GPhC writes to community pharmacy trade sector bodies about new pharmacy team guidance

The GPhC has written to organisations representing community pharmacy owners to ask for feedback on the steps their members have taken to implement new guidance to ensure a safe and effective pharmacy team.

The new guidance, published in June, sets out what pharmacy owners are expected to do to ensure a safe and effective pharmacy team and meet the standards set out under Principle 2 of the standards for registered pharmacies, including standards related to staffing.

All pharmacy owners received a letter from the GPhC in June asking them to review the new guidance and take the necessary steps to make sure they are meeting the standards in this area.

The letter from Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, to the Company Chemists’ Association, the National Pharmacy Association, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, Community Pharmacy Scotland and Community Pharmacy Wales, also asks these organisations to share feedback in relation to any challenges that pharmacies are facing in relation to staffing.

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC said:

 “Through our inspections of pharmacies and our other regulatory activities over recent months we have heard that some pharmacy professionals and pharmacy owners are continuing to experience challenges in relation to staffing in registered pharmacies. We have also seen that the standard in relation to staffing has remained in the top five standards most commonly found not to be met in our inspections for the second quarter, although the numbers continue to be relatively small (under 3% of inspections between January and June 2018).

“We want to understand any challenges pharmacies are facing in relation to staffing, how this may affect patient care and outcomes, and how owners are addressing these challenges so that patients continue to receive safe and effective care.

“Making sure that the new guidance to ensure a safe and effective pharmacy team is being followed will continue to be a key area of focus for our inspections and other regulatory activities. Our inspectors will be asking for examples and evidence of how the new guidance is being followed and we will continue to require pharmacies to take prompt action when we identify that any standard is not being met.”