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APPG presses House of Commons leader on decriminalisation

Oliver Colvile: Pharmacists still face criminal prosecution for making an honest mistake

Conservative MP Oliver Colvile (pictured) asked Chris Grayling to explain the "very frustrating delay" to the decriminalisation of dispensing errors

The leader of the House of Commons has fended off questions from the all-party pharmacy group (APPG) about the latest delay to the decriminalisation of dispensing errors.

The APPG announced in October that a legal defence from prosecution for pharmacy workers who make an inadvertent dispensing error was expected to be passed to MPs by Christmas. But the Department of Health (DH) told C+D last week (December 7) that it expects to agree draft changes in Spring 2016.

APPG vice-chair Oliver Colvile asked House of Commons leader Chris Grayling last Thursday (December 10) for "a statement on this very frustrating delay".

Mr Grayling said the DH is "moving ahead as rapidly as possible" and "intends to introduce changes at an early date".

Mr Colvile should direct his questions to health secretary Jeremy Hunt when he returns from parliament's Christmas recess in January, Mr Grayling said. 

"I advise [you] to take that opportunity to ensure momentum continues apace," he added.

High on APPG's agenda

Speaking after the exchange, Mr Colvile said the decriminalisation debate would be "high on the agenda" when the APPG meets health ministers in January.

"Day in, day out, pharmacists live under the threat of criminal prosecution for making an honest mistake. No other health professional is treated in this way," he added.

Last week, the APPG told C+D it was “surprised and disappointed” at the latest delay to decriminalisation

Do you think the slow progress of decriminalisation is affecting patient safety?

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Do you think the slow progress of decriminalisation is affecting patient safety

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Oh dear gave up on this error prosecutions being scrapped eons be honest with the Brexit fiasco and all other areas such as police, NHS, house building going down the plug that politicians and public have no appetite for our little prosecution issues....x

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

whats the point, it will be irrelevent soon... you can't prosecute robots

"moving ahead as rapidly as possible". For goodness sake, galaxies are created, grow, wither and die quicker than this bunch act. The original draft legislation was written on velum by monks

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

I will repeat. Ken Jarrold. ...... ...... looks like all of 2015 was wasted. Note the quality of the Board and lack of patient facing pharmacists. Surely those that are most likely to be impacted should form the majority ?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

@ Robin, do you expect us to actually wait till a major incidence happen and then get in to trouble with all the regulatory bodies ?? Does not make any sense. There is enough evidence, but what we lack is the political will and more pressure from the Pharmacy bodies.

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