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Pharmacy bodies discuss disability barriers at Scottish parliament

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Pharmacy bodies discuss disability barriers at Scottish parliament

Leading pharmacy organisations in Scotland came together in the Scottish parliament this week to explore how pharmacy team members with disabilities can overcome the barriers preventing them from working in pharmacy.

The meeting was chaired by the Scottish MP Jeremy Balfour and attended by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society who said it “brought together a wide range of pharmacists and pharmacy organisations” to look at ways disabled pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can be better supported.

The event, which heard from disabled pharmacists and pharmacy employers, examined the idea that flexible working should be the norm and looked at how pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with “seen and unseen disabilities” can be encouraged to provide more information about the support they need.

The General Pharmaceutical Council, National Pharmacy Technicians Group Scotland and Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Alison Strath also attended the meeting.

An RPS membership survey last year revealed that living with a disability was “the biggest barrier to working in pharmacy.”

The professional leadership body said it started “a disability in pharmacy awareness campaign” this year to help it members overcome the challenges they face and insisted the “conversation at the Scottish Parliament was a significant step in achieving this.”

The RPS said: Everyone taking part in the meeting agreed that to effect change for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians living with a disability, it is crucial that there is cultural change.

“Key to this is encouraging a supportive, open and safe culture so pharmacy team members feel comfortable to discuss their individual circumstances with employers.”

The RPS said the organisations who attended pledged to have “open conversations with employees to ensure they are supported” and influence “workplace culture change, including by highlighting disability related micro-aggressions.”

Pictured: Jeremy Balfour, Clare Morrison (RPS director for Scotland) and Amandeep Doll (RPS head of professional belonging).

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