In the proposals, the GPhC will be responsible for inspections, except in a series of tightly defined circumstances. This will be achieved through more joined-up working with a set of memoranda of understanding agreed between the GPhC, and the other regulators and authorities by the end of this financial year.
This policy is in response to concerns raised by pharmacy received through the Red Tape Challenge.
As part of the development of the policy, a partial impact assessment has been published which gives estimates of the costs and benefits of introducing the policy.
Another theme of the Red Tape Challenge was the responsible pharmacist regulations. The government has undertaken to review those regulations and reform the responsible pharmacist provisions. This work is being taken forward by the programme board, chaired by Ken Jarrold.
Announcing these developments at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference, Health Minister Lord Howe said:
We need a robust pharmacy inspection regime to protect people. This initiative is not about altering or taking away inspection powers from the General Pharmaceutical Council or other regulatory bodies. It is about improving the inspection regime and lessening the burden on pharmacy businesses.
Equally, we need a modern approach to pharmacy regulation which maintains patient safety but also improves quality and professional development.
The aim is to have revised responsible pharmacist legislation in place by the end of 2014.