Pride in Practice : Being brave

by Dr. Claire Thompson, RPS Deputy Chief Scientist

She…

I’ve written lots of blogs on science or leadership but never about being gay, so this is my first professional outing.

I’m fortunate in that I have never experienced overt homophobia in the workplace. This is in stark contrast to my personal life, where experiences have ranged from:

– Being abandoned by groups of friends at school;
– Family members not coming to my wedding because they didn’t “agree with it”; and
– Strangers in the street shouting “You deserve to die” for simply holding hands with my girlfriend. (No, this wasn’t the 1950s, it was 2003)

Even though they haven’t been painful professional experiences, it doesn’t mean there haven’t been uncomfortable ones. Like every time someone asks “What does your husband do?”. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve responded “They….” or “My partner….” Because I didn’t want people to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. But the longer you leave it, the more uncomfortable the discussion gets.

When is the right time?

So, when is the right time to say “She” or “My girlfriend” or “My wife”? Over the last few years, I’ve made a conscious decision to get “She” in early. The birth of my daughter really helped with this. As a proud parent, I would show people photographs and they would say “You look great for having a young baby” to which I could respond “Oh my wife gave birth to her, and she looks better than I do!” (See the photo below as proof). I find that openness, humour and a baby photo go a long way to diffusing any discomfort. Of course, there have been occasions where I have just taken the compliment (please don’t tell my wife)!

Dr. Claire Thompson (right) with her family

Brave

Coming out to colleagues still doesn’t come naturally, it always takes an element of bravery and I do admit that there are some people that I still don’t tell because I know they will judge me unfairly. Ultimately, we need to be comfortable with what we share about ourselves.
But if you do want people in the workplace to know that you are gay, take a deep breath and go for it.
Be brave. Be you.

Pride in Practice

by Sarah Steel MRPharmS, RPS Wales Policy and Practice Co-ordinator

Sarah Steel MRPharmS, Policy and Practice Coordinator

With August being the month we in Wales choose to celebrate Pride, what better time for the RPS Wales team to join the ongoing campaign for unity, equality, acceptance and embracement. To show our solidarity, some of our RPS staff members will be sharing their experiences in pharmacy as members of the LBGT community, and on the 24th of August, the eve of Pride Cymru, in the office we will be donning our brightest colours, eating rainbow cakes and flying the flag in support of Pride.

Why we still need to worry about equality

I’ve found myself thinking recently – if last year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act and the “de-criminalisation of homosexuality”, why are members of the LGBT community still being tormented, isolated and discriminated against? It turns out, my ignorance was distorting my understanding. In 1967 homosexuality was in fact only partially de-criminalised; many anti-gay laws remained, and criminalisation did not in fact toally end in the United Kingdom until 2013. That’s only five years ago!

Five years ago, I was in my second year of University. Through my time at University and my career to date, I have been a proud member of the LGBT community. For the majority of the time, I have felt accepted and embraced, but I can’t say I have always felt that I am, or would always be, treated the same. My sexuality is something I am conscious of in interviews, when starting new jobs or working in new teams. I am still, in 2018, worried how people will react when, for example, I correct he to she when talking about my personal life. And I am sad to hear from colleagues and friends that they have had much worse experiences, including homophobic slurs and discrimination.

Join us and show your Pride in Practice

What stands out to me clearly is that LGBT rights and support is not a moot point, and there’s still a long way to go. The celebration of the campaign and the achievements so far is as important as ever, and we hope that through our blogs and  photos, we can be a part of the campaign for unity, equality, acceptance and embracement for all of our members. We’d love it for members to join us by sharing photos of your involvement this weekend, either at home or in the work place. Be sure to tag your social posts with #RPSPrideInPractice so we can share!

A revolution for health and social care in Wales?

by Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales

Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, RPS Wales
Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, RPS Wales

If you haven’t already heard of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales, there is little doubt you soon will. Published early in the New Year and anticipated as one of the most important independent advisory reports for the NHS Wales in nearly two decades, the report makes a case for change for radically transforming the Welsh model of health and social care to make it fit and sustainable for the future.

I would recommend you take a look at the report. At less than 40 pages long, it’s far from an onerous or difficult read and you may find it provides a certain ‘feel good factor’. You may even find it provides a ray of hope that the challenges facing us in the delivery of health and social care services are being thoroughly addressed. Beyond the glow of enthusiasm and optimism however, a number of critical questions remain; Will the report have the potential to drive a revolution from within our system and significantly transform services? What will a new system look and feel like? What will this mean for pharmacy services and the future of pharmacy profession in Wales?

Read more A revolution for health and social care in Wales?

Supporting you locally: A look at the year ahead

Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

by Jodie Williamson, Pharmacist and Professional Development and Engagement Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.

We’ve had a busy year rolling out our RPS Wales local engagement model, bringing pharmacists together with our new local coordinators  to make sure we’re delivering the best support and networking opportunities for our members in Wales. Read on to find out more about our plans to support members locally, particularly how we’re going to helping everyone in Wales be Revalidation Ready!

 

Read more Supporting you locally: A look at the year ahead

Influencing policy and advocating for pharmacy in Wales

Elen Jones, Practice and Policy Lead, RPS Wales
Elen Jones, Practice and Policy Lead, RPS Wales

by Elen Jones, Practice and Policy Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.

We’ve had a busy year working with colleagues in NHS Wales and Welsh Government to put pharmacy at the heart of future healthcare planning in Wales, as well as working on policies to improve patient outcomes.

 

Read more Influencing policy and advocating for pharmacy in Wales

Collaboration across organisations sets standards for Welsh pharmaceutical care

Daniel 150Following on from the successes of previous years, the 5th Annual Wales Medicines Safety Conference was quite the event drawing in delegates from a diverse range of health professions, including the professional bodies for nursing, physiotherapy, general practitioners and pharmacists. Read more Collaboration across organisations sets standards for Welsh pharmaceutical care

What is primary care?

26.06.14 Royal Pharmaceutical Society

By Gareth Holyfield, FRPharmS, MPH, DipCommPharm, Principal Pharmacist, Public Health Wales and Welsh Pharmacy Board member

During my working week, and through many media sources on healthcare, I hear the term ‘primary care’ but what exactly is primary care?

I guess it means different things to different people. This is my personal take, based on my experiences in community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and health board management.

‘Primary care,’ according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is ‘the healthcare provided in the community for people making an initial approach to a medical practitioner or clinic for advice or treatment.’  Read more What is primary care?

Prudent healthcare – what it means for pharmacists

26.06.14Royal Pharmaceutical SocietyMair Davies, FFRPS, FRPharmS, Chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

‘Prudent healthcare’ is a phrase frequently used by politicians and healthcare leaders across Wales but what does prudent healthcare mean and what are the implications for pharmacists and the people of Wales?

Read more Prudent healthcare – what it means for pharmacists

Yellow is the new black

Susan Huey 150x150Susan Huey, Clinical Pharmacist, Pre-registration Tutor and Yellow Card Champion for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Have you completed a yellow card? Are you encouraging your patients to report any adverse side effects to any medicines they are taking? All of us can do our part to help ensure healthcare products are acceptably safe for patients. Read more Yellow is the new black

Being a board member – what I have learned so far

Paul Harris 150x150By Paul Harris, Welsh Pharmacy Board member and Wales External Relationships Lead for Boots UK

In June 2014, I was elected to the Welsh Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). One year on, I feel confident in my role but I remember well how I felt during the first weeks of my appointment Read more Being a board member – what I have learned so far