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The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) is partnering with the NHS and other national organisations across the pharmacy sector to co-produce a plan to develop inclusive pharmacy practice in England.

As part of its efforts to include all industry stakeholders in the latest initiative, the NHS has urged all verticals of the healthcare sector to engage with the new plan and provide their valuable support to ensure inclusivity in the pharmacy sector.

The call for an inclusive pharmacy practice came in the wake of a distressing impact of health inequalities on people’s lives, which have been amplified since the onset of Covid-19.

It aims to celebrate the diversity within the healthcare sector by providing equal care for all communities including BAME where there is a higher prevalence of the serious diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma among many others.

Chief pharmaceutical officer for England Dr Keith Ridge wrote recently in a blog: “We’d like pharmacy professionals across all sectors of healthcare to engage with and implement this plan and to make it a priority in whatever way works for you and your team, so becoming more inclusive becomes a part of everyday practice.

“The distressing impact of health inequalities on people’s lives, which has been amplified since the onset of Covid-19, demonstrates we have a long way to go as professionals to genuinely understand, celebrate and make the most of the benefits of our diversity for improved healthcare provision.

“It couldn’t be more important as we know that developing culturally sensitive healthcare is key to preventing ill-health, increasing vaccine uptake and protection from serious disease, and managing long-term conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma, that are of higher prevalence in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and which increase the risk of someone being more adversely affected by Covid-19.”

Alison Jones, director of stakeholder engagement at the PDA, said: “Working for equality is, and always has been, at the core of what the PDA does for our members both in individual casework support and collectively through our policy and campaigning. The PDA exists to be the voice of individual pharmacists and we recognise that more is needed to be done to ensure that the voice of stakeholders includes all parts of the profession regarding protected characteristics.”

Last year, PDA’s policy head Alima Batchelor attended a national roundtable meeting in August last year, which identified the plan’s themes and content. The aim of the roundtable meeting was to work collaboratively to develop and embed inclusive pharmacy professional practice into everyday care for patients and members of the public.

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