In an exclusive interview last week (June 14), the regulator’s chief executive Duncan Rudkin told C+D that it is “reasonable” to expect this to result in a “spike in complaints and concerns, as people become more aware of how pharmacies are regulated”.
“Overall I would have thought [the volume of complaints] is likely to rise…in ways that will be quite hard to predict,” he added.
Record number of concerns
The number of fitness-to-practise concerns reported to the GPhC reached a record high of 667 between January and March 2018, according to a report published for its council meeting this month.
This marked a 32% increase on the 507 concerns reported in the same period the previous year.
It also signals a second record-breaking quarter for fitness-to-practise concerns, after the GPhC handled 602 between October and December 2017.
Mr Rudkin said he thought the increase in concerns was “partly to do with increased visibility of regulation generally [and] partly to do with the fact that we've made it much easier for people to raise concerns with us.”
“There is undoubtedly a wider societal aspect to this, perhaps in how members of the public and others are raising issues with regulators generally.”
“The increase seems to be pretty much across the board, across all sorts of types of issues,” he added.
You have until August to submit your responses to the GPhC’s consultation on regulating pharmacies here.