A recent survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) found that 54 percent of the pharmacy workforce believed COVID-19 had impacted their mental health and well-being to a partial extent, while 31 percent believed it had impacted them significantly.
Boots UK, with around 6,600* registered pharmacists who remained on the frontline of healthcare during the pandemic, has signed the RPS Inclusion and Wellbeing Pledge to actively promote a more inclusive profession and positive mental health and well-being in the workplace.
By making this important commitment, Boots is also supporting pharmacists to be able to deliver a more inclusive professional practice and address health inequities in the diverse communities they serve.
“Our pharmacists have been working harder than ever in service of their patients during the pandemic, and their well-being is very important to us,” says Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots UK. “As the largest employer of pharmacists outside the NHS, Boots is proud to sign the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Inclusion and Wellbeing Pledge. Creating an inclusive environment where all team members feel represented, respected and able to thrive goes hand in hand with well-being. At Boots, our commitment to inclusion and well-being also extends to our patients and the wider communities we serve.”
Singing the pledge builds on Boots’ own work in this area, which includes mental health first aid training, a team member assistance program, and access to well-being resources. As part of its ongoing commitment, Boots has:
- Created a Wellbeing Hub, where team members can easily access well-being tools and materials.
- Developed a Wellbeing Action Plan to help team members proactively manage their mental health.
- Introduced a Wellbeing Steering Group, supported by its executive leadership team, to continue prioritising the well-being agenda.
- Designed additional materials to support its ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ approach, particularly focusing on the impact of the pandemic.
- Trained more key support teams in mental health first aid training.
- Promoted access to LifeWorks a free, independent and confidential support and counseling service for team members that’s available 24/7.
- Signed the ‘Time to Change’ employer pledge to help change the way we think and act about mental health.
- Provided a six-month update on its Racial Equity Commitment, and its vision to create a culture where diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront of its thinking.
- Encouraged our team members to join our inclusive business resource groups (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), disAbility Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, InclusivIT, Pride Alliance, and Women of WBA-UK).
- Celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 by encouraging team members to embrace the great outdoors.
* Figures as of August 31, 2020