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GPhC formalises clampdown on cover-ups

The regulator has cemented its tough stance on dishonesty and failure to raise concerns in its sanctions guidance for fitness-to-practise committees

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has placed a strong focus on tackling dishonesty in its guidance to help fitness-to-practise committees decide on sanctions.

Committees should consider sanctions at the "upper end of the scale" for professionals who deliberately avoided being candid with a patient or failed to speak out about patient safety concerns, says the GPhC guidance, unveiled on Wednesday (June 3).

The guidance will come into effect on July 20 and is based on draft proposals that were put out for consultation between February and March.

The final version of the document shows little change from the GPhC's original proposals. It cites insight into misconduct and showing remorse - either by offering an apology or attempting to put things right - as mitigating factors when deciding on sanctions, and also stipulates that removal from the register is likely to be the most appropriate sanction for cases of sexual misconduct.  

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin stressed it had been important to “get the guidance right”. The feedback the regulator had received during the guidance’s consultation period had ensured the final guidance would "support good decision-making at our fitness-to-practise hearings”, he added.

Last month, the GPhC announced it would scrap an “outdated” dishonesty test from its indicative sanctions guidance, following consultation responses from the sector.



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