The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) are consulting on updated “Hearings and Outcomes Guidance” that it said will “strengthen decision-making guidance for fitness to practise committees, to help eliminate any potential discrimination in the outcomes of hearings.”
On its website, the GPhC wrote that the guidance “makes clear what we mean by discrimination, bullying and harassment, and how seriously concerns of this nature will be taken.”
The guidance also points out that committee members need to carefully consider cultural sensitivities during a hearing and consequently when making decisions about a pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise. This includes a consideration of any cultural or individual characteristics such as the way people communicate depending on their background or whether English is their first language or not.
GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said:
“We want to update our hearings and outcomes guidance to reflect how seriously we take racism and other forms of discrimination. This new guidance will help committee members to make decisions on what action should be taken in fitness to practise cases involving discrimination, or where cultural sensitivities need to be taken into account. We would encourage people to let us know their views on this guidance to help make sure the right outcome is reached in each case.”
The consultation will run for eight weeks, closing on January 31, 2023.