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Contractor outraged at GPhC downgrade of ‘excellent’ premises rating

The GPhC's decision to downgrade Rohpharm Pharmacy's excellent rating due to indecision about the criteria has shocked owner Jignesh Patel


The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) awarded a London pharmacy an excellent rating only to revoke it weeks later due to confusion over the criteria, C+D has learned.

Jignesh Patel, owner of Rohpharm Pharmacy, Plaistow, secured an excellent rating in an unannounced inspection of his premises in March. But the GPhC revoked the award last week because it had not yet agreed the criteria for the excellent rating.

Rohpharm pharmacy will now be downgraded to a good rating. The GPhC said it could not comment on individual cases but highlighted that it was "continuing to develop its thinking" on the criteria for an excellent pharmacy during the prototype phase, which began in November.

Mr Patel branded it "worrying" that the GPhC had still not decided what constituted an excellent pharmacy after testing the premises inspection model for six months.

A scoring system would give pharmacies a target to aim for, says Rohpharm Pharmacy owner Jignesh Patel

More on premises inspections

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Explain how you are meeting premises standards, GPhC chief tells independents

GPhC rates most pharmacies only ‘satisfactory' under pilot inspection system

He said the GPhC inspectors had seemed "impressed" by the level of innovation and services in his pharmacy, which gained access to patient records in a pioneering move in February. His official report arrived a month afterwards. "The report came through and it said ‘excellent' and I thought, this is brilliant," Mr Patel recalled.

But Mr Patel was shocked to learn the rating had been revoked in a phone call last week (May 8). "They [the GPhC] said they'd had a discussion with the audit committee and, because they didn't have the criteria, they couldn't give an excellent," he told C+D the following day (May 9).

The GPhC said it was would welcome feedback on its current definition of excellent pharmacy, which is described as one that not only meets all the required standards but "demonstrates innovation in the delivery of pharmacy services with clear positive health outcomes for its patients". Mr Patel said he struggled to see how his pharmacy differed from the criteria. "We provide innovative services," he argued. "We showed them [the GPhC] how we had potentially saved people's lives because we could access blood test results and see what was happening."

Mr Patel called for a clearer ratings system in premises inspections. "I think what we need to push for is a scoring system – for example 60 per cent is good, 80 per cent is excellent – that gives some sort of aim for people who are being inspected," he stressed. "Then they can reach the highest standards."

The GPhC has inspected more than 750 pharmacy premises under the new system. It has declined to give any figures on how many pharmacies have fallen into each rating until the prototype phase is over.

Have you been inspected during the GPhC's testing phase for its proposed new inspection process? How did you fare and is the process an improvement on the previous inspection model?
We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


This scoring system is good as the voting on eurovison contest..

Not much to sing and dance about.....

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

New scoring system from GPhC

Score -- Excellent -- Criteria -- Large Multiple Company with Shoes and Loads of FtP cases
Score -- Good -- Criteria -- Other Multiples with more cases for FtP
All Other Scores -- Criteria -- Independents and small chains who have to undertake a lengthy inspections

How cool is this proposal ;-)

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

This is the current model already in use

Halal Butcher, Academic pharmacist

Mr Patel, why such a sad face? Get over it, big deal if it's excellent/good. So long as you provide the best service you can and your customers are happy then so what if your "excellent" has turned into a "good"? Jees man some people hey!

Michael Stewart, Community pharmacist

You have missed the point I feel, for me it is not about what the rating actually is - it is the fact that an inspector's rating was downgraded by a committee "because they don't know the criteria". It makes a mockery of the inspection process.

Imagine your department was downgraded from a 5 because the assessors didnt know what 5 meant - would you see any point in striving for a 5? What if it was also unclear how you could achieve a 4? Then consider that the rating will be publicised and that funding for your research depends on achieving a good rating. Get over it. Big deal.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

I find this very disappointing. Clearly, the inspector who carried out the visit felt that "excellent" was an appropriate mark. All this does is undermine the whole process

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

There are so many petitions going on. Is there any chance a petition be signed by the Pharmacists to route out the GPhC and choose who governs us? and how?

Geeta Madhani, Pharmacy Asistant/ Medicine Counter Assistant

It's true we don't know the criteria so how do we know and how can we meet the criteria I read about mr patel a lot. In weekly magazine & I was very impressed by his services and professionalism

Samuel Jacobs, Community pharmacist

I call for an Emergency Special Meeting to Allow members to Vote for Abolition of this institution !

Michael Stewart, Community pharmacist

I don't think we are members with a vote! We are registrants obliged to co-operate or face removal from the register. There is no democracy here. But a petition expressing a vote of no confidence......? Not a bad idea DS.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

I know I gave the idea of Petition, but I also know that I am not a great person at starting a petition. It is simply a case of "who will tie a bell round the Cat's neck", i suppose. But I am sure there are a lot of good Pharmacists with a better vision for our profession and one of them will definitely initiate a petition. I will be the first person to sign it :-)

When we have a vote to choose who leads our country, why can't we choose who leads our profession? That too when the money to run this organisation comes from our own pockets (hard earned money invested in a future job loss???)

Mitesh Patel, Community pharmacist

The GPhC and DoH are collectively destroying the profession. God help any new pharmacists for the rest of us, ensure you have exit strategies in place.


Lions led by donkeys..........

Halal Butcher, Academic pharmacist

Reminds me of the England Team.

Samuel Jacobs, Community pharmacist

A Further example of the contempt and lack of respect towards pharmacists, especially in the community sector from the powers that are pretending to be representing us (at our expense!) . If one tries to complain, then they send their bully boys (and bully girls) ; the so called inspectors to harass us and cause us endless problems.
The agenda of the big multiples is now apparent now in promoting the splitting of our previous body, which at least was accountable to a degree. Now it seems that the body has been hijacked by the Mafia!

London Locum, Locum pharmacist


Christopher Racey,

GPhC was "unfit for purpose" from the day of its incarnation.

Keith Seston, Other pharmacist

This is apalling.The GPhC are making it up as they go along .How would they react to a pharmacist giving out a prescription and recalling it later because" the criteria had not been decided"?
This again demonstrates the need to have a simple satisfactory or unsatisfactory standard

Michael Stewart, Community pharmacist

"But Mr Patel was shocked to learn the rating had been revoked in a phone call last week (May 8). "They [the GPhC] said they'd had a discussion with the audit committee and, because they didn't have the criteria, they couldn't give an excellent," he told C+D the following day (May 9)"

This is outrageous - if the criteria for ratings aren't in place, why are inspections going ahead? What is the point? After all, its not clear to anyone how to achieve a good rating, now 'excellent' is also off the cards - it reverts to a pass/fail scenario. Scrap the pointless ratings system before confidence is lost in the whole inspections process.

Peter McAuley, Community pharmacist

I totally agree with the statement "if the criteria for ratings aren't in place, why are inspections going ahead?"

Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

woolly heads in an institution no better than a chocolate tea pot - utterly useless - need a replacement body staffed with logical thinkers!!

Nick Carney, Community pharmacist

This is just the start of many issues raised by the GPhC deciding to rate pharmacies. The GPhC definition of excellence is, in my humble opinion, flawed. Consider the definition of innovative (Oxford Dictionaries) :"featuring new methods; advanced and original". Therefore an innovative pharmacy cannot be innovative on a subsequent visit unless it adopts other new or original practice, and failing to do so would presumably mean it would need to be downgraded. Furthermore, if many pharmacies adopt the practice of the first innovative pharmacy, that practice can no longer be considered innovative!

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