THE General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has launched a consultation on new standards for pharmacy professionals. The proposed nine standards, which will apply to all pharmacists, technicians and pre-regs to ensure the safe and effective care of patients and the public, will replace the seven current ‘Standards of conduct, ethics and performance’.
The changes were informed by responses to the GPhC’s recent discussion paper on patient-centred professionalism. Duncan Rudkin, GPhC chief executive, told Pharmacy in Practice: “A great deal has happened since the last update in 2010, so we need to make sure the standards are up-to-date, that lessons have been learned, and that they reflect the changes within the profession and practice.”
He explained that it wasn’t “just a tweak”, but that it was a “thorough updating”, nevertheless, there was still a “golden thread” that linked the current standards and the new ones: “the core is still a commitment to an expectation of professionalism and a recognition of how to do things properly.”
The standards were not about creating a regulating rule book, but an aid to help evolve professional responsibility and thinking, to achieve the desired outcomes. The main difference was “more emphasis on care and compassion, as care is part of professionalism,” he explained.
The hope is that the new standards will start a conversation within the profession, resulting in reflection on and improvement in practice and person-centred care, enabling the profession to flourish. Mr Rudkin urged pharmacy professionals to get involved in the consultation.
The 9 new standards
Pharmacy professionals must:
1. Provide person-centred care
2. Work in partnership with others
3. Communicate effectively
4. Maintain, develop and use their professional knowledge and skills
5. Exercise professional judgement
6. Behave in a professional manner
7. Respect and maintain the person’s privacy and confidentiality
8. Speak up when they have concerns or when things go wrong
9. Demonstrate effective leadership
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close on Monday June 27, 2016. Feedback is welcomed from individuals and organisations. Complete the form at end of the consultation document and e-mail it to email@example.com with the subject ‘Standards for pharmacy professionals consultation’, or complete the online version on the GPhC website.
The GPhC Council will receive the analysis at its September 2016 meeting and will take the responses into account when considering the final standards for pharmacy professionals. Guidance will be issued along with the standards.