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GPhC: review risk assessments in light of BAME Covid-19 risk

Pharmacy owners and employers are being encouraged by the General Pharmaceutical Council to review their risk assessments and consider what further actions they could take to protect staff and patients following the findings of Public Health England’s report on Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19.

“Data collected by Public Health England clearly demonstrate that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19. The report’s recommendations highlight the importance of using occupational risk assessments within the workplace to help identify and protect staff at increased risk in relation to Covid-19,” says the GPhC.

Pharmacy owners have an important responsibility to identify and manage the risks associated with providing pharmacy services, the GPhC continues. This includes using appropriate risk assessment tools to identify at-risk and vulnerable people within their team, including staff from BAME backgrounds, along with other vulnerable groups, such as those with existing health conditions.

GPhC guidance for employers who are employing provisionally-registered pharmacists will advise that individual risk assessments to identify those at increased risk from Covid-19 should be carried out as part of the wider risk assessment before the provisionally-registered pharmacist starts work.

“Information and guidance has been produced by a range of organisations, including NHS England, the Health and Safety Executive, the PSNC, the RPS and the PDA, which pharmacy employers could use to undertake these risk assessments and to identify and mitigate risks to staff and to patients,” says the GPhC.

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