Dispensing error legal change comes into effect

Dispensing error legal change comes into effect

April 16 2018 The amendment to the law which will give a defence to the criminal charge of making...

DHSC publishes review of impact of NHS pharmacy services changes introduced in 2013

DHSC publishes review of impact of NHS pharmacy services changes introduced in 2013

April 12 2018 Changes introduced in 2013 to manage pharmacy numbers, along with changes to the...

PSNC and NPA lobby for GDPR exemption for small primary care service providers

PSNC and NPA lobby for GDPR exemption for small primary care service providers

March 26 2018 Health organisations are asking that small NHS contractors be exempted from...

GPhC consultants on independent prescribing changes

GPhC consultants on independent prescribing changes

March 22 2018 The initial training and education of pharmacists studying to become independent...

Study questions appropriateness of 28-day prescriptions for long term conditions

Study questions appropriateness of 28-day prescriptions for long term conditions

March 22 2018 Medicine adherence may benefit in long term conditions by issuing prescriptions for...

  • Dispensing error legal change comes into effect

    Dispensing error legal change comes into effect

    Monday, 16 April 2018 14:06
  • DHSC publishes review of impact of NHS pharmacy services changes introduced in 2013

    DHSC publishes review of impact of NHS pharmacy services changes introduced in 2013

    Thursday, 12 April 2018 11:30
  • PSNC and NPA lobby for GDPR exemption for small primary care service providers

    PSNC and NPA lobby for GDPR exemption for small primary care service providers

    Monday, 26 March 2018 12:28
  • GPhC consultants on independent prescribing changes

    GPhC consultants on independent prescribing changes

    Thursday, 22 March 2018 11:55
  • Study questions appropriateness of 28-day prescriptions for long term conditions

    Study questions appropriateness of 28-day prescriptions for long term conditions

    Thursday, 22 March 2018 11:44

Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a scales of justice imageApril 16 2018

The amendment to the law which will give a defence to the criminal charge of making a dispensing error has come into effect.

Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians may be able to rely on the defence should an error occur, but in the context of medicines being dispensed or supplied from community pharmacies only. Further legal changes are required for it to apply to hospital pharmacy and other managed settings.

The change has taken several years to achieve, and followed regular dialogue between the government, the NHS and the profession.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published a new Quick Reference Guide on making things right when there's been a dispensing error, and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland has also issued guidance to its members through the Pharmacy Forum NI.

RPS President Ash Soni said the legislative change was “excellent news for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and for patient safety.

“We now have a new law protecting community pharmacists from automatic prosecution should they make an honest mistake. This long-awaited change will be welcomed by the whole profession, but I recognise there is still work to do to see similar measures put in place for pharmacists outside of registered pharmacies.”

The General Pharmaceutical Council has also welcomed the legal change. GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said it “should help bring real improvements to patient safety, by encouraging improved reporting and learning from errors by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in registered pharmacies.

“We know there are already a number of local and national initiatives across England, Scotland and Wales to encourage reporting and learning from errors, which are making a difference. We would encourage everyone working within pharmacy to play their part to contribute to a culture of greater openness and learning, to improve the care people receive.”

The GPhC will be considering how it can better use and share the information it receives about dispensing errors to support learning, reduce risks and improve patient outcomes.

“We recognise that the possibility of action by the regulator can also deter people from reporting errors. It is important to emphasise that single dispensing errors would not in our view constitute a fitness to practise concern, unless there were aggravating factors,” said Mr Rudkin.

In Northern Ireland, Sheelin McKeagney, Chair of the Pharmacy Forum NI, said: “Addressing the issue of criminal prosecution represents an important step in not only alleviating what has long been a source of considerable concern for colleagues but also in ensuring that the professional consequences for pharmacists, who make dispensing errors, will be much more in keeping with handling errors made by other healthcare professionals.

“As a profession we are fully focused on patient safety and the highest standards of service delivery. These changes also afford an opportunity to embed an open culture which encourages error reporting and candour. This development should encourage the profession to learn from mistakes rather than simply to fear them and thus enhance safety and practice and prevent future harm.”

A consultation is expected shortly relating to making similar legislative changes in the managed sector such as hospitals. The RPS has noted that the pharmacy minister, Steve Brine MP, “has reaffirmed his commitment to seeing this happen.”

Links:
RPS statement             
GPhC Statement          
Pharmacy Forum Northern Ireland statement              

Legal & Policy News

April 20 2018 Doctors have not been prevented from prescribing over-the counter medicines, but should use proper clinical judgement, a health minister has said.
April 20 2018 Doctors have not been prevented from prescribing over-the counter medicines, but should use proper clinical judgement, a health minister has said. A question was raised following last...