Chemist + Druggist is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


CQC accuses pharmacies of 'suspected criminal offence'

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) is urging members to contact its lawyers if they receive a letter from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) suggesting they have committed a criminal offence.

According to an announcement from NPA chief pharmacist Leyla Hannbeck, published on the NPA’s website yesterday (June 29), the letters were sent to "a few" pharmacies and appear to suggest they have not registered with the CQC as a service provider – in breach of Section 10 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Ms Hannbeck confirmed to C+D this morning that "a few contractors have received strongly-worded letters" from the CQC".

In her announcement, she said contractors need to be aware that they should contact the NPA if they receive a letter titled: "Important – concerns suspected criminal offence".

Representatives from the health regulator will be coming to the NPA "over [the] coming weeks" for "in-depth communication" regarding the letters and suspected breaches, Ms Hannbeck told C+D.

Reasons for alleged breach

"Community pharmacies are generally exempted from the requirement to be registered with the CQC," Ms Hannbeck explained in her announcement.

However, if pharmacies provide "regulated activities" such as "treatment of disease, disorder or injury" – as defined under Schedule 1 of the Health and Social Care Act – they may need to be registered with the regulator.

Ms Hannbeck gave the examples of where a community pharmacy and a doctor’s prescribing service are both part of the same legal entity, or where a pharmacy "employs a GP, doctor, or CQC-regulated healthcare professional as part of the community pharmacy business".

"[The letter] also mentions that the CQC can carry out unannounced visits and inspect relevant premises where they suspect a Section 10 offence has been committed; this may include registered pharmacy premises," Ms Hannbeck warned.

She added that the NPA has supported affected members in providing suitable responses to the CQC, and urged concerned contractors to contact the regulator for clarification, "especially if you provide online prescribing services as part of your pharmacy business".

C+D has not received a response from the CQC at time of going to press.

Have you received a letter from the CQC?

Related Content


Pharmacy Dispenser/ Technician
Bethnal Green North, London
Salary: Up to £30,000

Apply Now



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts