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GPhC proposes amendments to rules

Posted: Friday, May 4th, 2012

The GPhC has proposed amendments to the rules: (i) GPhC (Statutory Committees and their Advisers) Rules 2010; (ii) GPhC (Fitness to Practise and Disqualification etc.) Rules 2010; and (iii) GPhC (Registration) Rules 2010. This Consultation will close on 12 July 2012.

Broadly, the amendments relate to the following: (i) the ability of the GPhC to adjust the size of their statutory committees, namely the Investigating Committee, the Fitness to Practise Committee and the Appeals Committee, as well as with respect to the size of its Appointments Committee; (ii) allow common membership between the Appeals Committee and the Fitness to Practise Committee; (iii) amend the reference to the "formal caution" for a criminal offence to "caution" alone; (iv) to remove the specification that the Appointments Committee will advise the Council on the minimum competencies for statutory committee members and also remove the requirement that the Appointments Committee shall draft the procedure for the suspension and the removal of statutory committee members, so as to improve flexibility; (v) introduce flexibility with regards to the term of office of statutory committee members; (vi) allowing a person who acts as a secretary to the Investigating Committee to also act as secretary to the Fitness to Practice Committee; (vii) give the Appeals Committee the ability to determine the size and composition of the committee tasked with hearing cases; (viii) provide flexibility with regards to the presence of a legal adviser at all meetings; (ix) clarifying the meaning of “defence organisation” with regards to the representation of persons attending fitness to practise hearings; and (x) amend the approach to identity checks for registration applicants.

Health and Social Care Bill becomes law

Posted: Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The Health and Social Care Bill (the “Bill”) received royal assent on 27 March 2012 and is now law (please see here). The English Pharmacy Board has said that it will be writing to the Secretary of State to bring to his attention the themes emerging from a survey it conducted on the Bill, as it was then. Although a clear majority of those who participated in the survey rejected the Bill, Lindsey Gilpin, the English Board Chair, has announced that the English Pharmacy Board has now “has tasked the RPS with looking at the new NHS architecture" and deciding how it may "support and positively influence opportunities for our members to improve patient care".

Sanctions for dispensing errors takes a sideline

Posted: Thursday, March 29th, 2012

During a parliamentary discussion in relation to the Health and Social Care Bill on 14 March 2012, Lord Howe addressed the issue of sanctions for dispensing errors. Although he made it clear that it was his own and his ministerial colleagues’ intention to ensure that they address the “concerns of pharmacists and registered pharmacy technicians about the risk of prosecution for inadvertent as opposed to wilful or reckless dispensing errors”, a balance also needed to be struck with patient safety. Lord Howe stated that no specific legislative change will be made at this time. For further information of the matters discussed, please see here.

MEP removed as a reference in the pharmacy preregistration exam

Posted: Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The GPhC has announced that there have been changes to the references to be used in the open book paper of this year’s pharmacy pre-registration exam. These include the removal of the Drug Tariff and Medicines, Ethics and Practice (“MEP”). The latter has been replaced with the "Standards of conduct, ethics and performance" for the reason that the MEP is deemed to be a practice guide rather than a reference source. Please find the GPhC's announcement here.

The "Red Tape Challenge"

Posted: Thursday, March 29th, 2012

As part of a Government initiative called the "Red Tape Challenge", which gives members of the public the opportunity to comment on the regulations governing a range of different industrial areas with a view to making such regulations less burdensome, between 9 March 2012 and 12 April 2012, comments have been invited in respect of the regulation of medicines. There are a range of areas for which comments can be submitted, including any feedback in relation to regulations governing the safe management and use of Controlled Drugs from a registered pharmacy and the Responsible Pharmacist provisions. The relevant page of the Red Tape Challenge can be found here.

Law Commission consults on regulator review

Posted: Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Law Commission has published a consultation on its proposals for a single statute covering the regulation of all health and social care professionals, including the CHRE, the GPhC and the PSNI. The consultation closes on 31st May 2012

GPhC want views on revalidation

Posted: Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The GPhC has published its proposed principles for introducing revalidation. This appears not to be a formal consultation as there is no closing date, but it has asked for views on refining its seven proposed principles

Consultation on GPhC fees

Posted: Monday, February 20th, 2012

The GPhC has published a consultation on its proposals for fees from October 2012. They propose a 10% reduction in registrants' fees; other fees, including those for premises, will stay at the current level. Consultation closes 8th May 2012.

Proposals to change Wales Pharmacy Contract

Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The Welsh Government has issued a consultation on proposals to modernise the 1992 Pharmaceutical Services Regulations (these still apply to Wales; the 2005 regulations only apply to England). Consultation closes on 27th April 2012.

Consultation on HealthWatch membership

Posted: Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The DH has issued a consultation on draft regulations for the membership of HealthWatch England which will be an independent statutory committee of CQC (Care Quality Commission). HealthWatch, and local HealthWatch groups advising Local Authorities, are the latest incarnation of mechanisms for the involvement of patients and the public in the operation and quality of the NHS in England. Consultation closes 2nd March 2012

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These news items are not exhaustive but are selected according to their relevance to pharmacy practice, NHS community pharmacy contracts and the regulation of the pharmacy profession. If you wish to add any items that you think we have missed, contact our news editor.