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The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has welcomed the government’s latest proposal to reform healthcare professionals’ regulation for patients.

The consultation seeks views on the proposed approach to introduce statutory regulation of physician and anaesthesia associates.

The pharmacy regulator has welcomed the government’s latest move and has said that the government consultation is “a real opportunity” to improve health professional regulation for patients.

The proposals have been developed in partnership with the professional regulatory bodies, the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and tested with key stakeholders across the health and care system.

The proposed reforms cover four key areas including governance and operating framework, education and training, registration, and fitness to practice.

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “This consultation is a real opportunity to improve health professional regulation, so we can best protect patients and support health services and health professionals to provide high-quality care.

“We share the UK Government’s and Devolved Administrations’ aim of ensuring healthcare regulation is faster, fairer and more flexible. The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated why we need the powers to enable us to quickly change the way we work, in response to external challenges and opportunities in and for pharmacy. And we support the proposals to strengthen the oversight of the GPhC and other regulators, to make sure we are using this flexibility appropriately on behalf of patients and members of the public.

“We have been actively involved in discussions with Government and our fellow regulators for the other professions, to help develop the proposals. We will also be giving a detailed response to the consultation in due course.

“We would also strongly encourage patients and the public and the pharmacy professionals and pharmacy owners we regulate to respond. The voices of patients and health professionals need to be at the heart of this consultation, to help make sure that health professional regulation is fit for the future.”

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