The GPhC has published an initial analysis of diversity data of professionals involved in its Fitness to Practise process in 2021/22, looking specifically at concerns received and investigated, statutory outcomes of closed concerns and progression through the process. 

The analysis focuses on the protected characteristics of age, ethnicity and sex, for all concerns received and closed in 2021/22. The analysis found some statistically significant over and under-representation of some groups at different points in the process, although in many cases this is based on small numbers. 

Key Findings

  • Significantly fewer concerns received for White ethnicity and over representation of
    concerns received for all other ethnicities.
  • Statistically significant over representation of concerns received for male pharmacists and under representation for female
  • Significant relationship between age and the number of concerns received for the age categories of <25 and 25-34.
  • For concerns that go to investigation – over representation for pharmacists aged 35-44.
  • For all concerns closed – there was no statistically significant relationship between ethnicity and whether or not the case received a statutory outcome.
  • For all concerns closed – there was no statistically significant relationship between ethnicity and the stage at which it was closed.
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Chair of the GPhC, Gisela Abbam, said:

“There’s no doubt that racism in pharmacy continues to be an issue and we need to tackle this together and in a sustained way. Our Fitness to Practise processes are one the key mechanisms that we have to hold professionals to account and it’s important that we, as the regulator, are accountable for doing the right thing and making fair decisions. We are grateful to everyone who listened and shared contributions at the event, and for coming together to identify how we can make a difference.”

Chief Executive of the GPhC, Duncan Rudkin, said:

“The publication of our initial analysis is an important first step in helping us understand which factors contribute towards pharmacy professionals being more likely to have a case raised against them, and whether our processes themselves contribute to disproportionate experiences. With the vast majority of concerns to the GPhC coming from the public, there are distinct challenges about how we get to the heart of these issues.

“We are continuing to make changes and improvements to our processes, linked to our EDI and Managing Concerns strategies. We recognise that we have more to do to understand why we are seeing over-representation of certain groups in the concerns we receive and, in some cases, those that go on to be investigated and result in statutory outcomes. The feedback from the event has highlighted some useful areas for further exploration and we’ll be using that to inform our next steps.”

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