GPhC set out ambition “To make regulatory decisions which are demonstrably fair, lawful, and so free from discrimination and bias.”

This ambition was set out in its “Delivering equality, improving diversity and fostering inclusion” strategy for change.  The strategy stems from data published by the General Pharmaceutical Council that suggested its decision making might have been marred by racial bias.

Data released by the GPhC to The Pharmaceutical Journal in 2019, following a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that almost half (47%) of the 200 pharmacists suspended or removed from the pharmacy register between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2018, were black, Asian or from an ethnic minority (BAME). If pharmacists who did not provide their ethnicity are removed from the data, 57% of those suspended or removed were BAME.

It has now published a strategy for change.  The strategy sets out a “theme” to make regulatory decisions which are demonstrably fair, lawful, and so free from discrimination and bias.  Under this theme the GPhC plans to, amongst other things:

  • Routinely publish diversity datasets, including diversity data related to fitness to practise cases,to support transparency, visibility and intelligence sharing
  • Monitor key sources of intelligences (for example, complaints and fitness to practise concerns) for EDI themes and issues, to shape our work, share learning across the organisation and help usto measure progress

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