The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has issued a discussion paper to review its Indicative Sanction Guidance — the primary document fitness-to-practise committees use to determine sanctions, which range from no action to removal from the register.
The guidance has not been reviewed since it was produced in May 2011 and the review will consider procedures for raising concerns, sexual misconduct, dishonesty and failures to be open and honest, known as a duty of candour.
The move follows an increase in fitness-to-practise cases relating to sexual misconduct and dishonesty, according to the discussion paper.
Feedback from the discussion paper, published on 21 November 2014, will be used to draw up draft guidance, which will go out for consultation in February 2015. The new guidance, known as Hearings and sanctions guidance, will be published in April 2015, according to council papers.
GPhC chairman Nigel Clarke says events such as the widespread failures in care at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust highlight the risk to patients when professionals do not speak up. “The proposals reflect the seriousness with which the GPhC views failing to be open and honest with patients,” he says.