The GPhC has announced today that they are stopping routine inspections of pharmacies and will not be producing inspection reports. They will instead be moving to a ‘supportive phase’.
Chief Executive of the GPhC Duncan Rudkin commented:
“We know that you will be facing significant challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and would like to thank you for all that you are doing to help provide care and support to patients and the public.
“Our priority is to support you to give people safe and effective care.
“We will take a flexible, supportive and proportionate approach to regulation during this time, while continuing to focus on ensuring patient safety.
“If one of our inspectors contacts you on the phone or visits your pharmacy, it will be to discuss your plans and arrangements for the pandemic. Our inspectors will be answering queries and providing support to pharmacy owners, pharmacy professionals and teams.
“The inspectors will also be identifying examples of how you are meeting some of these challenges so that others can learn quickly from your approaches. We will share that through our online knowledge hub and with representative bodies and other organisations who are there to support you.
“We have also established ongoing lines of communications with representative bodies and other organisations to ensure we understand what is happening on the ground and what more we can do as the regulator to support pharmacy owners and professionals during this time. This will include sharing this information with others so we can all consider what actions to take.
“We will also continue to act quickly on any information we receive which suggests a risk to patient safety within a particular pharmacy.
“We are continuing to actively monitor the situation and to consider if we need to make any other changes to our regulatory approach or requirements during this time, to help support the efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will continue to keep you updated on all relevant developments so please look out for emails from us. Thank you again for your significant contribution and your professionalism during this challenging time.”