GPhC responds to the publication of the PDA’s ‘Safer Pharmacies Charter’
Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said:
“We fully share the PDA’s commitment to continuing to improve the safety and effectiveness of the care that people using pharmacy services receive. We are keen to discuss with the PDA how we can work with them and other organisations across pharmacy to achieve these shared aims for pharmacy now and in the future.
“The key points set out in the PDA’s charter reflect a number of the standards that we set for registered pharmacies and pharmacy professionals. These standards include making sure there are enough staff, suitably qualified and skilled, for the safe and effective provision of the pharmacy services provided, that staff can comply with their own professional and legal obligations, and that staff are empowered to raise concerns.
“Our inspectors are out inspecting pharmacies on a daily basis and through this we know that the vast majority of pharmacies are meeting our standards for safe and effective care. Professor Don Berwick, a leading authority on patient safety, also noted recently in the Pharmaceutical Journal that pharmacy dispensing is safe compared with other areas of healthcare. Professor Berwick also highlighted the big role pharmacy can play in making sure people continue to receive the right medicines when they move from one part of the system to another.
“As Mark Koziol, Chairman of the PDA, highlighted in his speech at the parliamentary reception to launch the charter, the number of dispensing errors is very low relative to the huge number of items dispensed. But, as we highlight in the latest issue of Regulate, our e-bulletin, we know there is more we can all do to reduce the number of dispensing errors even further, and in Regulate we highlight examples of good practice to improve safety.
“We are here to safeguard the interests of patients and the public. The PDA has an important role to play in effectively representing its members and advocating on their behalf to their employers in relation to their working conditions, and other organisations across pharmacy are also representing their own members; both pharmacy professionals and those who own and manage pharmacies. We each have different remits, but can all play a part to support the professionalism of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and to enable the continuous improvement of the care they provide to patients and the public.”