Welcome to this edition of Regulate.
We’ve been meeting pharmacy professionals over the past months, including students, trainees, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at the recent Pharmacy Show in Birmingham. One of the things we’ve heard is that you value accessible and bite sized materials to encourage learning and discussions in team settings. I hope Regulate can help to meet this need.
We’ve taken the opportunity to join in with Menopause Awareness month, and to highlight key information about providing hormone replacement therapy medication to those who need it.
As part of our EDI work, we’ve taken a closer look at the protected characteristics of age, sex gender reassignment and disability, to help you and your pharmacy team to think about more broadly about health inequalities and start discussions about how these may be relevant in your pharmacy setting. We’ll be covering different characteristics in the future, so look out for these.
I also wanted to highlight some key legislative changes about original pack dispensing in case you missed our email last week, and also give a quick reminder about our resources to help you meet your responsibilities in relation to the duty of candour.
You may have seen that the General Medical Council has published a new edition of Good Medical Practice, the professional standards for all doctors in the UK, which will come into effect in January 2024. A theme in this new edition is multidisciplinary working, so in this edition of Regulate, we hear from Charlie Massey - Chief Executive and Registrar at the GMC about his view on how the pharmacy and medical professions can work together effectively.
Charlie talks about the importance of 'positive, open cultures', which are vital in both pharmacy and medicine. Patients from all backgrounds and communities need to feel safe when accessing pharmacy services, so they can place their trust in pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and receive the care they need. This is reflected in our standards for pharmacy professionals, which ask pharmacy professionals to behave in a professional manner. Equally, pharmacy professionals must be able to work in an inclusive environment free from harassment and prejudice.
The standards need to be met at all times, not only during working hours, including when online or using chat groups such as Whatsapp. All pharmacy professionals should be aware of and follow our guidance on demonstrating professionalism online, including the importance of respecting each other and not subjecting others to bullying, harassment or discrimination.
We have these same expectations of our future pharmacy professionals during their education and training. Learning to demonstrate the standards in an education or training context is an essential part of progression towards registering and practising as a pharmacy professional.
Pharmacy employers also have important responsibilities, including the responsibility to create a culture in which staff can live up to their professional and legal obligations.
I hope that these you find this and future editions of Regulate useful, as a quick and concise resource to refer to as part of the important work that you do.