How we deal with concerns

When we receive a concern about a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or pharmacy, we will follow the process set out below.

The majority of cases are closed during the first two stages of the concerns process.

We set out what information we disclose about a case at each stage of the process in our publication and disclosure policy.

Stage one- concern received

When we first receive a concern we consider whether the information is meant for us and whether we have the power to carry out an investigation. We call this process ‘triage’.

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Stage two - initial inquiries and investigation

Our fitness to practise process is there to protect patient safety and to consider any future risks to patients and the public. We will look to see that a registrant can demonstrate the skills, knowledge, character and health needed to do their job safely and effectively. If the information we receive raises concerns about a pharmacy professional’s ‘fitness to practise’, we will usually start an investigation.

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Stage three - investigating committee

The investigating committee meets in private. It can decide to close a case with no further action, or to close it after giving advice or a warning to the pharmacy professional. The committee can also refer the case to a fitness to practise committee for a full hearing.

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Stage four - fitness to practise committee

Fitness to practise hearings are usually held in public. If the fitness to practise committee decides the pharmacy professional is not fit to practise it can give them a warning, set conditions that limit how they can practise, or it can suspend them or remove them from the register.

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