The General Pharmaceutical Council's (GPhC) new standards for pharmacy professionals – which came into force last week (May 12) – could be used “as pretence by some employers to discipline and get rid of pharmacists under employment”, Mark Koziol said.
“[The GPhC] has structures and processes that are transparent, and we understand how they work. But our biggest concerns are that [the standards] are abused by employers,” he added.
Speaking exclusively to C+D at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress on the day the standards came into force, Mr Koziol said the PDA had seen some employers use the previous version of the GPhC’s standards “in a systematic, abusive fashion”.
"We've seen situations where a pharmacist has stood up for things that they should have stood up for and they've been told: 'You've just breached a standard, because you have treated a fellow professional with disrespect'," he explained.
It is potential situations like this that "largely prompted" the PDA to challenge the GPhC's proposals in the High Court in March, Mr Koziol added.
However, the judge concluded that the basis for the PDA’s challenge was “simply wrong”.
Queries from members
PDA members have contacted the organisation regarding the new standards since they were proposed, Mr Koziol told C+D.
"How does this play into my job? To what extent do I need to observe and follow these policies or principles? How does it affect standard operating procedures?And how does it [impact] my interactions with patients and employers?"
"We will be watching very carefully how employers use the new standards in their dealings with employees and locums," Mr Koziol added.
Standards come into force
As well as writing to all pharmacy professionals in Great Britain to alert them to the new standards, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin attended the Clinical Pharmacy Congress to break down the principles for delegates.
A few highlights from his presentation are below: