Layer 1

Keith Ridge's hub-and-spoke apology should go further

Gareth Jones: DH's hub-and-spoke proposals are flawed

The NPA's Gareth Jones has called for England's chief pharmaceutical officer to make further clarifications on error rates in community pharmacies

England's chief pharmaceutical officer “needs to go further” in explaining why he made faulty claims about hub-and-spoke dispensing, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has said.

Dr Ridge apologised last week (May 11) for being “inadvertently misleading” when he used an all-party pharmacy group (APPG) event in March to compare the 3% dispensing error rate in England with a "0.00001%" error rate at "large-scale automated dispensing facilities in Sweden". 

NPA head of corporate affairs Gareth Jones told C+D that Dr Ridge needs to do more to ensure that anyone planning to respond to the government's hub-and-spoke consultation is given a "fair representation" of dispensing error rates.

DH's claims are "unravelling"

The Department of Health’s (DH) hub-and-spoke proposals are “flawed”, Mr Jones said. The data about error rates are just one of the "many claims" the DH has made that is "unravelling", Mr Jones added. 

He highlighted that Dr Ridge relied on a single research paper, the findings of which were found to be "compromised" in a subsequent review. The “significant criticisms” of the research should have been declared to the APPG, Mr Jones argued.

He also questioned why Dr Ridge ignored other studies when presenting his claims about dispensing error rates to the APPG evidence session in March.

In his statement to the APPG last week, Dr Ridge admitted it was "not appropriate to draw a direct comparison" between dispensing error rates in the UK and Sweden, because of the way these rates are recorded. 

No further comments

NHS England told C+D last week (May 11) that Dr Ridge had no further comments to make about his hub-and-spoke claims.


Do you think the hub-and-spoke consultation should be extended in the wake of Dr Ridge's retraction? 

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Thomas Dalton, Superintendent Pharmacist

Ridge should resign. Community pharmacy provision and patient services are in no way related to his further education hobby


Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

The DoH is talking about millions, but can't even get tens right. In the consultation response document Q13 is missing and number 14 is duplicated. How reliable are the other figures?

M Yang, Community pharmacist

"...Dr Ridge relied on a single research paper..." I believe the same thing happened in a episode of The Thick Of It. Ah, the perils of relying on a single expert. Common sense escapes you, Ridge.

Dodo pharmacist, Community pharmacist

The man is obviously in the pocket of the automation manufacturers and is pushing automation at every opportunity. He is now trying to say that not using automation is unprofessional because using it reduces errors ( in his opinion )

Findings based on *one* Swedish comparitor? I wonder whether Apoteket had made an approach to Dr Ridge?

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

Would he admit it if he had?

Job of the week

Relief Pharmacist or store based Pharmacist
Mid Wales - Powys (Builth and Lland
Competitive Salary + Location Supplement and Benefits