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Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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SafeEffectiveCareApril 6 2016

A 12-week consultation on new standards for pharmacy professionals is underway, running until June 27.

In its consultation document, the General Pharmaceutical Council document sets out nine core standards themed around “safe and effective care” that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy students and trainees will be expected to meet.

Its draft document says: “Pharmacy professionals must:

  • provide person-centred care
  • work in partnership with others
  • communicate effectively
  • maintain, develop and use their professional knowledge and skills
  • exercise professional judgement
  • behave in a professional manner
  • respect and maintain the person’s privacy and confidentiality
  • speak up when they have concerns or when things go wrong
  • demonstrate effective leadership.

The standards describe how “safe and effective care is delivered through ‘person-centred’ professionalism. The standards are a statement of what people expect from pharmacy professionals, and also reflect what pharmacy professionals have told us they expect of themselves and their colleagues,” says the document.

Nigel Clarke, GPhC Chair commented: “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.”

He has urged pharmacy and other health professionals, as well as members of the public, to read the proposed standards and to share their views with the GPhC on the approach being taken.

The GPhC has drafted the proposed new standards following a “national discussion with a wide variety of stakeholders on patient-centred professionalism in pharmacy”. It says the standards are intended to promote professional decision-making and to “encourage pharmacy professionals to consider how they can provide person-centred care, whatever their area of practice.”

Among the key changes to the standards and accompanying guidance flagged up by the GPhC are a greater emphasis:

  • on the expectation that pharmacy professionals should speak up when they have concerns or when things go wrong, as well as apologise and set out to put things right; and
  • that empathy and compassion are a key part of acting professionally and providing safe and effective care.

Duncan Rudkin, GPhC Chief Executive added: “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. 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.”

Links:

GPhC announcement

GPhC consultation

‘Consultation on standards for pharmacy professionals’ document

Practice News

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