A legal defence against inadvertent dispensing errors is now closer to being signed into law, having been signed by the Privy Council. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society welcomed the news.

The law may now come into effect as soon as April. According to the RPS, it aims to increase patient safety by reducing the fear of criminal prosecution and encouraging a more open culture of error reporting and learning from mistakes.

RPS president Ash Soni said: “MPs and Peers from across the political parties approved a change to the law in December, so I am pleased to see this step towards it being implemented. Fostering a culture where health professionals feel able to report errors and learn from their mistakes will support a safer and better service for patients. I now look forward to the government publishing the long-awaited consultation on similar proposals for hospitals and other pharmacy settings as soon as possible.”

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