As community pharmacies offer a wider range of services, the GPhC has written to pharmacy owners and superintendents to highlight key aspects of the relevant standards in helping to ensure services are provided safely.
Community pharmacies are increasingly providing a wider range of services including Pharmacy First in England, NHS Pharmacy First in Scotland, and the Common Ailments Service in Wales. While these services have been commissioned differently in each country, they all enable community pharmacy teams to play an even greater role in providing high-quality treatment and care to members of the public.
We recognise that offering a wider range of services brings challenges as well as opportunities. As with any service being provided pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists are expected to carefully consider how you will meet the standards for registered pharmacies and supporting guidance, including the guidance to support a safe and effective pharmacy team.
To ensure patient safety, owners and superintendent pharmacists need to continually assess staffing levels and skill mix to make sure there are enough staff that have sufficient training, knowledge, and skills to be able to provide all pharmacy services safely and effectively. It is also essential that pharmacy teams are supported and empowered to exercise their professional judgement in the interests of patients and the public and are able to raise any concerns in a professional environment which encourages openness, honesty and continuing development and learning.