To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the General Pharmaceutical Council's enforcement of standards for registered pharmacy premises; whether he has made an assessment of the effect of failure to apply such standards to pharmacy owners rather than only pharmacy professionals on the safety of patients; and if he will make a statement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether the failure to apply sanctions for standards for pharmacy premises has resulted in a disproportionate number of individual pharmacist registrants who have been held to account for professional standards which may have been impacted by the working environment created by pharmacy owners; and if he will make a statement.
The Department has not made any assessment of the effectiveness of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) as a regulator of pharmacy professionals and pharmacy premises. The Professional Standards Authority, which in its review of the GPhC’s performance in 2016-2017, found that the GPhC had met all of the standards for good regulation, including all of the standards for fitness to practise.
Standards to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public are set by the GPhC. It is important to note that there are very different legal frameworks for upholding these standards and how the regulator deals with these for pharmacy premises as compared to pharmacy professionals. 87% of the pharmacies inspected by the GPhC in 2016-17 were meeting all of the standards it sets. Any pharmacy not achieving all of the standards is required by the GPhC to implement an action plan to improve the services they provide. In this period the GPhC agreed 469 action plans with pharmacies to ensure they improved the services they provide, and 99% of them made the necessary improvements so that they were meeting all of the standards. In the same period 140 cases were made affecting an individual pharmacy professional’s registration.