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GPhC launches consultation on standards for chief pharmacists

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GPhC launches consultation on standards for chief pharmacists

The General Pharmaceutical Council has launched a consultation on its draft standards for chief pharmacists which the regulator said outlines requirements concerning their “knowledge, conduct and performance.”

The GPhC’s chief executive Duncan Rudkin said the consultation, which closes on April 16, seeks the views of the public, health professionals, the NHS and wider health sector on whether there are any settings the standards should not be applied to and what their positive and negative impact might be.

There are four draft standards; provide strategic and professional leadership; develop a workforce with the right skills, knowledge and experience; delegate responsibly and make sure there are clear lines of accountability; maintain and strengthen governance to ensure safe and effective delivery of pharmacy services.

The standards were developed in response to legislation introduced in 2022 which removed the threat of prosecution for accidental or unintentional preparation and dispensing errors by pharmacy staff in hospitals and similar settings.

Those settings need to have a chief pharmacist, or an equivalent such as a director of pharmacy, in place to use that legal defence which already apply to pharmacy staff in registered pharmacies.

Chief pharmacists work in hospitals, care homes, integrated care boards, ambulance trusts, prisons and other settings where people are lawfully detained.

“Our draft standards for chief pharmacists will complement our existing standards for all pharmacy professionals, strengthening assurance around these critical roles and empowering pharmacy professionals at a time of great challenge and opportunity for the professions,” Rudkin said.

The GPhC said it will hold further consultations on the rules and professional standards for responsible pharmacists and professional standards for superintendent pharmacists. 

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