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Pharmacy inspections will be made public for 5 years on GPhC website

GPhC: We will not publish any pharmacy's commercially sensitive information, unless appropriate
GPhC: We will not publish any pharmacy's commercially sensitive information, unless appropriate

A pharmacy’s inspection report and outcomes will be made available on a dedicated website for five years, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has said.

As part of changes to its inspection model – which included the introduction of new “intelligence-led” inspections and unannounced visits in April this year – the GPhC is planning to publish inspection reports on a dedicated website.

These reports – plus details of any actions taken against the pharmacy or contractor following the inspection – will be held on the regulator’s site for five years following the inspection, the GPhC said in an update to its publication and disclosure policy today (August 9).

The inspection website is due to go live in early September, the GPhC told C+D, and will also include examples of good practice for pharmacies to learn from.

Reports will be accessible via the individual pharmacy’s entry on the GPhC register. Each pharmacy will also have a dedicated page on the new inspection website, which will include the detailed evidence report, improvement action plan and links to previous reports, the GPhC explained.

The regulator will not publish or disclose any commercially sensitive information, nor information that may prejudice ongoing third party or other GPhC investigations, “unless appropriate”, it said.

Sharing the information

The inspection reports will be publicly available for patients to analyse, but the GPhC will also share intelligence with other relevant stakeholders, including the Care Quality Commission, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and NHS England, it explained.

The updated version of its disclosure practices “explains how the GPhC balances the need to be open and transparent against the rights and freedoms of individuals”, it said.

Read the GPhC’s publication and disclosure policy.

Are you in favour of pharmacy inspection reports being made publicly available?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

It does seem to be a relatively pointless exercise. Most people wouldn't understand what we were being inspected on anyway and all the public want from us is to be given the right medicines quickly and if it comes with a smile and a bit of advice, that's a bonus. The ultimate rating for a pharmacy is with the feet.

Brent Cutler, Manager

This should make it a lot easier for Opiate abusers to find the best places to buy!

SP Ph, Community pharmacist

What is the logic? What is the connection?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I would challenge that being displayed on the GPHC website is ultimately the same as hiding it away in a drawer somewhere.

Scores on the doors would be a far more effective measure of informing people in my opinion.

Ranjeev Patel, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

This information was never needed in the past, so why is it needed now? Just another way for the GPhC to pretend that they are doing something useful? Maybe publishing how much people are being paid at the GPhC to come up with this stuff would be more useful, including corporate lunches, bonuses, expense accounts warts and all. Transparency my left foot.

A.S. Singh, Community pharmacist

I'm also baffled. I would be interested to see who the top twenty earners are at the GPHC. 

Greatly Pedantic and Highly Clueless, Senior Management

Wonder if they'll publish the staffing and error rates at the multiples and act on whistleblower reports? 

Ranjeev Patel, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Well they did nothing about the most high-profile and comprehensive whistleblower report to date. Watch on YouTube "Boots: Pharmacists Under Pressure?" - the whole thing is on there.

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