The GPhC has outlined how it intends to work with people and organisations from inside and outside pharmacy to examine and understand workplace pressures across the pharmacy sector, including through a seminar to be held in October.
In an article in Regulate, the GPhC’s e-bulletin, chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “We recognise that pharmacy professionals working in a wide variety of roles and settings will experience significant challenges in trying to provide high quality care to patients and the public while dealing with limited resources or other workplace pressures.
“It is important that everyone involved works to ensure that a balance is struck which protects and promotes the health and wellbeing of patients and the public, empowers pharmacy professionals to work with service users to make good decisions about care and enables companies to pursue legitimate business interests in an ethical way.
“We want to create an opportunity for all of us – regulators, the NHS, companies, professionals and representative bodies to consider these complex and challenging issues in depth, to inform the work we have to do individually and collectively.”
The article sets out the steps the GPhC plans to take, including holding an event in October to bring people together from inside and outside pharmacy, to consider what role different organisations and individuals can play to address the issues raised. This event will be chaired by Professor Nairn Wilson, who has recently completed his term of office as president of the British Dental Association.
The GPhC will also be meeting with a range of stakeholders, including pharmacy owners, to hear how they support their professional staff to do the right thing in the first place.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society welcomed the initiative, saying it has been contacted by pharmacists who have raised significant concerns about professional autonomy, as well as issues around safe staffing levels, workload and rest breaks. "We, like them, now expect the GPhC move quickly from words to action on this issue with concrete proposals about how professional, person-centred care can be embedded in all sectors quickly," the RPS said in a statement.