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Pharmacy bodies form supervision group ahead of legislation reforms


Pharmacy bodies form supervision group ahead of legislation reforms

Seven community pharmacy bodies have come together to form a working group that will explore the “future modelling of pharmacy practice” as the Government embarks on legislation reform around pharmacy supervision.

The Pharmacy Supervision Practice Group was formed in response to “much discussion relating to current legislation and case law surrounding supervision of community pharmacy practice,” as well as the intention of the Department of Health and Social Care and devolved health departments “to reform current legislation later on this year,” the group explained in a statement on Friday January 27.

The group plans to produce a report that will inform the approach taken by health ministers in the development of future legislation.

Its primary objective is to produce recommendations that are “focused on enhancing patient experience and maintaining patient safety” and enable the community pharmacy workforce to “maximise their skills and professional roles”.

The group comprises the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), Pharmacy Forum Northern Ireland (PFNI) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

The first of four planned monthly meetings took place on January 13, with initial discussions described as having been “positive and collaborative”.

Regulators the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland will sit on the group as observers, as will the Department of Health and Social Care. To ensure impartiality, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) will act as group secretariat.

Group chair Michael Twigg, associate professor of primary care pharmacy at the University of East Anglia said: “I am delighted to have been asked to chair this group on the future of community pharmacy supervision.

“The sector as a whole have been really positive in engaging with this process with a common purpose to develop a shared vision for the next generation of community pharmacy for the benefit of patients and our workforce across the UK.

“The outcome from this work will not simply redefine supervision proactive but provide ministers with the evidence and tools to transform community pharmacy practice for the benefit of patients and the profession.”

AOP policy director Carolyn Ruston said: “I am really pleased to be able to support the pharmacy sector in this work. 

“The optical sector recently began a call for evidence and consultation process on changes to the Opticians Act 1989, which included similar issues around delegation and supervision. I look forward to seeing the final outcome of this work and the translation of impact into clinical practice.”

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