Speaking exclusively to C+D at the GPhC’s central London event last week (October 18), chief executive Duncan Rudkin said the regulator should be a “peripheral player” in tackling workplace pressures, and it is up to everyone – including pharmacy leaders – to create a “corporate culture” that reflects this.
“That doesn’t mean that these issues [should be allowed to] fall between the cracks,” he added.
The event was the first part of the GPhC’s “programme of work” on workplace pressures, and a “wide range of stakeholders” (see below) were invited to share their experience of dealing with this issue.
In his closing remarks at the event, Mr Rudkin reminded delegates putting patient safety first is an “unalienable” fact of being a healthcare professional.
Commissioners also have an obligation to consider how the design of contracts for health services can affect both corporate and individual behaviour, by sending an “inadvertent” message that “only volume is valued”.
"Wait and see"
The sector will have to “wait and see” whether guidance on workplace pressures will form part of the GPhC’s new standards for pharmacy professionals, which are currently being finalised, Mr Rudkin told C+D.
“They certainly place a huge emphasis on professional judgment, teamwork and many of the themes that have come up [at this event],” he said.
Mr Rudkin told delegates that the GPhC would not make a plan for its next steps “on the hoof”, but stressed that the regulator will inform the sector what it plans to do next.
It will also release a full list of delegates who attended in its event report, it said on Twitter.
The regulator announced at the event that GPhC inspectors will continue to monitor pharmacies’ staffing levels, despite increased financial pressures caused by funding cuts in England.