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CQC inspection teams should include pharmacists, according to RPS England

All Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectorates should include a pharmacist with professional and clinical oversight of medicines issues, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in England has said.

In addition to the inclusion of pharmacists as part of inspection teams, the Society also suggests that the CQC should check health and social care providers fully recognise the importance of medicines: “We would … expect the inspection teams to make a judgement on how the organisation/pathway being inspected was providing leadership for medicines (systems, processes and medicines optimisation),” a spokesperson said. 

This should include a review of the systems that are in place for the transfer of medicines information when the patient moves between different care settings, ensuring that there is a process to minimise medicines related risk, she added.

The RPS made its comments in response to the second in a series of CQC consultations focusing on regulation in a changing lanscape of health and social care, which closed on 8 August 2017. The theme was primary medical services and adult social care services.

The CQC is responsible for the independent monitoring, inspection and regulation of health and social care services and service providers in England. Their first consualtion in this series focused on NHS trusts.

Elsewhere in their response, the Society highlighted the value that GP practise-based pharmacists could add, advising that “one of the key monitoring questions [for CQC inspectorates] could be whether or not the practice has a practice pharmacist as part of the team. Having a practice pharmacist has shown to free up one hour of GP time each day.”

The full RPS response to the latest CQC consultation can be read here.

The Society’s response to the regulator’s previous consultation, from February 2017, is available on the RPS website.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203425

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