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GPhC: Chief pharmacists who fail standards will be sanctioned quicker

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will define the roles of responsible pharmacists (RPs), superintendent pharmacists (SPs) and chief pharmacists, following a law change that will allow it to apply sanctions "faster" when standards are not met.

Under the current legislation, ministers have the power to define the responsibilities of RPs.

But the GPhC is set to gain the power to clarify RP, SP and chief pharmacist roles from December 1 this year, it announced last week (October 25).

"This will mean that pharmacy practice standards are set and enforced by the pharmacy regulators, instead of by government legislation and the criminal courts," a spokesperson for the regulator told C+D.

Read more: GPhC to start work on responsible and chief pharmacist standards in December

Under this new framework, the GPhC will be able to "take faster action such as fitness-to-practise proceedings and/or registration sanctions" against these three groups if they fail to meet the regulator’s standards.

The law change will help the GPhC act quicker "than would usually be possible through criminal sanctions", the spokesperson added.


Quicker response to pharmacy practice changes


With its new powers, the GPhC will also be able to "respond quickly to changes in pharmacy practice", the spokesperson told C+D.

This is because it will "be quicker and easier to update professional standards than it would be to update legislation", they explained.

Read more: Responsible pharmacist proposals fail to heed workforce issues, Lords say

Once the orders come into force in December, the GPhC intends to engage with the public, health professionals, the NHS and the wider health sector, on what their "requirements and expectations" are regarding RPs, SPs and chief pharmacists. 

It will then launch "a full public consultation on both the rules and the standards for RPs and SPs", the spokesperson said.


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