PDA respond to government delay in publishing BAME protective measures against COVID-19 

Given that 43% of registered Pharmacists in the UK are from the BAME community, this is an issue of great importance within our profession. 

Fri 19th June 2020 The PDA

The PDA was deeply concerned by the delay by the government in releasing a report containing advice on how to protect black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people from coronavirus.  

The report contains safeguarding proposals for BAME communities and was originally an annex to the wider PHE COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes report but was apparently removed after submission to ministers but before publicationGiven that 43% of registered pharmacists in the UK are from the BAME community, this is an issue of great importance within our professionWe know of four pharmacists that have lost their lives to COVID-19all of whom were of a BAME background.  

During the pandemic, community pharmacies have experienced a surge in demand and increased footfall has resulted in increased risk of coronavirus transmission to Pharmacists and their teams. At a time when our BAME community is in a state of high alert due to coronavirus, the delay in releasing a report seeking to improve safety has done nothing to reassure the pharmacy workforce. The announcement of yet another government commissioned ‘review’ of inequality could be viewed as an attempt to delay meaningful action once again. The PDA condemns this delay and strongly urges the government to take steps to implement the recommendations within the report in a timely manner. Every day, further lives are lost during the pandemic and it is critical that the sector is given time and support to implement any proposed changes to help ensure the safety of our vulnerable members.  

The PDA believe that there must be a public inquiry into the handling of this pandemic and lessons learned in preparedness for future pandemic situations.  The handling of this information is another factor that will need to be examined. 

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