, pay and other rights
  • Read Rachel’s health blog here
  • Download the PDA’s ‘discrimination and the pregnant employee’ guide here
  • Download the PDA’s ‘Covid-19 risk assessment tool’ here

Empowering BAME pharmacists to improve health outcomes in the BAME community

By Nana Adusei, Pharmacy Lead Avon Valley PCN
and Pharmacist Manager at LloydsPharmacy

 

With the many stories coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the sense of community has characterised who we are as professionals.

At the height of the pandemic, when doors to other services in primary care were left ajar, to put it mildly, community pharmacy stayed on course, providing invaluable in-person services to the public.

Our profession is worth celebrating, and as it’s Black History Month, I could not be prouder of the overdue recognition being given to colleagues from the Black, Asian, and other minority ethnicities, especially our female colleagues.

Empowered pharmacists from ethnic minorities could play an integral role in the promotion and uptake of various health services within the BAME community.

The NICE Quality Statement 167 highlights the ever-present need to involve health professionals who culturally identify with the BAME community, in the design and implementation of health and wellbeing programmes.

This is needed now more than ever, as one of the talking points out of the pandemic has been the disproportionately large impact of Covid-19 on the BAME community.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning the success of the PDA’s #GetVaccinated campaign, which encourages its BAME members to actively promote the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines within their communities.

Learn more

  • NICE – Promoting health and preventing premature mortality in black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups
  • The PDA’s #GetVaccinated campaign
  • Download the PDA’s Covid-19 vaccine FAQ’s here

My journey into global health

By Edwin Panford-Quainoo, Global Health Pharmacist 

 

After obtaining my degree in pharmacy, I started my professional journey working as a relief pharmacist for Boots across the East of England. Whilst at Boots, I completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy. I left Boots to join Chiesi as a Clinical Support Pharmacist, I then returned to Boots but this time as a Group Pharmacy Manager. After a few years, I joined LloydsPharmacy where I was initially store-based and later became a Professional Support Manager.

With regards to my journey into global health, this all started when I decided to venture out of the UK and went to Australia where I was mainly based at the Alfred Hospital.

Upon my return to the UK, I then moved to Ghana where I also registered and practiced as a pharmacist. Following my experiences in the two countries, I felt the strong urge to pursue my Master’s in Public Health which I eventually completed at the University of Liverpool. In 2019, I left LloydsPharmacy to pursue a PhD in Global Health, which in the current global situation has been quite pertinent, at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

The highlight of my career so far has to be being awarded Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Global Fellowship. This came about by being part of the Faculty of Public (UK) and Ghana Public Health Association partnership that was awarded funding as part of CwPAMS. Another notable career highlight was winning care home business of the year (East of England).

The highlights have not been without their challenges such as the patient who clearly stated he did not want to be served by me because I was black. More recently at the beginning of the pandemic, there were several instances where customers coming to the various community pharmacy felt my ethnicity once again was a source to direct their abuse. In circumstances like these, I have learned to stay calm and gather my thoughts. I have also learned to become a more reflective practitioner. In a lot of cases discussing the incidents with my mentors has been a great support, and I would encourage all young pharmacists out there to have a mentor especially for moments like that when you need an external point of view.

Learn more

  • Read Edwin’s feature in Cambridgeshire Live on his experience receiving racial abuse during the pandemic
  • Download the BAME Network’s Race and Ethnicity Terminology Factsheet here
  • Racial abuse is an act of violence. Learn more about the PDA’s zero tolerance of abuse in pharmacies campaign here

Keep up to date with the BAME
Pharmacists’ Network on social media 

Follow the BAME Network on social media by clicking on the icons below.

Please use the hashtag #PDAbame in your posts when discussing any relevant topics and issues, as this will also help you connect with other pharmacists in the network.

VISIT THE BAME SECTION OF THE PDA WEBSITE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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