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RPS: Government must act on second BAME Covid report

Royal Pharmaceutical Society England board chair Claire Anderson has said the Government must act urgently on the recommendations in a report released today on the impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

The second report by Public Health England on the inequalities surrounding the disease claims “historic racism” has put ethnic minorities at greater risk from the virus, with people from BAME communities less likely than other groups to raise concerns about contracting the disease at work or seek help.

Black and Asian people account for the highest number of deaths from coronavirus.

The report outlines seven recommendations, including mandatory collection of ethnicity data on death certifications and improving access to NHS, local government and other services for BAME communities.

“After constructive discussions with Public Health England we welcome the publication of the second part of its report. The Government now needs to turn recommendations into actions and urgently address the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities,” Ms Anderson said.

“The report rightly recognises the need to protect BAME staff working in health and care. We have already written to the Equalities Minister, urging the Government to engage across the health professions so that everyone on the frontline has the support they need.

“It also highlights the importance of increasing diverse leadership at all levels in health and care system. We know that the pharmacy profession is no exception and we’ll be talking about this more in our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy due to be published next week.”

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