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Staffing levels

Pharmacy regulator checks progress on implementing safe staffing guidance

Pharmacy owners are being asked to explain what they are doing to ensure that acceptable staffing levels are maintained, in light of new guidance published in June 2018.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC

Source: General Pharmaceutical Council

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said that acceptable staffing levels are one of the top five standards that are commonly not met during its inspections

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has written to organisations representing pharmacy owners to ask what progress is being made on implementing new guidance that covers pharmacy staffing levels.

The pharmacy regulator wrote to all pharmacy owners in June 2018 asking them to review its newly published ‘Guidance to ensure a safe and effective pharmacy team’. The GPhC said recent pharmacy inspections had found that some owners were “continuing to experience challenges in relation to staffing in registered pharmacies”, sparking its correspondence with trade bodies asking what steps have been taken to implement the guidance.

The guidance included greater detail on acceptable staffing levels in pharmacies, although it did not prescribe minimum staffing levels that a pharmacy should have on duty at any one time.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said its standard in relation to staffing had remained in the top five most commonly found not to be met in GPhC inspections for the second quarter of 2018.

“We want to understand any challenges pharmacies are facing in relation to staffing, how this may affect patient care and outcomes, and how owners are addressing these challenges so that patients continue to receive safe and effective care,” he said.

“Making sure that the new guidance to ensure a safe and effective pharmacy team is being followed will continue to be a key area of focus for our inspections and other regulatory activities. Our inspectors will be asking for examples and evidence of how the new guidance is being followed and we will continue to require pharmacies to take prompt action when we identify that any standard is not being met.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205421

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  • Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC

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