Along with other regulators of healthcare professionals, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has signed a joint statement on openness and honesty - the professional duty of candour.
The statement reflects the GPhC’s requirement that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians need to be open and transparent at all times, and serves as a reminder that candour is an essential duty for all professionals.
It is one of the outcomes of the joint work taken forward by all healthcare regulators, one year on from the Francis report. It also supports the Health Secretary’s vision that the tragic events in Mid Staffs and elsewhere should become a turning point in creating a more open, compassionate and transparent culture within the NHS.
The statement has been signed by eight of the healthcare regulators as part of ongoing inter-regulatory discussions on candour which involve all regulators and which are overseen by the Professional Standards Authority.
It reminds all healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, that they must be open and honest with patients when something goes wrong with their treatment or care which causes, or has the potential to cause, harm or distress. It is also a reminder of a duty to be open and honest with colleagues, employers and any other relevant organisations, including us as the regulator, and to raise concerns as appropriate.
Commenting on the joint statement, Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC said:
“This duty for pharmacy professionals to be candid with patients and others is already reflected in our regulatory framework; both in our standards and in our guidance. However, this joint statement is a very helpful step forward in promoting a wider culture in healthcare where openness and transparency is the norm.
“The statement will support our ongoing work around strengthening the current requirements for openness and transparency for pharmacy professionals. For example, our review of the Standards for Conduct, Ethics and Performance will reflect on how we can be more explicit about the need to be candid. It will also be considered as part of the work we are taking forward around our new Initial Education and Training standards and in the forthcoming consultation on our Indicative Sanctions Guidance.”
You can read the joint statement here: