Each month I prepare a note of the most interesting or important regulatory developments in community pharmacy over the preceding month. During August 2022, my team and I found ourselves talking about the following with clients:
- The GPhC issued a reminder to all pharmacies about the particular risks and challenges relating to online pharmacy services, noting that over 30% of currently open GPhC fitness to practise cases relate to online services, which is wholly disproportionate to the sector of the market that online services occupy. The full GPhC update can be read here.
- Health Education England (HEE) has launched a Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway for 2022/2023. The pathway is intended to help pharmacists make the transition to more independent learning and acts as a stepping-stone towards enhanced and advanced practice. Whilst it is not mandatory, participation in the pathway will help pharmacists to demonstrate progression against the RPS post-registration foundation pharmacist curriculum learning outcomes. Further details appear here.
- The UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership launched a call for evidence to inform and develop its work. You can take part and share your views on pharmacy professional leadership until 16 September 2022. The survey link is here.
- The Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry has started to accept applications for Core Participant status. The aim of the Scottish Inquiry is to establish the facts of, and learn lessons from, the strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland. Further details appear here.
- The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 have been laid before Parliament and mean that, with effect from 1 October 2022, it will form part of the NHS pharmacy terms of service for contractors to undertake “an approved workforce survey annually, in an approved manner”. This change has been agreed between NHSE and PSNC to try and obtain a fuller picture of the community pharmacy workforce, in particular the number of vacancies and regions where these are particularly hard to fill.
- In recognition of the work involved in completing the annual workforce survey, from 1 October 2022 contractors will no longer be required to complete an annual patient satisfaction survey. Although patient satisfaction surveys will no longer form part of the NHS pharmacy terms of service, in our experience these surveys can provide very helpful data both for GPhC inspection and fitness to practise purposes and also when responding to NHS market entry applications, in particular unforeseen benefits applications.