Proposals to clarify the roles of superintendent and responsible pharmacists have been delayed after concerns were expressed about the plans during the consultation process.
The Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board, which put together the proposals, has said that plans to introduce draft legislation to parliament in December 2018, which would be needed to bring the proposals into force, are now scheduled to happen in March 2019 instead.
The delay means that a planned extension of new legal defences for inadvertent prescribing errors to include hospital and other pharmacists will also be pushed back.
The board said that responses to the consultation “raised areas that require further consideration and clarification for stakeholders”.
Several concerns were expressed in responses to the consultation, which closed in September 2018, including that the proposed changes could see a single pharmacist made remotely responsible for more than one pharmacy.
In a statement, Ken Jarrold, chair of the board, said: “It was good to see a high level of engagement in responding to the consultation. The board is giving full consideration to what we heard and there is still work left to do to make sure we have got it right.
“I look forward to working closely with the board over the next few months to ensure the proposed legislation appropriately improves safety for users of pharmacy services, including through extending the defences for dispensing errors, and advances the innovation and developments of pharmacy practice.”