Guidance on religion, personal values and beliefs
We have now published new guidance to help pharmacy professionals apply standard 1 of the standards for pharmacy professionals, when their religion, personal values and beliefs might impact on their willingness to provide certain services.
This is the first major review of guidance to sit under our new standards for pharmacy professionals and relates to standard 1 – ‘ Pharmacy professionals must provide person centred care’. The guidance has been developed to reflect the current legal framework and sets out the relevant factors that pharmacy professionals should consider to support their professional decision-making. It includes key questions that pharmacy professionals should ask themselves when thinking about how they can ensure and demonstrate that they have provided person-centred care.
The guidance also emphasises the important responsibilities of employers for creating and maintaining a person-centred environment and ensuring the safe and effective delivery of pharmacy services, as well as creating fair working environments for employees.
The new guidance incorporates feedback heard through the consultation process. For example, we heard from respondents to the consultation that the guidance would be relevant to a wide range of situations, and not just those involving emergency hormonal contraception.
The guidance is also clear that referral is still an option, but may not always be enough; for example, if a service is not accessible or available elsewhere or, if due to the person’s vulnerability, a referral would effectively obstruct timely access to the service.