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Share your stories on supervision rules, DH urges

DH pharmacy head Jeanette Howe has launched an appeal for pharmacists and technicians to submit their “stories” about how the current regulations are affecting the delivery of pharmacy services

The Department of Health (DH) is calling on pharmacists and technicians to share their views on supervision rules before it proposes changes to the law.

DH pharmacy head Jeanette Howe launched the appeal for "stories" about how regulations are affecting the delivery of pharmacy services, during her speech to the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK conference earlier this month.

The responses would feed into the work of the programme board set up to review pharmacy regulation, which was also being asked to gather feedback from its own members about whether the rules on supervision were effective, a DH spokesperson told C+D yesterday (June 24).

The DH is asking pharmacists and technicians to share how supervision regulations are affecting the delivery of pharmacy services

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These responses would feed into a public consultation on the board's proposed changes to medicines law, including the rules on supervision and the decriminalisation of dispensing errors, the DH said.

The DH told C+D that no date had been agreed for the consultation, which was originally scheduled for January,  it would take place "in due course".

As part of its brief to ‘rebalance' medicines legislation and pharmacy regulation, the board will be consulting on proposals for pharmacy regulators to take over the power to decide if a responsible pharmacist (RP) needs to be on the premises at all times.

The move would mean the General Pharmaceutical Committee (GPhC) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), instead of the government, would decide on the role of an RP, including whether they have to be present in the pharmacy at all times. Under the medicines regulations 2008, the RP can be absent from the pharmacy for up to two hours each day as long as they are contactable

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society had previously opposed the absence rule because of concerns it could lead to pharmacies routinely operating without a pharmacist, but was satisfied once ministers agreed to "robust scrutiny" of the GPhC's RP rules before they come into force.

In March, board chair Ken Jarrold told C+D the group still hoped to get the legislation passed this year, despite the consultation being pushed back indefinitely.

How do supervision rules affect your delivery of pharmacy services?
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

Das Bhambra, Community pharmacist

Once in Gphc hands expect back door remote supervision and then we all can kiss our careers goodbye.

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