The General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) premises standard of having “enough staff, suitably qualified and skilled, for the safe and effective provision of pharmacy services” has for the second quarter in a row been one of the most common areas failed in pharmacy inspections, it said in a statement yesterday (September 6).
However, the numbers of pharmacies failing to meet this standard “remain relatively small”, making up “under 3%” of those inspected between January and June, the GPhC stressed.
Evidence collected in “recent months” of continued staffing level concerns prompted GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin to seek feedback from pharmacy bodies regarding “any challenges that pharmacies are facing in relation to staffing”.
In a letter to the Company Chemists’ Association – which represents the UK’s largest multiples – the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the National Pharmacy Association, Community Pharmacy Scotland and Community Pharmacy Wales, sent yesterday and seen by C+D, Mr Rudkin asked the bodies to share what steps its members are taking to meet its standards on staffing, within the next six weeks.
He also asked the organisations to share how they are supporting their members to do this.
The GPhC published guidance on ensuring a safe and effective pharmacy team in June, which includes what pharmacy owners are expected to do in relation to safe staffing.
“This area will continue to be a key area of focus for our inspections and other regulatory activities,” Mr Rudkin said in his letter.
Read Mr Rudkin's letter to the pharmacy bodies in full here.