The regulator launched its first of two online workshops last week to seek feedback about "what quality means in pharmacy practice", as part of its ongoing “programme of work” on pressures in pharmacy.
The outcomes from the workshops could “inform all aspects of [the GPhC’s] work”, including “how we develop inspections, education and continuing professional development”, chief executive Duncan Rudkin said in an exclusive interview with C+D yesterday (January 24).
“Some of [the workshop conversations] will no doubt be relevant to workplace pressures, but it is also really important to put that in the wider context of quality, what is safe, and the experience patients have,” he added.
The GPhC confirmed that over 500 pharmacists and stakeholders have already participated in the online discussions, generating “around 80 ideas”. This has prompted the regulator to extend the workshop by another week.
GPhC "not nervous" to tackle companies head-on
Last year, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) said it was "very disappointed" by the regulator's alleged reluctance “to take firm action against the corporates", following the results of the the PDA's survey on pressures in pharmacies.
But Mr Rudkin stressed to C+D yesterday that the GPhC’s approach continues to be “well-informed and balanced”.
“I do not accept that we were nervous about [not naming companies or individuals].
“The regulatory process is fair to everybody involved, whether that is superintendents and owning companies, or individual professionals, and above all the public,” he said.
Mr Rudkin added that any comments made in the online workshops are anonymous. If any pharmacist feels they have “actionable, usable evidence” of bad practice in their pharmacy, they should contact the GPhC’s “concerns area”.
“That is not the kind of [information] I expect to come through the workshops,” Mr Rudkin pointed out.
Stakeholders who wish to contribute to the online workshops can email email@example.com, the GPhC added.
A snapshot of the workshop conversations:
(Click on image to enlarge)