The Idea behind UKBPA
We have seen ample amounts of data indicating a differential experience and outcomes for black pharmacists compared to other ethnic groups. These inequalities have been evident for a while now but are under documented and therefore hidden. One too many black pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists and students have experienced racial discrimination arising from conscious or unconscious bias.
UKBPA aims to create practical solutions to the current inequalities faced by black pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and students in the UK. This is because we strongly believe that patients and indeed society at large are best served if all pharmacists are allowed to reach their full potential, independent of colour, nationality or ethnicity.
Founder and President of UKBPA
Elsy is a visionary black pharmacist with strong leadership and managerial skills. Elsy has worked for the NHS for more than 20 years covering various clinical and non-clinical roles. Elsy founded UKBPA in 2018 and has shown her determination to create a culture of inclusivity within pharmacy and tackle racial discrimination both herself and other black pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and pharmacy students have experienced.
Spurred by all too familiar experience of racial discrimination and publications of discriminatory reports such as the Snowy white peaks, Elsy knew an organisation needed to be created to advocate inclusion and equality of black members within the pharmacy profession.
With this Elsy created the UKBPA with two main visions in mind:
1. To lead the way in showcasing the outstanding contributions that black pharmacists make to the pharmacy profession
2. Raise awareness of racial discrimination experienced by black members of the association
To the stories of UKBPA members and providing welfare support either financially, academically or professionally
The outstanding contributions of members in the community, hospital, industry and academia to the greater profession
relationships through creating a platform that positively reinforces networking and mentorship opportunities for UKBPA members
from our research we make recommendations to organisations and institutions to affect positive change
We reveal the factors that limits choices and fulfilments and amplify the voices of Black pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and students in order to drive real change and reduce racial discrimination.
We do this in four ways
The story so far.
UKBPA aims to create practical solutions to the current inequalities faced by black pharmacists in the UK. These inequalities have been evident for a while now but are under-documented and therefore hidden.
The most recently available figures show that:
In 2016, Black African students achieved a pass rate of 66.2%, the lowest of all the listed ethnicities. Yet, despite promises to address this, the prominent organisations in pharmacy, pharmacy training organisations and the pharmacy schools have failed to provide a tangible solution.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data for academic years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 suggests there is a 15% point awarding gap (also known as attainment gap) between white pharmacy students and black, pharmacy students in the UK
A report published by NHS England last year found that there had been a rise in Black and minority staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from colleagues from 27% in 2016 to 29% in 2019, while their white counterparts’ figure remained at 24%.
The “snowy white peaks” of the NHS research report showed that black and ethnic minorities made up only 2.5% of very senior managerial roles of London NHS trust boards, despite more than two in five of their workforce being from a BME background.
In 2017, Pharmacists who identified as 'Black African' constituted 8.6% of fitness-to-practice cases. 'Black African' pharmacists only make up 5.6% of the profession - which equates to a 46.7% over-representation in fitness-to-practice. This is in contrast to a 36.6% under-representation of their white counterparts
The data reflects a problem, which has existed for a long time, but which is under-reported. We feel that it is important to address these issues and to get the views of those being discriminated against if we are to develop tangible solutions.
Part of this includes, discussing racial discrimination that exists within pharmacy, here are some highlights:
Elsy Gomez Campos: Why I founded the UK Black Pharmacist Association. Chemist and Druggist [14/04/21]
Elsy Gomez Campos: 'There are too many excuses justifying the unjustifiable'. Pharmaceutical Journal. [30/07/20]
‘Many black pharmacists have had uncomfortable risk assessments’. Chemist and Druggist. [08/07/20]
Coronavirus: 70% of BAME pharmacists have had no risk assessment - survey. BBC News. [26/06/20]
Elsy Gomez Campos: Why racist abuse in pharmacy goes unreported. The Pharmacist. [25/06/20]
How the Black Lives Matter protests affect community pharmacy. Chemist and Druggist. [19/06/20]
OPINION: The time for change is now. Pharmacy Business. [12/06/20]
Pass rate gap widens for black trainees in preregistration exam. Pharmaceutical Journal. [13/09/19]
Ethnicity pay gap for UK pharmacists increases. Pharmaceutical Journal. [26/09/19]
Collaborating with organisations:
In June 2020, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and UKBPA joined forces to publish the first diversity and inclusion strategy document
In June 2021, Primary Healthcare development and UKBPA launched a bursary award and mentorship programme aimed at reducing the attainment gap amongst colleagues of Black-African origin