Regulation in healthcare
Standards for pharmacy professionals modernised
GPhC proposals aim to reflect pharmacy professionals’ evolving roles and working practices.
Source: General Pharmaceutical Council
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has rewritten its standards for pharmacy professionals, with the aim of providing the regulatory framework required for the evolving roles and working practices of the profession.
The proposed standards will apply to all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and replace the current standards of conduct, ethics and performance (see table: ‘Proposed and existing standards compared’).
“The [new] standards reflect the professionalism of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and don’t try to tell them how to do their job,” says Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC.
“What we are proposing is a set of standards which is a much more overtly modern articulation of the standard of professionalism you would expect from healthcare professionals generally, and some pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have taken their place in that field.”
No individual service or component of a service can work in isolation, Rudkin adds, which means team working and leadership is important for everybody.
“If you are a pharmacy technician working in a community pharmacy and you see something that is not safe and you put your head above the parapet by questioning something, then that is showing leadership and that is the kind of thing that we are looking to express here,” he explains.
Tension between professional responsibilities and organisational expectations for pharmacy employees means it is important to link the new professional standards with the standards set for owners “to make sure they articulate well together and support and reinforce each other”, Rudkin says. To ensure the two sets are aligned, the current standards for registered pharmacies, dating from 2012, will be revised with a consultation in 2016.
The GPhC is also planning to update supplementary guidance on certain issues covered by the standards, including raising concerns, consent, confidentiality, maintaining clear sexual boundaries, and the provision of pharmacy services affected by religious and moral beliefs.
Rudkin says it is important to “future proof” professional standards as much as possible, for example, with regard to assisted dying. “It is very important that if and when the law does change that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians know where they stand with respect to their professional obligations.”
He urges pharmacy professionals to respond to the GPhC’s consultation, which is open until 27 June 2016: “We want the product to be right and therefore need people to tell us if they think we have got it right or not, and if not exactly why not.”
|Proposed standards compared with existing principles|
Proposed new standards
Pharmacy professionals must:
Pharmacy professionals must:
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20200953
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