- GPhC support measures
- Easing of revalidation requirements
- Work pressures in pharmacy
We’d like to say thank you to pharmacy teams and owners and recognise all their hard work at this particularly challenging time.
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians continue to play a vital role in protecting the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognise that the increasing threat of the Omicron variant, new vaccination targets, and staff shortages have added to the pressures faced by pharmacy workers and owners, at a traditionally busy time of the year.
We are supporting pharmacies in a number of ways, including pausing routine inspections. Instead, our inspectors are supporting pharmacies with the roll-out of the vaccination programme, providing assistance to pharmacies and signposting, to help ensure the accelerated programme can be delivered safely and effectively. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to act quickly on any information we receive which suggests a risk to patient safety by undertaking intelligence-led inspections.
We have also extended the easing of the revalidation requirements for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians that came into force in 2020. It means that pharmacy professionals who have registration renewal deadlines in March, April, and May 2022 (and with registration expiry dates in May, June, and July) will only need to submit a reflective account for revalidation and will not need to submit the other five revalidation records. This will be kept under review. Visit the latest news item about revalidation on our website for more information.
These changes aim to reduce the pressures on pharmacy staff while they deal with the current situation.
However, it is important that while everyone is extremely busy, that workloads are prioritised to ensure safe and effective care for everyone, particularly the most vulnerable.
We recognise that as registered professionals, the first concern of individuals on our register will be the care of the patients and people who use their services. That’s why we’re encouraging all pharmacy professionals to use their professional judgement to assess risks – whether they are related to COVID-19, access to medicines, or any other issue. Our standards for pharmacy professionals and registered pharmacies, along with any relevant guidance, provide a helpful framework for decision-making, to ensure the public get the best possible care.
Pharmacy owners need to ensure infection prevention and control principles are followed at all times in the pharmacy to help prevent transmission of COVID-19, keep staff safe and help minimise disruption to pharmacy services for the public. Recently updated government guidance can be found on the gov.uk website.
We will continue to issue guidance to our registrants to provide additional support and encourage pharmacy staff to use our knowledge hub to find examples of good practice. We also support the RPS Guidance on ethical, professional decision-making in the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been so many stories of amazing efforts, challenges met, and number of vaccines administered. We’d like to thank all pharmacy colleagues again for their fantastic contributions and hard work.