The PDA has strongly responded to the GPhC’s recent consultation on its Fitness to Practise (FtP) strategy titled ‘Managing concerns about pharmacy professionals: Our strategy for change’, where it welcomed the ‘ethos of reform’ but also expressed concern.

In its statement released on Monday (May 17), the Association shared its concerns about the timing of ‘the proposals’ as the government has already indicated that major changes to how regulators function, especially their FtP processes, are imminent.

The PDA noted that the GPhC had not met the standards required by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) in regard to its existing FtP processes.

Thus, the PDA made a number of recommendations around interim measures that the GPhC could undertake to meet the PSA standards whilst awaiting major changes planned by the government.

The interim measures ask that the GPhC consider putting into place enhanced support measures for both registrants and complainants.

The Council should focus on improving the timeliness to case closure. It should start the process of recruiting BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) panellists. This will help in reflecting the diversity of the profession on the panel.

It should ensure that all cases are fully documented and an internal guidance is followed. Besides, the council must also ensure that diversity data is captured and recorded at the point of raising concern and all subsequent stages.

It must also start to identify how it will ‘meaningfully’ apply the same standards to premises owners as it does to individual registrants.

And lastly, the Council, should have a full and meaningful Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policy in place so that any reformed FtP fits into the overarching legal requirement of its statutory EDI obligations, concluded the PDA.

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