New proposals on pharmacy dispensing errors and standards
Proposals would give a new defence against criminal prosecution for pharmacy professionals if they make an inadvertent dispensing error.
The DH has launched a consultation into the proposals that
will run until 14 May 2015. They are also consulting on changes to the
regulation of pharmacy premises.
These changes will redress ‘imbalances’ between legislation
and regulation. They will also bring pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, who
inadvertently make dispensing errors, more in line with the handling of errors
made by other healthcare professionals.
By removing the fear of criminal prosecution, pharmacists,
pharmacy technicians and pharmacy teams will be encouraged to report more
dispensing errors, so the NHS can learn from when things go wrong, and stop
them happening again. In the unlikely event that a pharmacy professional
deliberately sets out to harm patients, they would continue to face the full
force of criminal law.
These changes are crucial to driving high quality patient
care and improving patient safety, developing pharmacy practice and enabling
The proposals are UK-wide and have been developed by a
multi-disciplinary Board with representatives from the four countries of the
Ken Jarrold CBE, chair of the Rebalancing Medicines
Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board, said:
"I am extremely pleased to see the launch of the
consultation and I am very grateful to the Board for all their hard work in
getting to this stage. I know that these proposals are of immense importance
and interest to pharmacy professionals and users, and I urge you to give them
serious consideration and to let us know your views.”