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The regulator should have given preregistration students full registration by trusting honest accounts from their tutors

The views expressed in this letter are those of the author’s. If you would like to submit a letter to The Pharmaceutical Journal, please click here.

I have been a pharmacist for more than 30 years and a preregistration tutor for some 12 years now. I take a keen interest in the development and wellbeing of preregistration trainees, and I aim to bring out their talent, so that they may practise with all the skills necessary for a healthcare professional.

The preregistration students from 2019/2020 have faced an awful situation. And the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has made it worse because it has not been able to give preregistration pharmacists, who passed all the registration competencies, full registration to the GPhC register.

It seems a complete dereliction of the GPhC’s duty of care to these individuals, who have given so much to get to this stage and are abandoned to some nightmare fate. Preregistration trainees were integral to pharmacies being able to cope in the first wave of COVID-19. They probably saw more care and action in those months as many will see in years of practice.

They were there for patients in their hours of need. Where is the GPhC’s understanding and appreciation of this great dedication to patient care?

Many provisionally registered pharmacists cannot get meaningful, or any, employment, so they are considering other career options. Some are on universal credit. Where is the justice? This is a catastrophe. The GPhC’s attempt to deal with this situation seems to be in line with our government’s mismanagement of the early response to COVID-19.

How long will provisionally registered pharmacists continue in this limbo until the GPhC comes to its senses? Was a provisionally registered pharmacist not safe for the public during the early months? Why are they deemed not safe now? I feel that the GPhC is hiding behind a non-existent patient safety excuse.

In the initial phase of the pandemic, the GPhC should have trusted its preregistration tutors to give an honest account of the trainees, giving full registration, with only a few needing extra help.

This is not leadership but dereliction of duty. You must immediately offer registration where competence been demonstrated, and open the talent pool, instead of choking a generation of aspiring pharmacists.

Sanjay Doegar, owner, Ruislip Manor Pharmacy

The General Pharmaceutical Council did not respond to request for comment.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208513

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