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CPS: Pharmacists should be given ‘flexibility’ to leave premises

Harry McQuillan (left): Pharmacists should make a decision based on the context
Harry McQuillan (left): Pharmacists should make a decision based on the context

Pharmacists should be given “flexibility” to leave the pharmacy in “the hands of a technician” in certain circumstances, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) has told C+D.

Expanding on CPS’s vision for the sector – which it launched in September – the negotiator’s chief executive Harry McQuillan said pharmacists should be allowed to decide when is appropriate to leave the pharmacy for “an extended period of time” and place the safe running of the premises in “the hands of the technician”.

“We’re not of the opinion that you should have to be there all the time,” he told C+D earlier this month (October 7).

Pharmacists should “have the ability to make a decision based on context…whether it is appropriate to leave or remain within the pharmacy”, Mr McQuillan said.

They should have the “comfort” of knowing that standard operating procedures and trained staff will ensure the safe running of the premises in their absence.

However, “the responsibility and accountability would still lie with the pharmacist”, he stressed.

Changes to pharmacy supervision regulations would have helped during this year’s “beast from the east”, Mr McQuillan claimed.

6 Comments
Question: 
Do you agree with Community Pharmacy Scotland?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I'm struggling to see the benefit of working this angle. I feel there are far more important issues out there regarding Pharmacy. Minimum staffing levels, MDS remuneration, standardising ordering and prescription length, universal prescription fees are just a few that come off the top of the head that seems more important.

Saddened Old Timer, Community pharmacist

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/230192

Leon The Apothecary, Student

For those who don't want to follow the link.

"Petition: Reject Remote Pharmacist Proposals. Keep Pharmacists Present for Patients."

Industry Pharmacist, Business Development Manager

I can see this being exploited. 'Come to the branch down the road for a cluster meeting we should be about 3 hours. Just leave the branch running with the tech/supervisor's'

Hmm not sure if my indemnity insurance will cover this and I wonder if the company will pay me premiums.

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

Mmmm....they talk about 'exceptional circumstances' such as the 'beast from the east'...I recall a winter not so long ago in the 80's that people were snowed in for weeks! I wonder what they did then? Everyone survived......

fatnose pansies, Sales

fixed it

“Pharmacy contractors should have the flexibility to keep the pharmacy closed for patient safety reasons when a pharmacist isn’t there,” Community Pharmacists in Scotland have told C+D.

Expanding on their vision for the sector – which they’ve had ever since pharmacy began – 100% of community pharmacists asked said pharmacy contractors should be allowed to close the pharmacy even if it means making less profit whenever is appropriate including for “an extended period of time”, unless they can provide safe working conditions and ensure the pharmacist is present. There are serious issues with “the training of some pharmacy technicians” due to the “poor quality courses and conditions imposed by some pharmacy contractors”, they said.

“We’re not of the opinion that pharmacies should have to be making profit all the time if it isn’t safe for patients,” they told C+D earlier this month (October 7).

Pharmacy contractors should “have the ability to make a decision based on context…whether it is appropriate to close the pharmacy or remain open”, pharmacists said.

Pharmacy contractors should have the “comfort” of knowing that the public will be safer if they ensure the safe running of the premises.

However, “the responsibility and accountability to ensure patients were provided with pharmacy services would still lie with the the contractor when the pharmacy was closed. They should face the possibility of going to prison if they don’t”, pharmacists stressed.

It would have helped them make the decision to close during this year’s “beast from the east”, pharmacists claimed.

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