COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: If, in addition to indemnity for your main employment, you would like cover for delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations please apply for our standalone extension Apply Today

Home  »   Latest News   »   Intersection – our Equality Newsletter

Intersection – our Equality Newsletter

Intersection is the PDA's newsletter bringing together news from all four PDA Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Networks. 

Sun 27th November 2022 The PDA

In January 2020, NAWP started its 115th year of enabling all women pharmacists to realise their full potential and raise their profile by being educationally, socially, and politically active. NAWP became part of the PDA forming the PDA NAWP Network and becoming our first EDI Network. In April 2020, we launched three further networks, the PDA BAME Network, the PDA Ability Network, and the PDA LGBT+ Network. We encourage all PDA members to get involved in the networks that are of interest to them.

In this issue:

  • Reasonable adjustments for trainee pharmacists undertaking GPhC assessments
  • PDA BAME Network launches Anti-racist Pharmacy Toolkit
  • Why are some voices louder than others?
  • Violence against women and girls
  • In case you missed it
  • Get involved

Reasonable adjustments for trainee pharmacists undertaking GPhC assessments

Trainee pharmacists undertaking assessments and exams are entitled to ask for reasonable adjustments to ensure that they are not disadvantaged.

Ellie Simpson, a PDA trainee pharmacist member, who sat the recent GPhC June 2022 paper exam at the problem-hit Nottingham test centre, was invited by us to share her experience directly with the GPhC at a well-attended listening event. Ellie also spoke for many others who reported to us how there were failings in the administration of hard-won reasonable adjustments which caused significant detriment to them on the day.

Ellie spoke of a situation where all candidates were left with no or little explanation or update. A whole day went by with exams finally starting well into the afternoon and candidates granted the reasonable adjustment of extra time facing finishing after midnight. Simple changes such as reduced brightness on the computer screen were not accommodated due to a lack of staff training, and Ellie was left feeling increasingly restless, agitated, and apprehensive.

Due to all the issues faced, Ellie had to make the heartbreaking decision to withdraw from the exam as she was not able to perform to the best of her ability. Ellie said, “I felt cheated and denied of the opportunity of taking the examination I had fully prepared for because of this blunder. I would have expected better in terms of the chaos being sorted out more efficiently under the circumstances. I continue to feel psychologically traumatised by what has happened. I cannot sleep and have this constant worry and anxiety about my future to be a pharmacist. I am left in a position where I am going to have to revise again and relive this trauma, and it feels unfair that I must wait until November to sit an exam that I had fully prepared for in June.

The GPhC need to review the whole exam process, including how they grant and administer reasonable adjustments, as it is not currently fit for purpose. This is such a high stakes exam, the pressure is immense, so, something needs to change.”

Whilst application for the November 2022 assessment is now closed, we will continue to work with individuals to ensure they are fully supported and have regular discussions with the GPhC to improve processes and hold them to account where appropriate. The PDA Ability Network is committed to promoting the right to reasonable adjustments at all stages of a pharmacist’s career, and is working to highlight access, tools, and funding available to level the employment playing field.

PDA BAME Network launches Anti-racist Pharmacy Toolkit

The PDA BAME Committee has officially launched the Anti-Racist Pharmacy Toolkit, which was announced at the 2022 Clinical Pharmacy Congress.An online member event launched the PDA Anti-racist Pharmacy Toolkit. The event included a demonstration of how members can use the toolkit to work together to address inequality and discrimination in their workplace.

The event opened up with Elsy Gomez Campos, President of the PDA BAME Network, who gave an overview of issues raised by network members. The event also included broader professional issues including over-representation of BAME pharmacists in fitness to practice complaints, under-representation of BAME pharmacists in leadership roles, limited access to post-graduate education, and bullying and discrimination in the workplace.

Elsy concluded her opening statement by reminding members of what an exemplary pharmacy profession should look like which is about “being treated fairly and being offered the same opportunities to those that do not look like us.”

Manuella Asso, PDA organising assistant, and PDA BAME Network Coordinator, explained what the Anti-Racist Pharmacy Toolkit is about. A toolkit for representatives, members, and other pharmacists to assess their workplaces and to help them take collective action to create an anti-racist workplace culture and environment.


“Why are some voices louder than others?” A reflection on ‘acceptable’ LGBT+ identity

By senior clinical lead at LVNDR Health and co-opted
member of the PDA LGBT+ Network, Josh Wells (he/him)
In our latest member voice, senior clinical lead at LVNDR Health and co-opted member of the PDA LGBT+ Network, Josh Wells (he/him) reflects on ‘acceptable’ LGBT+ identity and meaningful representation in the LGBT+ community.

Often, people will ask me as an openly queer person “Do you ever receive abuse for being gay?” The answer is simply, yes. Yes, I hear the hushed tones of people that stare and gossip behind my back, I see the awkward reaction on someone’s face when they find out I live with a guy and we’re planning to have kids, and I feel the slow sense of worry creep into conversations when people panic they’re going to say the wrong thing around me. But in truth, despite these experiences, I live a wonderful life, free from physical and verbal abuse, with access to my own home that I own and a job where my identity is celebrated. I can say confidently that these juxtapositions of experiencing affirmation and rejection, joy and fear, inclusion, and isolation, are a part of daily life for many of my queer friends, peers, and members of the LGBT+ community.

Our struggle to tip the scales in our favour, to educate, raise awareness, and create a safe space for us to exist is something that we continue to strive for every day. Yet, when I read the PinkNews article that describes the racism experienced by Black, Asian and Latinx members of the community in openly LGBT+ venues ahead of Manchester Pride in August, it served as a poignant reminder of the discrimination and abuse faced by minorities even within a minority. This report also serves as a reminder of my own privilege. I’m white, cisgender, and “not too gay”, a phrase that’s often perceived to be complementary, but in fact means quite the opposite to many proud LGBT+ people. These traits alone do not make me immune to abuse, but without any doubt they allow me to navigate my life more easily than those without these privileges.



Violence against women and girls

By community/GP pharmacist and President of the PDA NAWP Network, Ayah Abbass, and
community and locum pharmacist and Immediate Past President of the PDA NAWP Network, Naina Chotai
President of the PDA NAWP Network, Ayah Abbass, and Immediate Past President of the PDA NAWP Network, Naina Chotai discuss violence and abuse against women and why it’s often seen as easier to blame the victim of domestic violence.

In 2022, it should not be the case that many women and girls have daily concerns about their safety or fear violence or abuse against them. High-profile cases, such as the murder of Sarah Everard in London in 2021, have ignited the debate and prompted women and girls to share their experiences around their feelings of safety and fear of violence in usual, everyday situations.

These incidents manifest in a variety of ways, such as catcalling, harassment, assault, and being generally concerned about the risks to their wellbeing and safety when going about their daily business. However, when finding the courage to raise concerns or seeking support, it can often be easier for those expected to stand up against unacceptable behaviour to blame the victim. This can undermine confidence significantly and results in failure to tackle the issue head-on.


Victim-blaming, be it direct, indirect or unconscious, occurs when a victim of a crime is seen as being at fault for the harm that they have experienced.

We need to ask the fundamental question, why is it easier to blame the victim? Why is it easier to point the finger at a woman and say it was ‘her fault’? We have seen on social media how women get blamed after horrendous traumas. We have heard ‘why was she wearing that?’, ‘she was asking for it’ and so on.

In case you missed it

Get involved

Membership of the PDA’s EDI Networks is open to all UK pharmacists, former pharmacists, and all UK pharmacy students and trainee pharmacists. This is regardless of age, race, gender, sexual identity, disability, nationality, hours worked, or employment status. Pharmacists do not need to identify as BAME, disabled, LGBT+, or as women in order to join those networks. All networks welcome allies, people who will support equality and fairness for all.

You do not need to be a member of the PDA to join, though PDA members do benefit from a discounted membership fee. PDA members can join a network for £10 per year, retired members for £20 per year, and non-PDA members for £30 per year. In accordance with our support for future pharmacists, membership of the networks is FREE for PDA student members and trainees (PDA student and trainee membership is also FREE).





The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

Cookie Use

This website uses cookies to help us provide the best user experience. If you continue browsing you are giving your consent to our use of cookies.

General Guidance Resources Surveys PDA Campaigns Regulations Locums Indemnity Arrangements Pre-Regs & Students FAQs Coronavirus (COVID-19)