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GPhC welcomes proposed power to set responsible pharmacist role

The regulator has welcomed the DH’s intention to grant it – rather than the government – powers to determine the role of the responsible (RP), superintendent (SP) and chief pharmacist, it has told C+D.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) yesterday (April 28) published its formal response to a 2018 consultation that sought views around dispensing errors, patient safety and governance arrangements in registered pharmacies.

Among the raft of proposals aimed at “clarifying” the role of SPs and RPs, the DH programme board suggested giving the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) the “power to specify an exception” to the “general rule that a pharmacist can only be the RP for one pharmacy at the same time”.


Read more: GPhC should decide when responsible pharmacists can oversee multiple sites, DH concludes


More than 80% of the respondents to the consultation disagreed with transferring this power to pharmacy regulators.

Were this – and other orders covering SPs and chief pharmacists – to become law following parliamentary review, they would give the GPhC and PSNI “the powers to define in professional standards how the roles and responsibilities of chief pharmacists, superintendent pharmacists, and responsible pharmacists are fulfilled”, the GPhC’s director of education and standards, Mark Voce, observed.

“We welcome the laying of these draft orders before parliament,” he told C+D today (April 29).


Supervision of medicines supply not in scope


The GPhC intends to “engag[e] and consult extensively with patients and the public, pharmacy professionals, the pharmacy sector and all other interested stakeholders” to “get their views on what the standards [arising from the proposals] should say”, it told C+D.

This work, however, will happen over the coming years, a GPhC spokesperson advised, following parliamentary approval of the proposals.

Mr Voce also stressed that “the legislation that governs the supervision preparation, sale and supply of prescription-only medicines (POMs) including the legal requirement for a pharmacist to supervise the dispensing of POMs” does not fall under the remit of the DH’s proposals.

Supervision will be subject to further discussion under the cross-sector supervision practice group, the DH added in its consultation response.



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