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Fitness to practise

GPhC given powers to resolve fitness to practise cases without a full hearing

Legislation from the UK government will give the General Pharmaceutical Council the power to conclude fitness to practise cases without a hearing, when it is appropriate to do so.

duncan rudkin

Source: General Pharmaceutical Council

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, says changes to fitness to practise rules will mean concerns will be addressed “quickly, consistently and fairly”.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will be able to conclude fitness to practise (FTP) cases without a full panel hearing, under new regulation reforms put forward by the government.

In its response to a on reforming the regulation system for healthcare professionals in the UK, the government said it plans to put forward new legislation that “will enable regulators to resolve FTP cases without the need for a full panel hearing, where it is appropriate to do so”.

The legislation was initially proposed as some regulators, including the General Medical Council, are already able to make decisions on FTP cases “without having to proceed to a full hearing, where there is agreement with the registrant on the findings and measures needed”.

Under the new legislation, all regulatory bodies “will be provided with broadly consistent powers to handle FTP cases in a more responsive and proportionate manner”.

This is expected to enable FTP issues to “be concluded quickly, proportionately and fairly, replacing the current bureaucratic, time consuming processes that are burdensome and can be stressful for patients, their families, registrants and employers”, the government said.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said he welcomed the changes to legislation as they will ensure “concerns about any health or social care professional will be addressed quickly, consistently and fairly”.

“It is, therefore, important that these legislative changes happen at the same time for all the regulators and at the earliest possible opportunity,” he added.

The health minister Stephen Hammond said that the changes would “allow regulators to dedicate more of their resources to supporting the professionals working in our NHS and contribute to safe, high-quality patient care”.

The UK and devolved governments will now develop secondary legislation to bring the changes into law.

Citation: Electronicjuice DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206783

Readers' comments (3)

  • This is wonderful news that the GPhC will now look at FTP cases in a more proportionate and fair manner. Sadly I became mentally unwell in May 2015.I self declared to the GPhC my illness in September 2015 after I had been in hospital 2 months.The GPhC were lovely and sent a supportive letter back. My employers reported me to the GPhC in May 2016. I felt like I had committed a terrible crime and my illness was prolonged and I became very upset I had to see an independent Psychiatrist on behalf of the GPhC when I already had one who was perfectly capable of determining my illness.I did try to take my own life which I deeply regret but I felt so bad.The Interim Suspension Order was fair enough at that point but then the papers arriving every 6 months to review my case just made me more poorly. Unless you have gone through all this you would never believe it could happen. The PDA supported me throughout but in the end I had to realise I could never return to the Profession I loved dearly and served for 30years. The RPS allowed me to stay on their register but first I had to fill a form in to answer what offence I had committed.Hope the new legislation stops any employers ever reporting a Pharmacist who has already declared their illness and has done nothing wrong except be mentally ill. I truly believe I would have got better sooner except for the cruel actions of my employers. I was not posing a danger to any patients when I was reported. Thank goodness the GPhC can now deal with these matters discreetly and it becomes a less distressing time for a mentally ill Pharmacist.Thank you.

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  • Please print my comment I need to help stop any other Pharmacist suffering like I have.

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  • Also the PSA supported me too which I forgot to add( Listening Friends)

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