Each month I prepare a note of the most interesting or important regulatory developments in community pharmacy over the preceding month. During May 2022, my team and I found ourselves talking about the following:
Back in October, we updated you regarding the GPhC consultation on proposed changes to pharmacist independent prescribing (see here). The GPhC has now decided to proceed with the proposals, meaning that pharmacists will be able to train as IPs at any point from the date of qualification. Pharmacists will also no longer need to show pre-existing experience in a specific clinical or therapeutic area prior to training. No date for the changes to come into effect has been confirmed as yet, but it is expected to be 2023.
Voting on the Pharmacy Representation Review Steering Group’s proposals on the future of the representation and support provided by PSNC and LPCs has now commenced. The proposals are based around four key themes – stronger governance across both PSNC and LPCs, better alignment with the NHS, appropriate resourcing and stronger collaboration. The proposals can be viewed in full at https://pharmacy-review.org/
The Department of Health & Social Care has announced its intention to proceed with two new pieces of legislation – the Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Hospital and Other Pharmacy Services) Order 2022 and the Pharmacy (Responsible Pharmacists, Superintendent Pharmacists etc.) Order 2022. When these draft Orders come into law, the defences to prosecutions for dispensing errors will be extended to hospital pharmacies. Further, in community pharmacies, the roles of Superintendent Pharmacists and Responsible Pharmacists will be changed and clarified. For example, Superintendent Pharmacists will be permitted to be the Superintendent of more than one company and the current record-keeping obligations of Responsible Pharmacists will be removed. The GPhC and PSNI will also become empowered to set rules covering a number of matters such the qualifications and experience of Superintendent Pharmacists and Responsible Pharmacists. We will produce a fuller update on the changes once the draft legislation has been laid before Parliament. In the meantime, Rebalancing Medicines Programme updates are published here.
The Chair of the UK COVID-19 Inquiry, Baroness Hallett, has submitted her proposed Inquiry Terms of Reference to the Prime Minister for approval. In summary, Dame Hallett has proposed to examine the UK’s COVID-19 preparedness, response and impact across three strands – public health, the health and care sector, and economic. The proposed Terms of Reference can be viewed here: https://covid19.public-inquiry.uk/documents/