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GPhC receives highest ever number of quarterly FtP concerns


GPhC receives highest ever number of quarterly FtP concerns

The GPhC's London headquarters (iStock)

The GPhC received a record number of fitness to practise concerns between July and September, it has been revealed.

Papers published ahead of yesterday’s November council meeting showed 1,118 concerns were raised with the regulator over this three-month period, a 30 per cent increase on the previous quarter. 

“These concerns tend to be about delays in medicines being dispensed, lack of stock and unanticipated pharmacy closures and could reflect the significant pressures being faced by community pharmacy,” said the GPhC, adding that the uptick in complaints from the public had not let to a “proportionate increase in concerns referred for investigation”.  

The record number of concerns came at a time when the team responsible for triaging concerns was “not at full capacity due to annual leave and sickness absence,” contributing to the regulator’s continued poor performance on timeliness.

“The average time to triage across the quarter has increased from 8.7 days in Q1 to 11.4 days in this quarter,” it said, adding that this is “expected given the volumes”.

There was however an improvement in the number of investigations closed before reaching the investigations committee, rising to 52 from 20 the previous quarter. 

The GPhC said it imposed 12 interim orders in Q2, “a record number for the year and the highest recorded since 2016… this was partly due to our drive to progress online prescribing cases in Q1 and Q2”.

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