6.2% of pharmacies found to breach GPhC standards
April 25 2016
Of 6,814 routine inspections of pharmacy premises carried out since November 2013, 421 or 6.2% of them did not meet one or more of these three standards.
General Pharmaceutical Council inspections have assessed pharmacies, seeking “evidence from the pharmacy team that standards relating to the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of patients and the public are met,” health minister Lord Prior of Brampton said last week.
“These standards cover the storage of confidential and private information and the physical and governance arrangements for ensuring patients can have private conversations with pharmacy professionals.”
Breaches in meeting the standards were as follows:
- 274 did not meet standard 1.7 (“Information is managed to protect the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of patients and the public who receive pharmacy services”);
- 174 did not meet standard 3.2 (“Premises protect the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of patients and the public who receive pharmacy services”); and
- 73 did not meet standard 5.3 (“Equipment and facilities are used in a way that protects the privacy and dignity of the patients and the public who receive pharmacy services”).
The figures were given in response to a question raised in the House of Lords by Lord Mawhinney, a former health minister in the Major government. He had asked how many pharmacies in the retail sector had been reprimanded or sanctioned by the GPhC, for breaching patient privacy and for breaching patient dignity.
Lord Prior of Brampton had replied that the Department of Health does not hold that information, but the GPhC had supplied it with the figures. He added: “The United Kingdom and Scottish Parliaments recently approved legislation which includes powers to issue an improvement notice or disqualify a pharmacy from the register for a failure to meet the standards. This will improve the GPhC’s ability to protect patients and improve the quality of the pharmacy services they receive.
“In circumstances where the GPhC finds a registered professional’s fitness to practise is called into question it will investigate and can bring proceedings against that individual.”
In a written answer, the Department of Health clarified: “When pharmacy premises have not met one or more of the standards, they are required by the GPhC to complete and implement an improvement action plan.”