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GPhC responds to accusation of racism from former member

By Isabel Shaw

29 Jun 2020

The GPhC has publicly acknowledged and responded to a comment made in the Pharmacist against a former council member.

The comment from the GPhC, which was posted on Twitter last week, comes after pharmacist Mohammed Hussain, wrote a blog for the Pharmacist on racism in the pharmacy sector. In this, he said a white GPhC council member had ‘brazenly’ told him that he had ‘only got the role [of council member] because [he] ticked a box’.

The GPhC statement said it was ‘very concerned’ over Mr Hussain’s comments, saying that what was said ‘does not in any way reflect the ethos or values of our council’.

The pharmacy regulator added: ‘Our council members are fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and strongly support our developing EDI [equality, diversity, inclusion] strategy. We all recognise that we have more work to do now and in the future to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion throughout our work. And we will continue to challenge ourselves on our own assumptions and unconscious bias.’

Last week, the Pharmacist conducted a survey which uncovered racial abuse in community pharmacy, and which revealed that the majority (75%) of racial abuse and discrimination that happens in community pharmacy goes unreported. Of this, almost half (49%) of people didn’t tell anyone and kept quiet about their experience.

For those respondents who witnessed or faced racist abuse or discrimination, almost all of that abuse was verbal (98%). And most of the abuse was coming from the public (75%).

Much racist abuse goes unreported because victims are told to ‘stay quiet and not complain’, explained Elsy Gomez Campos, president of The UK Black Pharmacists Association (UKBPA).

’I’ve worked in pharmacy for over 20 years, and for as long as I kept quiet and never complained about racial discrimination, I was fine.

‘As soon as I spoke out about racism, I became a victim of abuse,’ she said.

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