Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Government 

Partners Forum hears superintendent and responsible pharmacist proposals

The Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board has discussed proposals to redefine several roles within pharmacy, and extend the new legal defence for dispensing errors to all pharmacists working in a pharmacy service.

Proposals to redefine the roles of superintendent and responsible pharmacists (RPs), and to introduce a defence for dispensing errors in hospital pharmacy, were outlined at the most recent meeting of the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board Partners Forum — the first to be held in almost three years.

The Partners Forum comprises a group of pharmacy representatives, patients and the public, and is described as a “sounding board and sense check” of proposals from the full Rebalancing Board.

But attendees at the Partners Forum, which was held immediately after a meeting of the main Rebalancing Board at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) London headquarters on 22 February 2018, heard that there were “no firm proposals” on the table for altering regulations around the supervision of the supply and sale of medicines.

The proposals to redefine the roles of superintendent pharmacists and RPs within community pharmacy organisations are expected to be put out for a 12-week public consultation in April 2018, and include suggestions that the pharmacy regulators, the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Pharmaceutical Service of Northern Ireland set professional standards for these roles.

Other proposals include the removal of the restriction on superintendent pharmacists covering only one retail pharmacy business. But they retain the requirement for a superintendent pharmacist where a pharmacy is owned by a corporate body, and the requirement for every pharmacy to have an RP also stays.

Proposals to extend new legal defences for inadvertent dispensing errors to pharmacy professionals working in hospitals and other settings were also outlined at the meeting. These refer to pharmacists working for a “pharmacy service”, such as a hospital, nursing home, prison or immigration centre.

One of the conditions of the proposed new defence would be that the pharmacy service was overseen by a chief pharmacist. This person must have a significant role in decisions on how a substantial part of the activities of the pharmacy service are managed, and have authority to make decisions that affect the running of the pharmacy service in relation to medicine sale and supply.

In a statement released after the meeting, the Rebalancing Board said a discussion on supervision at the Partners’ Forum produced several themes, including: a need for a clearer picture of the Board’s remit on supervision; that there is a clear difference between pharmacists and technicians, and supervision should not be about trying to equate the two professions; that any legislation should allow pharmacies and pharmacy professionals to make their own decisions about how they work as regards supervision; and that any changes should “increase the opportunity for pharmacists to engage appropriately and effectively in clinical activity”.

Ken Jarrold, chairman of the Rebalancing Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Source: Courtesy, Ken Jarrold

Rebalancing Board chair Ken Jarrold said the meeting of the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board Partners Forum had been a good forum for discussion on the role of supervision in pharmacy.

Ken Jarrold, chair of the Rebalancing Board, said in the statement: “There has been a great deal of uncertainty and confusion on what supervision means in the context of pharmacy. The Partners’ Forum provided a good opportunity for discussion and for the board to hear a range of views on this and the other work on this programme.”

Paul Bennett, RPS chief executive, said the Society would be encouraging its members to take an active part in the consultations on the draft orders on RPs and superintendent pharmacists, and the consultation on broadening the inadvertent dispensing errors legislation.

“Without an adequate defence in place across all settings in which pharmacists practise, there is a risk that we will fail to secure the necessary reassurance for pharmacists that they will be treated fairly when a mistake has taken place,” he said.

“If we truly wish to improve the patient safety culture across the healthcare professions, then practitioners need to feel safe when they identify that an error has occurred, and make a declaration to that effect in order to improve their own practice and the practice of others who may learn from their error.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204492

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £133.00Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £252.00Buy now
  • International Research in Healthcare

    International Research in Healthcare

    Guidance for students or researchers undertaking a multi-centre research project in health services, medicines use and professional practice.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Injectable Drugs Guide

    Injectable Drugs Guide

    A user friendly, single point of reference for healthcare professionals in the safe and effective administration of injectable medicines.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Nurse Prescribers' Formulary

    Nurse Prescribers' Formulary

    Essential reference for Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribers. Provides an overview of common conditions and details of medicines that may be prescribed.

    £17.99Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Ken Jarrold, chairman of the Rebalancing Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.