PDA challenges GPhC pharmacist standards in court

GPhC: It is right that our professional standards can be scrutinised
The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) is taking the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to court next week over its new standards for pharmacy professionals.

The PDA has taken issue with a line in the standards – due to come into effect “later this year” – which state that they “need to be met [by pharmacists] at all times, not only during working hours”.

The initial hearing will take place on March 23, the GPhC revealed this afternoon (March 13), when a judge will decide whether to move to a full hearing. “If permission to proceed is granted, the court will move immediately onto the substantive hearing that day,” the GPhC said.

The PDA first expressed its concern with the standards in July 2016, when it branded them “Orwellian”.

At the time, the PDA recommended that the assumption that the new standards “apply at all times and not only during working hours” would “need to be revisited”.

“The expectations outside of a working environment must be different to those within it,” the PDA said in its response to a consultation on the standards.

“It is recognised, however, that it will still be necessary for fitness-to-practise committees to consider certain actions taken outside of a working environment,” it said at the time.

Regulator’s view

Commenting on the hearing, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said it is “right that [the standards] can be scrutinised and challenged before they come into effect”.

“The judicial review of the standards relates to an important point of principle within health professional regulation. We are ready to respond to the review and explain why pharmacy professionals should be expected to meet the standards at all times.”

C+D has contacted the PDA for comment.

23 Comments
Question: 
Do you agree with the PDA's decision to challenge the standards?

Hackney Drug Dealer, Community pharmacist

Lip Service? Did you not realise? Consultation is purely part of the process to show due process is followed. Nothing to do with discussion.

Rampant Locum, Community pharmacist

Am starting classes on appropriate postures and facial espresions suitable for registered pharmacy proffesionals.......updates to be posted here soon. Thats my escape plan..

Jatin Morjaria, Community pharmacist

Its a sad day when a "professional" body tries to regulate the out of hours buisness of the profession. All this when the profession is under attack from  so many quarters. So, what is next?? The colour of our under garments? Its bad enough that the GPhc are not addressing the real issues that most of us have to deal with during the work hours adding undue stress to our professional lives, now they want to bring their dictatorship to our personal lives!!! I really feel that enough is enough- the old "Script" is not working and its time for a change.

david williams, Community pharmacist

What happens if you getv sent off in a rugby game, for violent conduct. e.g. a late tackle??happen to me once. My defence of "I got there as quick as I could" did not hel my defence. Should I now declare this on my registration renewal.

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I'm with the GPhC on this one.  Bring an end to these pharmacist hooligans running amok in our good society.  

Forget about working in GP surgeries as a change in career path, I'm going for the new detective role for the GPhC, nowhere to hide now little pharmacists, we're coming for you!!!  #bringpharmaciststojustice

Delectable Skeptic, Community pharmacist

I'm wondering if you may have scored those 8 down votes to having "Area Manager" in your title rather than readers not getting your sarcasm?  I'll flip a coin on that one.

T. Pharm., Community pharmacist

lol. what?

CAPT FX, Locum pharmacist

This is commendable on the part of the PDA. It reflects that they are for once proactive on real issues that affect their membership.

On the other side, this "Standard" indicates another unbelievable depression on the part of the apparatus that formulates these standards at the GPHC. It is another sad reflection of how the GPHC is out of touch with its responsibility and the fact that it is obsolete.

As a black registrant, ever since this Brexit phenomenon I have been called a n****r, a k***r and a Monkey openly in premises registered and regulated by the GPHC. Outside of these premises, it is now as if we are officially back to the colonial or "empire" days. Racial insults and abuse is so routine it's a waste of time to report to anyone.  It is now a waste of statutory space for all the laws that espouse equality and racial tolerance. 

The amount of effort on self-restraint and the quiet dignity it takes to deal with this is emotionally sapping. Society expects you to deal with this without anger or negative reaction and now the GPHC wants you to act like a saint in these instances too. The greater proportion of cases where registrants of colour ended up before the fitness to practice processes has its root in racial insults and prejudice. This is an undisputed fact. 

If the PDA succeed in this case then my chances to retire while still practising this profession improve. 

M Yang, Community pharmacist

Unfortunately, you can't rely on the GPhC to look after you if the issue is race related. In these situations, if the GPhC were to pull you up for defending yourself against racial abuse you should refuse to speak further (so as not to risk incriminating yourself further) and let the regulator know you'll be seeking legal aid and will be consulting the PDA. Don't give the regulator an inch, but tell them in clear terms they're violating basic human rights. My hope is that they'll give it some thought and back down. Racial issues can result in a very messy and drawn out affair and bring nothing but bad publicity to the GPhC. In a recent incident, I was called a c***k by a man in the pharmacy. I raised my voice and called him out on his racist remark in front of the whole phamacy, didn't take long for him to back away. CAPT FX, I hate to say this, but I think black people get it worse than the chinese. For some reason, the hate is much more open and ingrained. For the chinese, it's more subtle. Something to do with history?

M Yang, Community pharmacist

This is interesting. I can appreciate professionals need to demonstrate a certain minimum when it comes to their behaviour outside of work. For example, most professions aren't too keen on their members getting drunk and getting into fist fights during a weekend, or shouting racist slogans at a political rally. This is simple good behaviour and respect for others. However I fail to see how the GPhC thinks it can dictate how we compose ourselves in terms of our body language outside of the workplace. If someone threatens me or behaves aggresively toward me, does this mean I have no right to defend myself in an assertive manner? Am I not allowed to step up to the aggressor and raise my voice? GPhC, I hope you can provide clarification if I'm ever accosted by a racist thug and need to protect myself. 

ajaz akhtar, Student

 

Who would hv thought it

So much red tape for sticking a label on a box

ajaz akhtar, Student

Locuming today at the shoe company and I did a silent but deadly ( wind)

Will that need a fitness to practice dunc! 

A Hussain, Senior Management

The fact that the GPHC didn't back down when challenged says it all.  When I play football I turn into Roy Keane and discover swear words I didn't know existed.  I've never sworn at a patient (apart from under my breath).  How are the two things linked?

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

It's like joining the priesthood!

Mike Hewitson, Superintendent Pharmacist

The nightmare question for any pharmacist these days is surely "does my bum look big in this?"....

"Well love, I'm afraid that the GPhC Standards for Conduct, Ethics and Performance state that I must be truthful at all times.....". Might have to cite Duncan Rudkin in the divorce papers! 

A Hussain, Senior Management

Mike this has a Steve Churton comment written all over it...

Mike Hewitson, Superintendent Pharmacist

He loves me really...

...well ok he doesn't love me at all. 

Am I allowed to be sarcastic?

A Hussain, Senior Management

Strike one.  I was going to suggest a strike for Steve for being condescending on a regular basis, but I couldn't see him on the register so I guess he can say what he likes.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Of course you are... as long as you're prepared to accept some conditions on your registration.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Well done the PDA. About the only people with any regard for pharmacist's welfare. The GPhC need a reality check.

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

With you on that - good on the PDA. They should replace the GPhC as far as I'm concerned!

Leon O Hagan, Community pharmacist

Great! If the GPhC don't listen to consultations what's the point in having them? Maybe they'll pay more attention to the courts.
By the way GPhC - I told my wife I'd hoovered the livingroom last week but I hadn't. I'll expect a letter from the Ftp committee for being dishonest soon. Reg no. 2069920

Michael Franks, Community pharmacist

that would only get you a verbal caution ! What if you had thrown the dyson through the tv set whilst under the influence of alcohol and or drugs and had then thrown away all the remotes, iphones and tablets of the family in the rubbish bin. ? Your crime not having been discovered until the rubbish had been collected . A plea of trying to get your family to talk to you would not be acceptable in defence because of the alcohol level in your blood was above the driving limit. The following day you met the inspector outside the shop ( before your official nhs opening hours )and told her what you thought about her giving you a poor grade in your inspection in no uncertain terms. 

However when she came into the shop when it was open you were polite and charming as it was now working hours .

 

 

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