Provision of a new legal defence for Pharmacy professionals

The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP) welcomes progress in the provision of a new legal defence for Pharmacy professionals should an unintentional dispensing error be made, as debated on Monday in Parliament.

Unlike other health professionals, Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians are currently at risk of criminal prosecution for a strict liability offence when inadvertent human error happens in the course of their professional practice. This draft order, which is due to come into force in 2018, aligns Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians who are working in registered pharmacies with other health professions. It supports increased reporting of errors, without the fear of prosecution, and allows for individual and shared learning from those mistakes, leading to improved patient safety.

Chair of the GHP Graeme Richardson said ‘An open culture is key to ensuring patient safety, and this Order encourages greater reporting of and therefore learning from errors.

‘Whilst we welcome this protection for people working in registered pharmacy premises, we would encourage the same protection to be afforded to staff working in non-registered premises including hospitals, care homes and prisons. We are aware plans are in place for a similar order to apply to those other non-registered settings and we hope this can be developed without delay to ensure our members are not unduly and unfairly exposed to the risk of criminal conviction any longer than is necessary’

GHP DRAFT RESPONSE to Consultation on revalidation for pharmacy professionals

The GHP have drafted a response to the GPhC Consultation on revalidation for pharmacy professionals. We are looking for our member’s views on this important consultation.

Please have a look at our response and get in touch with Ewan Maule if you have anything to add or you disagree.

Please contact Ewan Maule with your comments… or Tweet us @GHPPharmacy

Consultation on revalidation for pharmacy professionals – GHP response

Working Better Together: How to build multidisciplinary and multiagency teams to improve patient care

Another programme from the Pharmacy Management Academy breaks this Spring (2017) with whole day courses from 10am to 4pm taking place at 10 locations around the United Kingdom entitled “Working Better Together: How to build multidisciplinary and multiagency teams to improve patient care”.
This unique Academy programme will focus on how to deliver projects requiring the input of multiple teams or organisations.
The Academy is free to NHS Pharmacists and takes place in conveniently located venues in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

More information here….



For further information, please contact Katie Fraser (Senior Executive Assistant, Pharmacy Management) at or on 01747 829501.

GHP Press Release: NHS Pharmacists Working with Pharmaceutical Companies

Working with pharmaceutical companies is a necessary and often beneficial aspect of a pharmacist’s role, particularly when working in a commissioning, clinical, prescribing or procurement role. In light of recent press interest and upcoming changes to legislation the GHP wish to issue the following guidance to its members: If you are invited to attend an advisory board being run by a pharmaceutical company or be involved in other similar paid work or sponsorship:

  • Check your employer’s policies on the matter. Most employers will have some information in their Medicines Management and Human Resources policies
  • Ensure you are familiar with or have read national guidance and that you are compliant with these documents i.e. Standards of business conduct for NHS staff (HSG(93)5) and Best practice guidance for joint working between the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry (DH 2008) (although local guidance should take account of these).
  • Complete the relevant declarations to your employer. Ensure you include detail on travel and subsistence, as well as fees/honoraria received
  • Consider other committees or bodies you sit on within our out with your direct employer e.g. regional formulary or area prescribing committees and complete any relevant declarations to those bodies
  • Ensure any promises you make to take back to your ‘day job’ are ethically sound – is it something you would have been happy to do had you not sat on the advisory board?
  • Consider associated hospitality – having an event for UK staff hosted at a city centre hotel near a railway station or airport is probably justifiable for convenience. Having it in Dubai probably isn’t. That said, some advisory boards involve wider geographical areas so for example economy class flights to a central European city may be reasonable.
  • Think about how the payment and hospitality could be perceived by the public; could it be said to be proportionate and reasonable?
  • Do not make inflated claims about your position, influence or sphere of responsibility
  • If you are being paid for the work, ensure it is done in your own time
  • Advisory boards must be advisory and not promotional. A company using an advisory board as promotional is breaking the ABPI Code of Practice and you must report it to the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA)
  • Any income you receive will be taxable, so inform Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • Be mindful if you’re asked to bring any information from your employer (e.g. usage of certain drugs, current formulary choices) to ‘help with discussions’. Consider what information is publically available and what is commercial in confidence. If you are in any doubt, discuss with your employer, or simply say no.
  • Be aware of any confidentiality arrangements you have signed up to at the meeting itself
  • If a meeting is set up by a third party, ensure you know which company they are working on behalf of It is worth noting this is issued as guidance alone, and that individuals are still responsible for their action.

Should you require any further information or advice on this, or any other related matter, please contact your local GHP representative. If you are not yet a member, please join above.