Guidance Changes: Safe and Effective Pharmacy

This month the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) published new guidance which highlighted what pharmacy owners are expected to do to ensure a safe and effective hospital pharmacy team. The guidance looks at meeting Principle 2 of the standards for registered pharmacies.

Principle 2: Staff are empowered and competent to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing.1

The new guidance covers both registered and unregistered staff within all registered pharmacies, this includes those who are not in a registered pharmacy role. The GPhC will be writing to all pharmacy owners over the course of the next few months to make them aware of the new guidance and to encourage the necessary steps that need to be taken. Following the letter, GPhC inspectors will be on the lookout for those not able to evidence how their pharmacy meets these standards during an inspection.

GPhC Chief Executive, Duncan Rudkin said, ‘Every member of the hospital pharmacy team plays a vital role in ensuring patient safety. This new guidance for pharmacy owners will help them to support the whole pharmacy team to deliver safe and effective care for patients and the public. This is particularly important at a time when the health and care services are facing significant challenges. We expect every pharmacy owner to review this guidance now and consider what they may need to do in response.’

"The feedback received through the consultation we held last year has been very helpful in developing the final guidance. For example, respondents suggested that further guidance was needed on staffing levels. In response, we have included a section in this guidance on what pharmacy owners should do to make sure there are enough suitably qualified and skilled staff in each pharmacy.

"We also believe this guidance will be helpful to other organisations who employ pharmacy professionals or provide pharmacy services across a range of settings - although we do not regulate all these settings." 



1 ‘Standards for Registered Pharmacies’ General Pharmaceutical Council [Online] Viewed June 2018

2 ‘New guidance to ensure a safe and effective pharmacy team’ General Pharmaceutical Council[Online] Viewed June 2018

3 ‘New GPhC guidance for safer pharmacies’ [Online] Viewed June 2018