In a consultation document published yesterday (July 20), the GPhC said managers have a “significant influence over the culture, practices and environment of the pharmacy business”.
Under its draft guidance “to ensure a safe and effective pharmacy team”, the GPhC stated that pharmacy owners should make sure managers understand “how to manage appropriately any personal or organisational goals, incentives or targets, without compromising safe and effective care” and “that pharmacy professionals must make patient safety a priority”.
Background to the consultation
In June 2016, the regulator announced it was conducting a "programme of work" on pressures in community pharmacy, after a survey from the Pharmacists’ Defence Association highlighted the scale of workplace pressures affecting the sector.
As part of its programme of work, the GPhC launched a series of online workshops in January to collect feedback from pharmacists about “what quality means in pharmacy practice”.
The GPhC told C+D yesterday that its latest consultation was prompted by a range of work over the last five years, including the online workshops, and feedback from its consultations on professional and educational standards.
It is the first time the GPhC has set out in guidance what pharmacy owners should do to ensure non-registrant managers understand their responsibilities and the responsibilities of the wider pharmacy team, the regulator told C+D.
Training for staff
Under the GPhC's current policy, individual pharmacists are accountable for the training of staff. However, the GPhC has proposed that accountability for the training of both registered and unregistered staff should sit with the pharmacy owner.
If the guidance is approved, the GPhC will cease to accredit dispensing and medicines counter assistant courses. Instead, pharmacy owners will become responsible for selecting appropriate training for their staff, it explained.
Policy out of date
The consultation is open until October 11. In the document, the regulator said “the current policy framework is out of date and does not reflect the diversity of roles within pharmacy”.
Commenting on the latest document, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “We wanted to provide guidance which gives greater clarity on roles and responsibilities.
“Our proposed approach gives pharmacy owners the flexibility...to decide what training their staff need for their individual roles, but also makes them accountable for ensuring that all staff working in the pharmacy are competent and empowered to provide safe and effective care to people using their services.”