The GPhC has responded to the publication of the PDA’s Safer Pharmacies Charter.
Duncan Rudkin, chief executive, said: “We fully share the PDA’s commitment to continuing to improve the safety and effectiveness of the care that people using pharmacy services receive. We are keen to discuss with the PDA how we can work with them and other organisations across pharmacy to achieve these shared aims for pharmacy now and in the future.”
The key points set out in the PDA’s charter reflect a number of the standards that the regulator has set for registered pharmacies and pharmacy professionals, he said. These include making sure there are enough staff, suitably qualified and skilled, for the safe and effective provision of the pharmacy services provided, that staff can comply with their own professional and legal obligations, and that staff are empowered to raise concerns.
“Our inspectors are out inspecting pharmacies on a daily basis and through this we know that the vast majority of pharmacies are meeting our standards for safe and effective care,” said Mr Rudkin.
He noted that Professor Don Berwick, a leading authority on patient safety, had recently remarked that pharmacy dispensing is safe compared with other areas of healthcare. Professor Berwick had also highlighted the important role pharmacy can play in making sure people continue to receive the right medicines when they move from one part of the health service to another.
“We are here to safeguard the interests of patients and the public,” said the GPhC’s Mr Rudkin. “The PDA has an important role to play in ... advocating on [members’] behalf to their employers in relation to their working conditions. [Pharmacy bodies] each have different remits, but can all play a part to support the professionalism of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and to enable the continuous improvement of the care they provide to patients and the public.”