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Sheffield pharmacy is first rated 'excellent'

Top rating in GPhC premises inspections revealed following long-running controversy over its definition and criteria

A Sheffield pharmacy has become the first to be awarded an ‘excellent' rating by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). 

Wicker Pharmacy managing director Martin Bennett said he was "proud" and "gratified" that his staff had received the "official recognition that they deserve" from the regulator.

To achieve the 'excellent' rating a pharmacy has to meet a range of criteria, including partnering with other healthcare providers and "being a model for other pharmacies to learn from". The GPhC told Mr Bennett which criteria Wicker had met but did not provide details of how the pharmacy had met them, he told C+D.

The inspection was carried out in June but the GPhC did not inform the pharmacy of its rating until Friday (October 31). Mr Bennett said his team had "quite a few ideas" how the inspections could be improved by encouraging pharmacies to "do better".

Every pharmacy inspected by the GPhC is given a rating of either ‘poor', ‘satisfactory', ‘good' or ‘excellent'. Wicker Pharmacy is the first to receive the highest rating since the GPhC began carrrying out their new inspections in November 2013. 

Last month, the GPhC set out further principles for its definition of 'excellent', following concerns over a lack of clarity in the criteria. The regulator also promised to make its inspections shorter and give pharmacies more time to respond to its reports.

Wicker Pharmacy is in the process of transferring ownership of the company to its 75 staff members. Mr Bennett said employee ownership would "help ensure that the people of Sheffield continue to receive an ‘excellent' service" from the pharmacy. 

Is further clarity needed about the 'excellent' rating? 

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