Image Courtesy: twitter/Will Powell

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Association of Pharmacy Technicians in the UK (APTUK) have joined together to publish a reflection and learning resource to support everyone across the pharmacy understand from the Gosport Independent Panel report.

The report, which was published in June 2018, found that at least 450 patients died between 1989 and 2000 because of the inappropriately prescribed opioids. This continued even after many of the nursing staff raised their concerns. However, the report found no evidence that pharmacists in the hospital raised concerns.

“Pharmacy practice has now moved on significantly since the terrible events at Gosport took place; all professionals are expected now to speak out under the duty of candour when there are issues or things have gone wrong, and we underline the importance of learning and reflection,” Nigel Clarke, Chair of the GPhC, said.

The pharmacy bodies called on pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy owners in all sectors to share and discuss a presentation which brings together the key pharmacy themes from the Gosport Independent Panel report. The presentation looks at current pharmacy practice and how things have changed and recaps on the expectations on pharmacy professionals and systems. It also highlights key resources and other materials.

“The lesson for everyone is to encourage and support a culture of patient safety in all care settings. We are pleased to have joined together with the GPhC and APTUK to develop this set of slides to support everyone across pharmacy to learn these lessons,”said Ash Soni, President, Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

The slides underline that pharmacy practice has now developed significantly, including through strengthened professional requirements, the introduction of the duty candour, improved oversight of controlled drugs, and closer working across the multi-disciplinary team.

“Since the significant failures at Gosport Memorial Hospital, the role of the pharmacy technician has evolved exponentially. Pharmacy technicians are now an important component of front line pharmacy care and are often the first point of contact for patients and the public in both community settings. As the role of the pharmacy team continues to expand, these slides should be used across all settings and will serve as a useful learning tool to ensure the harrowing events are never repeated,” Former APTUK President Tess Fenn, stated. 

It is important to reflect and learn from what happened to make sure that these failures in care are never repeated, they added.