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GPhC reminds contractors of responsibilities

The General Pharmaceutical Council has reminded contractors that funding cuts must not compromise their obligation to ensure that  their pharmacies have enough staff, suitably qualified and skilled, for the safe and effective provision services.

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin was expected to acknowledge the impact of the cuts, but emphasise that pharmacy owners are responsible for ensuring they are meeting standards for registered pharmacies, at a GPhC seminar examining ‘professionalism under pressure’ on Tuesday 18.

Pharmacy owners, superintendent pharmacists and responsible pharmacists were to be told to be ready to demonstrate how they are upholding the relevant standards to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public to GPhC inspectors and to expect particular scrutiny of whether there are enough suitably skilled and qualified staff at this time of change.

Mr Rudkin was is expected to say: “We are independent from the pharmacy profession, the pharmacy sector and government and it is not our role to have a position on the structure or level of funding for community pharmacy services. Pharmacy owners in England will be considering how to manage the impact of the expected cuts." He reminded them they must make sure that:

  • There are enough staff, suitably qualified and skilled, for the safe and effective provision of services
  • Pharmacy governance arrangements safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public
  • The safety and quality of pharmacy services are kept under review
  • Staff are empowered to provide feedback and raise concerns about meeting these standards and other aspects of pharmacy services.

Mr Rudkin was also expected to say: “It is not for the regulator to set staffing levels; pharmacy owners must consider how many staff are needed within each individual pharmacy, what qualifications and skills staff should have and how they are deployed and managed to provide services safely and effectively. We will continue to probe in this area so pharmacy owners, superintendent pharmacists and responsible pharmacists should be ready to demonstrate how they are upholding the relevant standards to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public.”




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