GPhC welcomes new measures to improve patient safety

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC said:

We welcome the new measures to help reduce medication errors and improve patient safety announced by the Secretary of State today. We know that pharmacy professionals play a key role in patient safety, including identifying and correcting errors as well as supporting patients to take their medication safely.

Pharmacy professionals will play a critical role in delivering these new measures and, as the pharmacy regulator, we want to play our part in supporting pharmacy professionals to do this.  We will be carefully considering the recommendations of the working group, including in relation to training in safe and effective medicines use within initial education and training and continuing professional development.

We strongly agree with the Secretary of State that it is vital to have a learning culture across healthcare. We will continue our work to promote a culture of openness, honesty and learning across pharmacy, and we will be urging everyone who employs pharmacy professionals or works within pharmacy to do the same.

The change in legislation in relation to dispensing errors highlighted by the Secretary of State is an important and welcome step to support a learning culture, as it will remove a barrier for those working in registered pharmacies to improved reporting and learning. We also look forward to the government’s consultation on removing the threat of criminal sanctions for dispensing errors made by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in settings other than registered pharmacies.