GPhC consults on “significant” changes to inspection

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GPhC consults on “significant” changes to inspection

Proposals to publish inspection reports for the first time, unannounced inspections and three new types of inspection, are all part of a consultation launched by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

The plans will give a more “flexible and agile” approach to the regulation of registered pharmacies, said Duncan Rudkin, the regulator’s chief executive of the GPhC, describing the plans as “a significant step” for the pharmacy sector.

Inspection outcomes may be published from early 2019

“We want to move to a more flexible and agile way of working so that we can more effectively respond to the changing needs of patients and the public and to changes in pharmacy,” he said.

The changes proposed by GPhC include:

Changes to the types of inspections – the new model would include three types of inspection: routine inspections, intelligence-led inspections and themed inspections

Moving to unannounced inspections – as a general rule, to make sure the outcomes of the inspection reflect whether the pharmacy is meeting the standards every day

Changing inspection outcomes – there would be two possible outcomes for an inspection overall (‘standards met’ or ‘standards not all met’), and four possible findings at the principle level (‘standards not all met’, ‘standards met’, ‘good practice’ and ‘excellent practice’)

Requiring all standards to be met to receive an overall ‘standards met’ outcome – if any standard was found not to be met, this would result in a ‘standards not all met’ outcome overall

Publishing inspection reports – and improvement action plans when relevant, on a new website. “This will be designed so that the information is easy to search and analyse,” said GPhC

Sharing examples of notable practice – examples of notable practice identified through inspections will be published in a ‘knowledge hub’ online.

“In the consultation we are proposing to publish inspection reports for the first time, which marks a significant change for pharmacy. We hope our proposals will strengthen the assurance we provide to the public that pharmacies are meeting standards and to drive continuous improvement in the quality of pharmacy services and care,” commented Mr Rudkin.

“We want to hear what people think about our proposals and what the impact could be so that we can get this right and achieve our aims,” he added.

Comments on the proposals are invited by 9 August 2018. The GPhC’s governing council will consider the responses to the consultation after it closes in August and expects to begin publishing inspection reports from the first part of 2019.

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