A consultation exercise has been launched on proposed reform of the regulation system governing pharmacies across Great Britain.

The General Pharmaceutical Council is inviting views about the proposed new standards which all registered pharmacies across Great Britain will have to meet.

The deadline for pharmacy professionals, representative bodies, patients and the members of the public is 7 May.

GphC chairman Bob Nicholls said a new model for inspecting pharmacies and enforcing the standards will be developed once the standards have been approved.

The consultation document - entitled Modernising Pharmacy Regulation - sets out proposals to take a “risk-based” approach which would prioritise inspections for those registered pharmacies deemed to pose a higher risk to patients and the public due to the services they provide or other concerns.

It details the GPhC’s proposals for ensuring pharmacies are delivering the required outcomes and the action to be taken if these standards are not being met.

It also asks whether additional guidance might be needed for specific areas of practice, such as for internet pharmacies.

Mr Nicholls said the GPhC had set out clear outcomes to ensure safe and effective practice and he believed this approach would be “far more effective” than imposing a detailed step-by-step rule book.

He added: “Pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists will have the responsibility of meeting the standards, but everyone working in a pharmacy will need to be familiar with the outcomes that have to be achieved.”

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin added: “We recognise that our proposed standards are different from the more detailed rules-based approach that pharmacy is used to.

“The onus will be on pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists to decide how they meet these standards.”

More information

Visit the consultation website www.registeredpharmacies.org