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General Pharmaceutical Council

GPhC agrees new threshold criteria for complaints

New threshold criteria governing when a complaint against a pharmacist or technician should be referred to the professional regulator’s investigation committee have been agreed.

The revised criteria, approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) at its meeting last week (6 July), followed consultation on the proposals. They will replace the existing criteria, which have been in place since 2010. 

The original proposals had broad support when they put out for consultation between last December and this March, the GPhC revealed.

However, the wording in the final approved version has been tweaked to make them clearer to understand. 

The six criteria, updated to take account of the new pharmacy professional standards which are due to be introduced this year, cover conduct, behaviour and health.

They are that the registrar should not refer a case to the committee unless the evidence as a whole suggests that conduct or performance presents an actual or potential risk to patient or public safety; it undermines, or is likely to undermine, confidence in the pharmacy professions; there has been a serious or persistent failure to meet any of the standards for pharmacy professionals, or the honesty or integrity of the registrant can no longer be relied upon.

Cases should be referred only on health grounds, when there is adverse physical or mental health which presents a risk to the registrant’s ability to practise safely or effectively and it is in the public interest to refer.

They replace the current 15 criteria listed under the 7 principles of the existing standards for conduct, ethics and performance, which have applied since 2010.

The new threshold criteria come into effect in January 2018.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203160

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