The General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) new standards for pharmacy professionals will come into effect on 12 May 2017.
The 2017 standards, which have been reduced significantly from 57 to 9, are all centred on providing safe and effective care, according to Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC. Each standard is accompanied by detailed examples of how they apply to “pharmacy professionals” in practice.
Among the other changes to the standards this year is a tweak to the wording on personal values and beliefs that will require pharmacists to ensure their beliefs do not compromise patient-centred care, also formerly known as the ‘conscience’ clause. The move follows responses to a GPhC consultation that closed in March 2017. The change had previously triggered outrage from Christian and Muslim groups who claimed it could jeopardise the identity of pharmacists and affect their ability to comfortably exercise professional judgement.
The new standards have also retained wording which led to a High Court challenge by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) on 23 March 2017, where the GPhC asks that the standards are “met at all times, not only during working hours”. In April 2017, the High Court rejected the request for a judicial review saying that the PDA had interpreted the standards incorrectly.
Rudkin has encouraged pharmacy professionals to “read and reflect on the new standards now” in preparation for the 12 May 2017.