New equality guidance for pharmacies

The new guidance is designed to help tackle discrimination and ensure everyone can access safe and effective person-centred care.

January 2023

The new equality guidance will help support pharmacy owners and their pharmacy teams in understanding and meeting the Standards for registered pharmacies specifically in relation to ensuring no one is unlawfully discriminated against, either in the workplace or when providing services to patients and the public.

Best practice examples and case studies are included to help illustrate how the guidance can be used in real situations.

We expect pharmacy owners to follow the new equality guidance and make sure everyone in the pharmacy team is familiar with it, including staff and managers with delegated responsibility. It should be read alongside the standards for registered pharmacies, which aim to create and maintain the right environment – both organisational and physical – for the safe and effective practice of pharmacy.

GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said: “We want to support pharmacy owners to meet their legal and regulatory duties in relation to equality, and to provide a service which reflects good practice and is focused on continuous improvement. This includes making sure that no one is unlawfully discriminated against including staff and patients.

“As well as being a legal and regulatory duty, embedding the principles of equality and human rights into pharmacy operations and services is the right thing to do.

“This guidance will equip pharmacy teams with the knowledge and confidence to help tackle discrimination, as well as providing practical advice that can be applied in everyday work.

By following this guidance, pharmacy owners will:

  • demonstrate that they are meeting our standards
  • help protect the rights of individuals 
  • advance equal opportunity for staff, patients, and the wider public, and 
  • help improve the experience and healthcare outcomes of patients and members of the public using their pharmacy’s services
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