Fitness-to-practise case concerns reported to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) have risen for the fourth quarter in a row.
Figures presented to the GPhC’s Council meeting on 7 June 2018 showed that there were 462 concerns reported in quarter one of the financial year 2017–2018. This rose to 563 concerns in quarter two, 611 in quarter three, and 667 in the final quarter of the year.
In the council papers, the GPhC said that despite the rise, its total caseload — the number of fitness-to-practise cases it is working on at any one time — had only increased by 10.2%.
Claire Bryce-Smith, GPhC director of insight, intelligence and inspection, said there had been a general upward trend in the number of concerns received by the GPhC, but that there was “no one single factor, or one that is immediately identifiable, that gives an indication as to why this is happening”.
“Importantly, there are no new trends in what we are receiving or who we are receiving concerns from, so establishing a reason for the increase is not straightforward,” she said.
Bryce-Smith said there would “inevitably be a range of factors” influencing the rise, such as people becoming aware of the regulator’s online concerns form, “which makes the process of raising a concern more straightforward”.
The regulator is monitoring the number, nature and source of concerns on a monthly basis “to ensure we are able to identify any trends, factors or reasons that we can, more generally, take action on,” she added.