Success for pharmacy regulator in CHRE audit

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is pleased to have received a positive ‘fitness to practise’ audit from the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE).

The GPhC became operational on 27 September 2010 and, in doing so, took over responsibility for fitness to practise cases from the previous regulator – Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB).

In order to progress the 550 cases that the GPhC inherited it established a group of senior staff, incorporating legal and pharmacy expertise who:

  • where appropriate, review cases on an individual basis;
  • will assess whether a finding of impairment of fitness to practise is likely on the balance of probabilities; and
  • make recommendations to the registrar to close cases, issue advice, refer the case back to the investigating committee to issue a warning or recommend that the case progress to a full fitness to practise committee hearing.

CHRE conduct audits of healthcare regulatory bodies to ensure that cases that have been closed before a full fitness to practise hearing are concluded appropriately and the decision is based on protecting the public and maintaining public confidence in the profession and system of regulation.

The audit included a 50-case sample of the 165 cases that had been closed by the GPhC between 27 September 2010 and 21 January 2011.

In particular the report from CHRE noted that ‘the GPhC’s application of the legacy criteria in the cases we reviewed had been reasonable, had adequately protected the public and would maintain confidence in the profession and system of regulation.’

Commenting on the encouraging audit, Duncan Rudkin, GPhC chief executive and registrar said “We welcome this constructive audit – the first for the GPhC – which supports our commitment to protecting the public by dealing fairly and proportionately with the legacy caseload.”