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Ethics

Pharmacy regulator supports joint approach to culture of openness

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is one of eight healthcare professional regulators that has published a joint statement supporting the view that healthcare professionals have a duty to be honest and open with patients when things go wrong.

The statement, which reinforces a duty of candour on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, is the latest response by the GPhC and other regulators to the findings of the 2013 Francis report into the failings of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. 

“This duty for pharmacy professionals to be candid with patients and others is already reflected in our regulatory framework; both in our standards and in our guidance,” says GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin. “However, this joint statement is a very helpful step forward in promoting a wider culture in healthcare where openness and transparency is the norm.”

Rudkin says the statement, published on 13 October 2014, supports the GPhC’s work around openness and transparency, including its review of the standards for conduct, ethics and performance which is looking at how the organisation can be “more explicit about the need to be candid”. Other work focusing on the duty of candour includes the new standards around initial education and training and its new guidance on sanctions, he says.

The other regulators that have endorsed the joint statement are the General Chiropractic Council, the General Dental Council, the General Medical Council, the General Optical Council, the General Osteopathic Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066793

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