A member of the Community Pharmacy South Central (CPSC) local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) – who wished to remain anonymous – lodged a complaint against the LPC’s chair, Ashley Littlewood-Miller, after feeling they had been discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity, they told C+D.
CPSC CEO Deborah Crockford told C+D that the LPC “takes this type of issue very seriously and [is] giving it the time and attention that it deserves”.
“We are conducting an investigation and, once that is concluded, the committee will take any necessary remedial action,” Ms Crockford added.
Mr Littlewood-Miller “firmly” denies “the accusations made against [him] and will continue to assist the LPC with its ongoing investigation”, he told C+D.
The triggering episode
The anonymous committee member claimed that Mr Littlewood-Miller had started treating them differently after they had asked for some financial information in 2019, which they were under the impression should have been visible to LPC members.
Mr Littlewood-Miller had allegedly “aggressively” prevented them from obtaining the information, according to the committee member.
They said that, having appointed some barristers at their own expense to review the LPC constitution, they were told it was their right to obtain the information they had requested.
The committee member told C+D of more episodes where they believed they had faced racial discrimination, claiming that Mr Littlewood-Miller would not have adopted the same type of behaviour with other committee members.
They argued the chair’s behaviours were racially motivated, as their look “clearly identifies” them as an ethnic minority.
“I was being racially abused during my school days and I know what it feels like and what it looks like,” they said.
The committee member believes the LPC has been slow in handling their case and told C+D that the chair should have stepped down while he was being investigated. However, Mr Littlewood-Miller remains in post.
An email seen by C+D shows that, while the LPC had reached a conclusion on the case last month (June 29), that decision had to be withdrawn as the whole committee had not been consulted on it.
C+D awaits the outcome of the investigation.
In an effort to investigate whether pharmacy professionals' experience of racism in pharmacy had changed over the past 12 months, C+D has hosted a webinar – which you can now rewatch – entitled Racism in pharmacy – what's changed and what's next?