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GPhC apologises to registrants after online revalidation portal crashes

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GPhC apologises to registrants after online revalidation portal crashes

By Neil Trainis

The General Pharmaceutical Council has today apologised to registrants after the online portal that allows them to submit their revalidation records crashed at the weekend, leaving pharmacists anxiously wondering if they will be able to meet tomorrow night’s deadline.

Pharmacy ’s regulator said it was “working to resolve the issue” with the portal, known as myGPhC,  and would update registrants at 3pm today, which it failed to do. Then, at about 4pm, the GPhC said the  portal was "up and running" but warned registrants they "may experience delays."

It added: "We are still monitoring the situation and trying to fix the issue as a priority. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to provide updates."

Problems with the portal caused registrants to express their concerns on X, formerly Twitter, and some called for an extension to the deadline.

Pharmacist Garry McDonald posted a screenshot of an error message on the portal, which went live in April 2018, which read “myGPhC is currently unavailable due to essential maintenance. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

Alongside the image, he said: “This will be the SIXTH year running that GPhC have issues with their myGPhC platform. Do they not realise that pharmacists have to work? We don't have the luxury of trying again later in the day. Who do I bill for lost earning? Why so many different error messages?”

Just after 12noon, the GPhC said it was “still experiencing some issues with myGPhC” and its IT team was “working to fix this as a priority.” It also said it would “provide updates on the situation during the day.”

That prompted McDonald to reply: “Is the GPhC aware that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have jobs to do and patients to see ‘during the day?’ I don't know any employer that allows time off to revalidate. Your helpline is only open when we are at work and seeing patients.”

Another pharmacist posted: “Already received panicked messages this morning from pharmacists who should be focused on providing patient care. The stress this causes could impact patient care.”

Primary care network pharmacist Ben Merriman posted: “Given GPhC's issues with timeliness over the last five years, I sincerely hope anyone unable to submit because of these issues is afforded leniency.”

Mohammed Hussain, a trustee at Pharmacist Support and Royal Pharmaceutical Society Fellow, wrote: “People should not leave it to the last few days, but they rightly also have an expectation that a site of this importance can handle a few tens of thousands users.”

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