Layer 1

'A step too far': PDA explains why it's taking GPhC to court

Mark Koziol: "The standards widen the scope of employers to discipline pharmacists."
Mark Koziol: "The standards widen the scope of employers to discipline pharmacists."

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has explained it is challenging new standards for the profession because they are a “step too far”.

The PDA has sought a judicial review of a line in the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) standards – due to come into effect “later this year” – which state that they “need to be met [by pharmacists] at all times, not only during working hours”.

PDA chairman Mark Koziol told C+D: “The new standards impose requirements about body language, tone of voice and politeness at all times, not only during working hours.”

“They are a step too far and will be of concern to many pharmacists.”

“The standards are such that they widen the scope of employers and the GPhC to use them as the basis to discipline pharmacists in the future,” Mr Koziol added. “There is no question that they need to be challenged.”

He also pointed out that the PDA “made its views known” to the regulator in a consultation last year, “as did numerous pharmacists – but these were ignored”.

“This left the PDA with no other option than to challenge the GPhC in the courts.”

When will the hearing take place?

The hearing will be held in the High Court, at the Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Centre, next week (March 23) – the same week that the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the National Pharmacy Association will be challenging the pharmacy funding cuts in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

For more on the PDA’s hearing, including reactions from the GPhC and C+D readers, click here.

Do you agree with the PDA's decision?

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

So... what happened?

Angela Alexander, Academic pharmacist

I was wondering that too - surely C+D must know?

Andrew Low, Community pharmacist

This subject of manners and tone of voice and body language is interesting.There is the "repressive cough" of the bully in the novel The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat;the "contemptuous cough" of a bully in The Steppe by Dr Anton Chekhov;a "most malicious cough" in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

How does one judge these things though?

The patients and customers are the ones who are irritable and angry these days.

Perhaps we should be leading the way in manners and behaviour as pharmacists.

I do Sahaja Yoga meditation,which is free,and spread the word whenever I can.

Colm Garvin, Locum pharmacist

two steps too far!

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

Where does killing a spider rank on the new  scheme of things?  I murdered one only yesterday!

Christopher Ruane, Community pharmacist

This is an assault on our rights as individuals. Far from protecting the public it would potentially turn into a gagging order and increase the risk of cutting corners with the threat of sanction or redundancy. It must be resisted and fought all the way.

Marc Borson, Community pharmacist

i would happily stand outside a pharmacy school and hand out information about the facts of a pharmacy career. any one interested. Mark Koziol is outstanding.

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

We all look forwards to hearing how you get on. 

Medicine Master, Primary care pharmacist

so i won't be able  to tell the obnoxious leery patient  **** **f,

Gerard Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Stay in bed don't get up. Join a trapist monastry the rules will be more relaxed.

ajaz akhtar, Student

David vs Goliath 

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

All this extra Pharmacist policing won't come cheap, registration fees will need to go up to compensate.  I just hope that pharmacists can see beyond their own personal interests, the public needs protecting.  #TeamGPhC

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

You're right, they do need protecting - FROM area managers!!

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

I really hope your joking, otherwise if you are willing to support such orwellian rules, your children will get it far far worse. As a wise man once said, dont look at how changes in legislation effect you, but rather the next generation.

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

and you sir would see your children raised in a lawless society where pharmacists run riot.  I pitty your children if the PDA get their way and this madness comes to pass. #TeamGPhC 

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

If you really knew pharmacists, we generally are the most boring profession in the nhs, the gphc could raise the registration fees to 2000 a year and we wouldnt complain. I would rather teach my children ethics and morals to judge what is right and wrong than this society to determine that for them, this is a society which rewards cooporate fraud (2008 banking crash) and tax evasion, putting millions into poverty, yet punishes someone with a court order for speeding.

Ghengis Pharm, Locum pharmacist

A**e. Does that get me a reprimand?

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Dear Mr O'Rourke

That was a step too far,  consider this your notice of a home visit.  Please ensure that your house is in order and you have 5 years of social media accounts available for viewing.  Your family and neighbours must be aware of their roles and be prepared to answer the inspectors questions.  


The GPhC #MastersoftheUniverse


M Yang, Community pharmacist

Oh s**t, I just used the a** word today at work, although nobody was around to witness it. Am I in deep s**t with the GPhC?

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Glad to see the RPS contributing nothing of substance to all this, but then they probably agree with the GPhC on most things. 

fatnose pansies, Sales

The RPS response to the Standards for Pharmacy Professionals consultation is unavailable. It would be interesting to see what they said.

Susan Price, Primary care pharmacist

Well done PDA. I think the GPhC are going far too far..

Win or lose, it is us poor saps who are registrants who will ultimately pay GPhC's costs. 

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Duncan has just sent us all an email - from his personal email address. How about we all reply?

Susan Price, Primary care pharmacist

I didn't get an e-mail.I'd LOVE to reply and express my heartfelt opinions. Once a punk......

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Can't stand the man.  Smug looking git.  With a degree in French!!!!  What does he know?!  Sweet FA ! 

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Careful Angela, you'll get yourself suspended.

JOHN MUNDAY, Locum pharmacist

This GPhC proposal has to be challenged. It is ludicrous that they can impact on and set standards on your non-professional normal life.
For example:
You cannot share lewd or bawdy posts on FB.
You will not be allowed to swear on FB.
You will not be allowed to have a boosey drinks filled evening out with friends.
Nakedness or near-naked on a beach here or anywhere in the world would not be tolerated.
Any public free expression (such as free speech) would not be allowed.
You become aware of criminal misdoings by a member of your close family - you have no choice but to report it to the authorities in case you bring the profession into disrepute.
A minor motoring offence could be used against you AND you will be forced to disclose all such events to the all powerful GPhC.

I suspect this could go as far as the European Human Court of Rights.

Christopher Ruane, Community pharmacist

I agree completely, it is  a total affront to our basic human rights



Job of the week

Pre-registration Pharmacists
West London, Surrey, Hampshire, Ken
On application