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GPhC: 90% of provisionally registered pharmacists risk assessed

Employers of those working in community pharmacy had the highest level of compliance

Almost all provisionally registered pharmacists who responded to a GPhC survey had been given a risk assessment by their employer, the regulator has found.

Employers must risk-assess provisionally registered pharmacists before they start working, to make sure they are fit to work in a pharmacy, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) said in a document published in July.

To check that employers were meeting this and other requirements to support this cohort, the regulator surveyed those who had joined its provisional register in August, it said in a statement last week (September 25).

Out of 769 people who responded to the question about risk assessments, 90% said their employer had completed one for them.

Highest compliance for community pharmacy

The provisionally registered pharmacists were also asked to specify which setting they currently work in. The majority of respondents, 56%, said they worked in community pharmacy, followed by hospital/secondary care, at 40%. Other environments included GP practices/primary care, online-only pharmacies and “multiple settings”.

Employers of respondents working in community pharmacy were the most compliant (94%) for completing the risk assessments, followed by employers in hospital/secondary care (85%), GP practices (80%) and multiple settings (89%), according to the report.

“However, lower levels of compliance were generally due to respondents saying that they did not know whether their employer had conducted the risk assessment,” the GPhC added.

Clinical advice and guidance

The GPhC survey also found that 96% of respondents knew who their named senior pharmacist was and 98% had “access to clinical advice and guidance when [they] needed it”. Only 1% said they had “concerns about their access to clinical advice and guidance”.

GPhC CEO Duncan Rudkin said the regulator will follow-up “on the small number of cases where all of the requirements may not have been met”.

“These results indicate that the vast majority of employers are meeting our requirements and that provisionally-registered pharmacists are receiving the appropriate clinical advice and risk assessments,” he added.

The GPhC will repeat the survey to allow those who have not had a chance to respond to it to do so and those who joined the provisional register after August to share their experience.

Pre-registration trainees can apply to join the GPhC provisional register until July 2021, provided they meet a set of criteria. In order to remain on the GPhC register, they must sit and pass the registration assessment “at the first opportunity if they are fit to do so”, the regulator has said.

However, the GPhC said last week (September 21) that it cannot confirm a date for its online registration assessment until it appoints a provider.

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