The General Pharmaceutical Council said it received the “highest number of concerns received in the last year by some margin”.
It papers for its Council meeting on the 14th of September, the fitness to practise performance summary said:
“We saw a further increase during Q1 in the number of new concerns received (1,2772). This is the highest number of concerns received in the last year by some margin (Q3 2022/23 was second highest at 1,117), with particularly high numbers of concerns received in May and June.”
Setting out the context that, to an extent, resulted in the rise in complaints, the report continued:
“We continue to capture and monitor categories of information to better understand the reasons for the increase in concerns. Our analysis shows us that we continue to see an increase in concerns raised by members of the public compared to other groups. This reflects what we have seen in terms of increased pressures on frontline pharmacy coupled with limited resources and pharmacist shortages, as well as instances of supply chain disruption. Such pressures have led to issues including unexpected pharmacy closures, as well as delays in patients receiving medication. This has resulted in concerns being raised with us as the regulator, even if they do not always amount to fitness to practise issues, or significant systems failures.”
By way of an overall assessment of its fitness to practise performance, the report said:
“Performance in FtP during Q1 has remained red overall, with performance improved in some areas, including referral of cases to the IC within 52 weeks. We met one of the rebased performance measures for the median time for imposition of interim orders. Cases closed pre-IC within 44 weeks and closed at FtPC within 104 weeks were within tolerance levels. The FtPC imposed 7 interim orders during Q1 with a median time of 2.3 weeks, which is significantly better than our performance standard of 3 weeks. This reflects the work undertaken across all teams to review and improve our interim order process.”
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