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Pharmacies to have inspection reports published for the first time

New legislation strengthens the General Pharmaceutical Council’s powers to regulate registered pharmacies.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced that it will be able to publish its inspection reports now that new legislation has come into force. 

The GPhC said The Pharmacy (Premises Standards, Information Obligations, etc.) Order 2016 (Commencement) (England, Wales and Scotland) Order of Council 2018, which came into effect on 24 May 2018, strengthens its powers to regulate registered pharmacies and will bring about changes to its enforcement powers for pharmacies failing to meet the standards for registered pharmacies.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said the council was “delighted” the order had come into effect.

“This gives us, for the first time, the powers to publish reports of our inspections,” he said. 

“We hope this will provide greater assurance to patients and the public that registered pharmacies are meeting the standards for providing safe and effective pharmacy services.” 

In line with the Order’s endorsement, the regulator has launched a consultation on its proposed approach to regulating registered pharmacies, which sets out how it would use these strengthened powers.

“Our proposals will allow us to be more flexible as a regulator and respond to the changing needs of patients and the public and to changes in pharmacy.

“We believe the proposals outlined in the consultation will help to drive continuous improvement in the quality of pharmacy services and care,” he said.

In a draft consultation paper discussed at the council’s April 2018 meeting, the GPhC proposed six main changes to its approach to regulating registered pharmacies, including the introduction of a new inspection model made up of three types of inspections: routine inspections, intelligence-led inspections and themed inspections.

The GPhC urged anyone with an interest in the regulation of pharmacies to respond to its consultation. For more information, visit the GPhC website.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204927

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