The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Black Pharmacists Association (UKBPA) have launched a survey on Friday (June 12) to ensure the safety of pharmacists and pre-registration students at workplace during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey aims to probe whether employers have started to implement risk assessments and make adaptations to working environments to enable pharmacy teams to work safely.

Following publication of guidance from NHS organisations across England, Scotland and Wales, the NHS and other employers should be providing risk assessments for staff potentially exposed to Covid-19.

The survey assumes significance in the backdrop of recent data that demonstrated the disproportionate impact of the virus on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff, teams and the wider community.

Robbie Turner, RPS Director of Pharmacy and Member Experience,  said: “We’re deeply concerned about the risks to our workforce are facing especially BAME colleagues and want to ensure that they are fully protected on the frontline. Implementing effective risk assessments and making any necessary adaptations to the working environment is an important way of reducing risk and must be done as a matter of urgency.

“Working with the UKBPA, we’ve developed a short survey find out how many pharmacists have actually had risk assessments after the instruction to do so was issued by the NHS.

“Our survey will give clarity on the situation so far and the work yet to do. I urge you to complete the survey as we’ll take the results to governments and employers for action.”

Elsy Gomez Campos, President of the UKBPA, said: “We urgently need visible leadership from managers on this vital issue. We want to work together to find new ways of working to protect staff without compromising patients’ care, ensuring decisions are fair and unbiased.

“Unnecessary delays to appropriate risk assessments could cost lives. Nobody should be left out, with the same safety considerations for all, including locum and temporary staff.”

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