General Pharmaceutical Council May Re-Register Approximately 5800 Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians

The General Pharmaceutical Council has made plans to temporarily re-register pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should the government launch a state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has made plans to temporarily re-register approximately 5800 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should the government launch a state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The directive was given in the council’s most recent meeting paper, published on March 9, 2020. The plan has 2 phases and can include approximately 5800 pharmacy professionals added to the register “if the emergency is declared by the secretary of state.”

“On declaration of an emergency by the secretary of state, our priority will be to temporarily register those people who have previously demonstrated the required knowledge and skills to practice as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician and who have recent experience of pharmacy practice,” the meeting notes said.

Furthermore, employers will be responsible for ensuring that any re-joiners they hire have the right competency and skills required for their role.

The policy would be completed in phases, with phase 1 being a re-register of former pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who were recently voluntarily removed and whose fitness to practice is not impaired. Phase 2 includes any former pharmacist and pharmacy technician registrants who were recently removed for non-renewal of registration and whose fitness to practice is not impaired.

Phase 1 of the proposed approach would potentially include 2700 pharmacists and 1300 pharmacy technicians to be eligible to practice, with recent experience defined as 2 years.

The plan also outlines the need for additional phases should there be a demand for additional staff to be registered temporarily. “This may mean including people who have demonstrated many, but not all, of the required knowledge and skills or who have less recent experience of pharmacy practice,” the meeting said.

After the emergency, the council will hold a review of the implementation of the policy and seek feedback from staff, registrant, patients, and the public. The policy will be evaluated on an annual basis to review whether individuals are still the proper fit and adequately experienced to be temporarily registered during an emergency.

Reference

  • Council Meeting 12 March 2020. General Pharmaceutical Council website. Published March 12, 2020. https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/sites/default/files/document/council-meeting-papers-12-march-2020.pdf. Accessed March 19, 2020.