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Professionals should be prepared to whistle-blow or risk investigation

By News team

Health regulators should send a clear signal to professionals that they may be investigated if they fail to raise concerns about colleagues, MPs have indicated. That view is supported by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Stephen Dorrell, MP, chairman of the Health Committee, said doctors and nurses have an obligation as professionals to raise concerns about the quality of care being delivered by their colleagues. He called on the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council to ensure that failure to act is regarded as a “serious breach of professional obligation”.

However, MPs on the committee recognised that those who have raised concerns are sometimes subject to suspension, dismissal and other sanctions, and have pledged to examine this issue in more detail.

The recommendations have been welcomed by the GPhC. A spokesman highlighted that pharmacists have a duty under GPhC standards to raise concerns not just about fellow registrants but also about other healthcare professionals.

He said: “We are committed to ensuring that pharmacy professionals understand the importance of raising concerns to ensure continued safe and appropriate care of patients and the public.”

However, Royal Pharmaceutical Society spokesman Neal Patel stressed that employers should actively promote the opportunity for pharmacists to feedback on issues that are in the public interest without fear of reprisal.

Earlier this month the RPS brought together regulators, employers and unions to ensure a joined up response to raising concerns for all those in the sector. It will be providing guidance to members on how to report concerns at work in due course.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11081317

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