A consultation into proposed new standards for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians has been launched by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
The regulator is asking for feedback on nine core standards that all pharmacy professionals will have to meet to ensure that patients receive safe and effective care and to uphold public trust and confidence in pharmacy.
The consultation, that is live now, will run for 12 weeks until 27 June 2016.
Nigel Clarke, GPhC chair, said: “These standards are at the heart of what it means to be a pharmacy professional and set out what we believe pharmacy professionals need to do to help people to maintain and improve their health and wellbeing.
“This includes emphasising the need to provide person-centred care, focusing on the individual person, their needs and what matters to them.”
Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and members of the public are being encouraged to read the document and respond to the GPhC.
“We also want to hear from other healthcare professionals who are increasingly working with pharmacy professionals as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
“This feedback will help us ensure the standards represent a collective view of what is now expected of pharmacy professionals,” Clarke added.
The new draft standards were developed following a national discussion with a wide variety of stakeholders on patient-centred professionalism in pharmacy.
The proposed new standards represent an approach to regulation that promotes professional decision-making and encourages pharmacy professionals to consider how they can provide person-centred care, whatever their area of practice.
Key changes to the standards and accompanying guidance include strengthening the guidance for pharmacy professionals who have concerns and emphasising that empathy and compassion are a key part of acting professionally and providing safe and effective care.
“People’s expectations of pharmacy professionals are growing, and changes occurring in health and social care across Great Britain mean that pharmacy professionals will continue to take on new and greater roles in providing care’ said Duncan Rudkin, GPhC chief executive.
“This is why it is so important that we hear from as many people as possible through our consultation, to make sure we have got the right standards for today and for the future.”
The GPhC is proposing that the standards will replace the standards of conduct, ethics and performance as well as the existing codes of conduct pharmacy students and trainees currently follow.
The GPhC will be consulting with registrants, students, trainees, educators, employers, pharmacy and health bodies, patients and the public across England, Scotland and Wales.
Among the engagement activities, the GPhC will hold day-long events at schools of pharmacy in Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow in addition to working with groups representing patients and the public to seek feedback from their members and supporters.
Click here to view the draft standards and respond to the GPhC