The General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) new fitness to practise strategy will make more enquiries earlier to speed up the process.

The draft strategy was published by the GPhC for approval by the regulator’s council.

The proposed strategy at a glace

  • FtP processes will only be initiated when “absolutely necessary”
  • Making more enquiries in the early stages of the process after receiving a concern will help us ensure the right concerns are investigated and those that can be resolved through alternative means are dealt with quicker:
    • the impact of the concern on patient/public safety
    • the availability of sufficient evidence to support an allegation of impaired fitness to practise
    • whether there are any wider systems issues or considerations
  • The proposed will take a person-centred approach – this will “help us recognise that everyone is an individual with differing needs”
  • Work to understand more about why black, Asian and minority ethnic professionals are disproportionately represented in the concerns
  • When closing concerns, the strategy proposes a broader set of including:
    • writing a reflective piece
    • mediation
    • wider use of voluntary removal from the register in appropriate cases
  • Concerns that relate to health and performance could be resolved “outside a formal investigation where appropriate”

The draft strategy, it will be published for consultation lasting 12 weeks.

We previously reported that the GPhC failed to meet the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) standards of good regulation in relation to its fitness to practise approach.  The PSA’s assessment included criticism that the GPhC did not deal with fitness to practise cases as quickly as expected.

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