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GPhC publicly apologises after ‘pharmacist technician’ gaffe

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has apologised after “mistakenly” referring to the title of pharmacy technician as “pharmacist technician” in a recent council paper. 

The role of “pharmacy technician” is a protected title by law, according to the government’s regulated professions register.

But the pharmacy regulator was forced to release a statement of apology on Friday (December 8) after receiving backlash on X, formerly Twitter, for erroneously using the phrase “pharmacist technician” instead.

The statement said that the GPhC used the phrase “mistakenly” in a council paper, which appears to outline current registration fees for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in a picture shared on X.

It remains unclear which GPhC council paper the error appeared in.

The regulator admitted that it had “fallen short” of its usual standards, saying it “fully apologise[s] to all pharmacy technicians for this mistake”.

Read more: UPDATED: DH launches long-awaited pharmacy supervision consultation

A letter of apology has also been issued to the president of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), according to the GPhC’s statement.

Former APTUK president Liz Fidler responded to the GPhC’s apology statement on X, saying that it was “much appreciated”.

 

“Very disappointing”

 

Pharmacy workers expressed their disappointment in response to the GPhC’s mistake.

One X user, pharmacy technician Nicola Crawley, said that the mistake was “very disappointing”.

And independent pharmacist Ann Jacklin said she was “sorry to see” the error, adding that the GPhC “will be keen to correct this mistake speedily”.

What hope do we have if the GPhC can’t get it right?”, said APTUK fellow Samantha Quaye, who flagged the error with the GPhC last week (December 4).

The regulator first responded to Ms Quaye’s post three days after she made the comments on Thursday (December 7), before apologising the following day.

In its statement, the GPhC said that pharmacy technicians play a “vital role in protecting the public”, acknowledging that its “responsibility” as a regulator is to ensure that there is a “common understanding” of the knowledge and skills the job entails.

It comes as the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has launched a consultation on plans to grant more authority to pharmacy technicians in dispensing and refer to pharmacists “only where necessary”.

Meanwhile, the GPhC last week revealed that its investigations into three cases of cheating during this year’s June registration assessment had concluded, with two allegations upheld after proceeding to a hearing panel and a third case admitted by the accused student.

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