- There are “major concerns about patient safety… that require immediate improvement”
- The pharmacy is “likely to present an unacceptable risk of harm to patients and the public. This means the risk is likely to occur and/or will have moderate to high impact.”
The findings also reveal that despite its current inspection model starting nearly five years ago, the GPhC has not yet inspected all pharmacies in Great Britain.
This information was found through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request sent to the GPhC on 30th May 2018 and covers between the 1st November 2013 and 24th June 2018. A previous FOI response in November 2017 also showed that since it was established in 2010, the GPhC had never issued a single sanction against a pharmacy owner or superintendent for a breach of its pharmacy premises safety standards.
“We were prompted to submit the FOI when considering our response to the GPhC’s current consultation on changes to its approach to regulating registered pharmacies,” said Alima Batchelor, Head of Policy at the PDA. “It became apparent that some information about the GPhC’s approach to inspections was not in the consultation document and did not appear to be in the public domain. The standards in registered pharmacies can have an impact on many patients through the working conditions they create. Certainly, many of our members have reported poor working conditions and we’ve been campaigning for some time for improvements to the regulation of registered pharmacies.”
“The findings from this FOI response are clearly worrying. Can these problems always be the fault of individuals working on the front line, and never the fault of the organisation, or because of the policy set by the employer?
“The GPhC has previously said it should be a “peripheral player” in tackling workplace pressure, but we do not agree; pharmacy premises standards and workplace pressure are inextricably linked. We’d like to see the GPhC take a stronger, more modern “systems” approach to patient safety, as used in other industries, to protect the public. That includes significantly strengthening its approach to regulating registered pharmacies – and whilst we’re generally supportive of the proposals in its current consultation, they do not go nearly far enough.”