Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

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

Printed By


GPhC: Just 8% of sexual misconduct allegations referred for FtP hearing

While 40 sexual misconduct concerns have been raised with the regulator since 2020, just three were referred for fitness-to-practise (FtP) hearings and “none” resulted in removal from the register, C+D can reveal. 

The number of sexual misconduct concerns raised with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) doubled over just three years, C+D has learned. 

The regulator told C+D via a freedom of information (FOI) request that the number of concerns it has received has spiked in recent years, shooting from six in 2020 to 15 in 2022 and 12 in 2023 – with two received so far this year as of March 31.

But none of the total 40 concerns raised with the regulator between January 1 2020 and March 31 2024 resulted in someone being removed from register, the regulator said this week (April 30). 

And only three of the forty (7.5%) were referred for an FtP hearing, it added.



All three hearings are yet to happen, despite one being the result of an allegation made as early as 2020, it told C+D.

Investigations regarding another eight concerns are still ongoing, the GPhC said.

It added that the majority (17) of allegations were closed at the triage stage of investigations, while some 12 were closed after investigation.

The regulator stressed that it produced the data by searching the words “sexual misconduct” in its database, so advised “caution when citing or relying upon these figures”.


“Incompatible with continued registration”


C+D asked 45 UK police forces for the number and type of sexual offences that occurred at pharmacies between November 2020 and October 2023. 

Of the 78 incidents, only six resulted in charges, the investigation revealed.

At the time, the GPhC’s chief executive and deputy registrar Dionne Spence said it was “worrying to see an increase in the number of incidents reported at pharmacies identified by C+D’s investigation”.

She stressed “it is important that people are supported to promptly report incidents of this nature so that robust action can be quickly taken, including by law enforcement”.

She added that the GPhC’s guidance shows that “acts of sexual misconduct are so serious that they will often be incompatible with continued registration as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician”.


“Invasive intimate examination”


Meanwhile, in September an FtP hearing found that a locum pharmacist working in a GP practice made “serious failings” when he undertook a vaginal examination that was not “clinically justified” and he was not “competent” to provide.

Read more: Sex crimes in pharmacies soar 55%

The locum who undertook the “invasive intimate examination” was given a six-month suspension, with the FtP committee finding that they were “a man of good character” and that the incident was not “sexually motivated”.

And in July, another locum pharmacist was suspended for three months after admitting to “inappropriate” sexual behaviour towards a female colleague, including showing her a picture of his penis.

In September, C+D reported that Northumbria Police was investigating reports of a man who asked for a private consultation with pharmacy staff before exposing himself on three separate occasions, leaving staff feeling “betrayed”.

It came the same week that a new “vision” report for the sector recommended that pharmacies be commissioned to deliver five more essential services within the next five years, which would see pharmacists spending more time one-on-one with patients.


If you’ve been affected by sexual harassment in the workplace, reach out to NAWP , Pharmacist Support or PASS in Northern Ireland for help. Find free materials to raise awareness of a zero tolerance of abuse policies in pharmacies here.

Related Content


Pharmacy Manager

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



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