The General Pharmaceutical Council launches major consultation on new standards for pharmacy professionals

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is asking members of the public and pharmacy professionals to give their views on proposed new standards for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Great Britain.

The GPhC’s Consultation on standards for pharmacy professionals  asks for feedback on nine core standards that all pharmacy professionals will have to meet, to ensure that patients and the public receive safe and effective care and to uphold public trust and confidence in pharmacy. The consultation will run for 12 weeks from 4 April to 27 June 2016.

Nigel Clarke, GPhC Chair said, ‘These standards are at the heart of what it means to be a pharmacy professional and set out what we believe pharmacy professionals need to do to help people to maintain and improve their health and wellbeing. This includes emphasising the need to provide person-centred care, focusing on the individual person, their needs and what matters to them.

‘It is important that individual pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and members of the public read the proposed standards and let us know if they agree with our approach.  We also want to hear from other healthcare professionals who are increasingly working with pharmacy professionals as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  This feedback will help us ensure the standards represent a collective view of what is now expected of pharmacy professionals.’

The new draft standards were developed following a national discussion with a wide variety of stakeholders on patient-centred professionalism in pharmacy.    

The proposed new standards represent an approach to regulation that promotes professional decision-making and encourages pharmacy professionals to consider how they can provide person-centred care, whatever their area of practice.  Key changes to the standards and accompanying guidance include:

  • Strengthening the standard and guidance about pharmacy professionals speaking up when they have concerns or when things go wrong.   Also making clear that when things do go wrong, they should say sorry, provide an explanation and set out to put things right
  • Emphasising that empathy and compassion are a key part of acting professionally and providing safe and effective care

‘People’s expectations of pharmacy professionals are growing, and changes occurring in health and social care across Great Britain mean that pharmacy professionals will continue to take on new and greater roles in providing care’ said Duncan Rudkin, GPhC Chief Executive. ‘This is why it is so important that we hear from as many people as possible through our consultation, to make sure we have got the right standards for today and for the future’.

In this short video, Duncan explains why the standards are important and why we need you to respond to the consultation:

The GPhC is proposing that the standards will replace the standards of conduct, ethics and performance as well as the existing codes of conduct pharmacy students and trainees currently follow.

The GPhC will be consulting with registrants, students, trainees, educators, employers, pharmacy and health bodies, patients and the public across England, Scotland and Wales. Among the engagement activities, the GPhC will hold day-long events at schools of pharmacy in Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow in addition to working with groups representing patients and the public to seek feedback from their members and supporters.