The government are consulting on the future of Healthcare professional regulatory bodies including the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in a move that is likely to have significant impact on pharmacy in the UK.
The PDA will be responding to this consultation in detail and will publish its response in due course. However, the PDA is clear that it wants to see a proposal for regulation that is fair, transparent and effective in how it protects patients and their health.
Mark Koziol, Chairman of PDA said “Patient safety is the priority for any healthcare regulator and pharmacy is no exception. It is precisely for that reason that we are concerned about the extent of the focus of pharmacy regulation being upon individual pharmacists. The GPhC appear to have little interest in the regulation of pharmacy employers and in particular the large multiple pharmacy operators whose operating environments routinely feature in patient harm episodes that we deal with.”
Following a recent Freedom of Information Access request by the PDA it emerged that although the GPhC was established in 2010, the GPhC has never:
- Issued an improvement notice to a pharmacy owner
- Brought a fitness to practise case against a registrant for a failure to comply with the Standards for Registered Pharmacies.
- Disqualified, removed, or sought to disqualify or remove, a pharmacy premises from the register (article 14 of the Pharmacy Order 2010)
- Sought or obtained a conviction against a pharmacy owner under articles 12 or 14 of the Pharmacy Order 2010.
During the same period, the GPhC commenced disciplinary proceedings against more than 3,500 individual pharmacists.
Mr Koziol continued:
” What is the point of having a pharmacy regulator if it is not dealing with pharmacy owners who preside over the kind of deficient working environments that inhibit pharmacists from doing the best they can for patients? The current pharmacy regulation arrangements are in need of a significant overhaul and we will seek to use this consultation as an opportunity to ensure is the current deficiencies are addressed. We believe it is time for radical changes and improvements to pharmacy regulation.”
The PDA welcomes feedback from members to help inform our response. PDA members can give their feedback by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation’ in the subject line.
Pharmacists may also want to respond directly to the consultation as an individual, and PDA encourages those who have views on the subject to do so.
The consultation and details of how to respond individually can be found at the link below, https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/professional-regulation/regulatory-reform/
Previous consultation responses can be found here: https://www.the-pda.org/archive/consultations/