Layer 1

GPhC explains how it sped up fitness-to-practise cases

Watchdog praised the GPhC’s “improved performance”

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has taken steps to make its fitness-to-practise process more efficient, after it was criticised by the government’s regulation watchdog for taking too long to close some cases, C+D has learned.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) found that the GPhC had met all of its standards of good regulation for each of its core functions, in a performance review of the regulator published earlier this month (September 14).

In particular, the watchdog praised the GPhC’s “improved performance” in dealing with fitness-to-practise cases as quickly as possible – a standard the regulator did not meet in previous performance reviews.

The regulator told C+D on Tuesday (September 22) that it sped up its processes by: forming teams to manage fitness-to-practise cases from beginning to end; improving the “raising concerns” section of its website; recruiting additional members of staff to manage cases; and introducing training to improve the expertise of the fitness-to-practise teams.

Commenting on the PSA report, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said the regulator will continue to “develop and improve our own capacity and capability”.

In July, a C+D investigation uncovered details of complaints lodged with the PSA about the GPhC’s processes in recent years. The complaints included concerns about pharmacist welfare, fitness-to-practise sanctions and whistleblowing.

The investigation found that the PSA had written to the GPhC three times in five years to ensure that the regulator responded to complaints appropriately.

How could the fitness-to-practise process be improved?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I seem to remember disproportionate response being a key factor this time last year. It was anyone's guess at if the sanction was to be light or heavy even in similar cases.

James Jones, Community pharmacist

In my eyes it's not Boots that are the problem, however some people always look for someone or something to blame for their own shortcomings. 

M Yang, Community pharmacist

Narrowing down the search list to Pharmacists working for Boots?

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Midlands, Cheshire & Dorset
Salary dependent upon experience