Council reviews progress in response to Francis report recommendations

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has set out the progress being made in meeting key recommendations from the Francis report on the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.  Priorities include promoting a culture of openness in pharmacy and improving the way the GPhC uses information from different sources.

At its meeting on 12 September the GPhC’s Council reviewed a report which set out the actions being taken in response to recommendations in the Francis report which are relevant to pharmacy regulation.

The GPhC published its position on the Francis report earlier this year, which identified key themes from the report for pharmacy regulation and actions the organisation should take in response. These include enabling the voice of patients and carers to be heard, improving the use of information within pharmacy regulation and doing everything possible to promote openness and honesty within pharmacy.

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said:


“A significant programme of work is already underway to improve the regulation of pharmacies and pharmacy professionals and to consider the key recommendations within the Francis Report. The main themes in our strategic plan for 2014-17 also reflect the main themes from the report, including putting patients at the heart of regulatory services, taking a proactive approach to regulation and supporting professionalism.”

Key actions being taken by the GPhC to meet the recommendations of the Francis report include:

  • Promoting a culture of openness in pharmacy, by setting clear standards and introducing a more robust process for checking whether concerns are raised and acted upon through the new approach to inspections
  • Improving the way we use information from different sources so that our regulatory interventions can be more effectively targeted. We will be analysing data from our own regulatory functions and from other organisations, in order to target our regulatory interventions effectively based on risk to patients
  • Providing clear information for patients and the public on the standards they should expect from their pharmacies, including through the publication of inspection reports in time, and making it easier for people to raise concerns when these standards are not met


Council also agreed that the GPhC would need to take account of any actions arising from the Government's full response to Francis, due to be published in the autumn, the Berwick Review into patient safety, the work of the Rebalancing initiative and the outcome of the Law Commissions' review of professional regulation.

The GPhC will provide a further report to Council on progress in meeting the recommendations of the Francis report in six months’ time.