GPhC approves guidance on religion, personal values & beliefs
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has issued new guidance for pharmacy professionals relating to situations in which their religion, personal values or beliefs might impact on their willingness to provide certain services.
This is the first major guidance review carried out by the Council since its new standards for pharmacy professionals were introduced in May. It relates to standard 1: Pharmacy professionals must provide person-centred care.Â
P3 reported earlier in the year on a consultation over proposed guidance that pharmacists should â€˜recognise their own values and beliefs but not impose them on other peopleâ€™ and â€˜take responsibility for ensuring that person-centred care is not compromised because of personal values and beliefsâ€™.
The GPhC says respondents to the consultation commented that the guidance would be relevant to a â€˜wide range of servicesâ€™ â€“ not just the supply of emergency hormonal contraception.
The guidance states that while referral is still an option, it may not always be sufficient; for example, if a service is not accessible or available elsewhere or if, due to the personâ€™s vulnerability, a referral would effectively obstruct timely access to the service.
GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said:Â â€œWe recognise and respect that a pharmacy professionalâ€™s religion, personal values and beliefs are often central to their lives and can make a positive contribution to their providing safe and effective care to a diverse population.
â€œThis guidance is intended to reflect the broad range of situations when a pharmacy professionalâ€™s religion, personal values or beliefs might impact on their willingness to provide certain services. It will support pharmacy professionals to make good decisions and provide person-centred care, within the legal framework.Â
â€œWe would encourage all pharmacy professionals and owners to be familiar with this guidance and, where necessary, seek further independent advice and support.â€