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Responsibilities of managers and leaders in safe pharmacy practice


Responsibilities of managers and leaders in safe pharmacy practice

The role and responsibility of employers in guiding pharmacy staff who are not registered pharmacy professionals, including pharmacy managers, to ensure the safe running of pharmacies is being examined in a GPhC consultation.

How teams are governed, led and managed, and how individuals within teams work together, will have a significant impact on the quality of care received by patients and people using services from registered pharmacies, says the GPhC. It is vital to have appropriate governance arrangements to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality pharmacy services to monitor and improve standards of care.

“Pharmacy owners are responsible for creating the right culture and environment in their pharmacies, both physical and organisational. But the pharmacy team – pharmacy professionals and unregistered pharmacy staff – also have an important role,” said the regulator.

Unregistered staff in the pharmacy include dispensers, medicines counter assistants, delivery drivers and pharmacy managers.

“This is the first time the GPhC has set out in guidance what pharmacy owners should do to make sure that non-registrant managers, who can play a critical role in the pharmacy, understand their responsibilities and the responsibilities of the rest of the pharmacy team, including pharmacy professionals,” said GPhC.

The proposed guidance covers both registered and unregistered staff and includes:

  • Key areas that are needed to support a safe and effective pharmacy team
  • The pharmacy owner’s responsibility to ensure unregistered pharmacy staff are competent for their roles and the tasks they carry out
  • The pharmacy professional’s responsibility to ensure that anyone they delegate a task to is competent and appropriately trained, and exercise proper oversight
  • The importance of staff in managerial or leadership positions, who may or may not be a registered pharmacy professional, understanding that pharmacy professionals must prioritise patient safety over organisational goals.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC commented: “We are holding a consultation because we know that an effective pharmacy team is key to safe and effective care. We’ve had feedback from our online workshops and events over the last twelve months about this topic and we wanted to provide guidance which provided greater clarity on roles and responsibilities.

“Our proposed approach gives pharmacy owners the flexibility for current and future roles to decide what training their staff need for their individual roles, but also makes them accountable for ensuring that all staff working in the pharmacy are competent and empowered to provide safe and effective care to people using their services.”

Following consultation, the new guidance would replace the current policy on minimum training requirements for dispensing/pharmacy assistants and medicines counter assistants, said the regulator.

The consultation runs until 11 October 2017.


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