What happens if my concern is investigated?
The GPhC’s investigation process has a number of stages:
A copy of your Reporting a Concern form may be sent to the pharmacy professional and/or the owner of the pharmacy and they will be asked to give us their comments. Personal information will be removed from the form before it is supplied to any third party.
We may contact you and make arrangements to discuss your concern fully with you to obtain any further information or evidence and, if necessary, a witness statement.
Where necessary an inspector will arrange a visit to the pharmacy and make a point of giving advice and recommendations to the pharmacy professional concerned.
When we complete our investigation we will review the available evidence and decide on the appropriate action to take. The GPhC reviews every case against a set of threshold criteria that we use to decide whether the case should be referred to the Investigating Committee. We will tell you whether or not your concern is being referred to the Investigating Committee and we will explain the reasons for this.
The Investigating Committee
The Investigating Committee will consider a report and associated evidence (which will include information provided by you) and any submissions made by the pharmacy professional. It is a private committee which means that neither the pharmacy professional nor any witnesses attend.
The Investigating Committee will decide whether to:
- inform the pharmacy professional that it will take no further action on this occasion, but may consider the current concern if further concerns are reported against the same pharmacy professional;
- write a letter of advice to the pharmacy professional;
- issue a warning to the pharmacy professional;
- agree written undertakings from the pharmacy professional if the concern relates to the pharmacy professional’s health or performance; or
- refer the case to the GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee.
The Investigating Committee will only refer a case to the Fitness to Practise Committee if it thinks it is likely that the Fitness to Practise Committee will decide that the pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise is impaired.
The Fitness to Practise Committee
If the case is referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee, a formal hearing will be held and you may be asked to attend and read out your witness statement and answer questions at that hearing. The Fitness to Practise Committee will consider the evidence available and decide whether or not the pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise is impaired. More information about attending hearings is available in the GPhC’s Guidance for Witnesses.
If the pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise is found to be impaired the Fitness to Practise Committee will decide whether a sanction should be imposed. The Fitness to Practise Committee may:
- take no further action;
- issue a warning;
- impose conditions on a pharmacy professional’s practice (often in the form of restrictions on their practice);
- suspend the pharmacy professional; or
- remove their name from the register.