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RPS Assembly will discuss bullying policy, says president

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) president Sandra Gidley took to Twitter this month to tell a pharmacist that the professional leadership body’s policy on bullying will be discussed by its Assembly.

In her October 17 tweet, Gidley (pictured) did not say specifically when the Assembly would convene to talk about the issue, although its next meeting is expected to take place in the first or second week of November.

There have been concerns about the way the RPS has handled complaints from its members about bullying, marked by two well publicised cases involving the pharmacist Hala Jawad and former Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain president Steve Churton.

In the first case Jawad, who alleged Churton bullied her on social media, was not told about the outcome of the RPS’ investigations into her complaint, sparking concerns over a lack of transparency. It is believed Churton was exonerated by the RPS.

In the second case, which saw Churton claim Jawad breached the RPS’ complaints procedure by passing information to Independent Community Pharmacist (ICP) about her original allegations, the professional leadership body was accused of failing to follow its own rules over the way it dealt with Churton’s complaint. Jawad refuted Churton's claims.

One pharmacist, Neera Goel, contacted Gidley on Twitter on October 17 to ask for an update on the “bullying discussion or policy” and whether it was “a priority” for the RPS.

Gidley responded: “Not yet. Can confirm that there will be a discussion at Assembly and hopefully an action which will give some clarity.”

When ICP asked the RPS today when that discussion would take place, it did not respond.

Goel told ICP: “Unfortunately, I know only as much as you do. No specifics provided and I am constantly having to chase it up. Will follow up in December as it is disappointing.”




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