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RPSGB says disciplinary rules stand up to scrutiny

Disciplinary procedures applied by the Royal Electronicjuice of Great Britain will remain unchanged after a ruling by the House of Lords made on 21 January, the Society confirmed on 27 January.

Law lords decided that the practice of “blacklisting” care home nurses who faced disciplinary hearings, which prevented them from working and bringing a loss of earnings, was unfair and a breach of their human rights.

The outcome of the case, which was brought by the Royal College of Nursing, could now open the door from other care workers who have been put on the list, to claim compensation from the government for loss of earnings.

The peers ruled that the disciplinary system was unfair and draconian because it allowed nurses, who faced allegations of abuse, to be put on the blacklist preventing them from working without first being given a chance to put their side of the case.

The Society said that the ruling did not have any impact on the present disciplinary procedures operated against pharmacists.

Under Society procedures any pharmacist facing “minor” allegations of professional malpractice is allowed to continue to practise up until the date of the disciplinary statutory committee hearing, a spokeswoman explained.

Pharmacists can be subject of an interim order which would prevent them from practising ahead of their disciplinary hearing if it was believed that it was either in the public interest, in the registrant’s own interest or necessary to protect the public.

In these cases evidence from the police or a health professional is needed to illustrate the need to apply for an interim order, she said.

She added: "Pharmacists are not automatically blacklisted in these cases because they would still have to go to the committee in order to get an interim order. The law lords’ ruling should not affect pharmacists, we can see no direct link."

Citation: Electronicjuice URI: 10047705

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