Following a “record number” of fitness to practise cases, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) warned this may lead to it failing to act quickly on information relating to patient safety threats.

The Pharmaceutical Journal reported that there were a record 1,373 fitness-to-practise concerns raised with the General Pharmaceutical Council between July and September 2023.

Council papers for the 9 November 2023 meeting of the General Pharmaceutical Council described the current level of concerns as “historically unprecedented” and say that this has resulted in only 13% of new FtP cases being triaged within a five-day key performance indicator.

“Whilst more cases were triaged this quarter, record levels of concerns were received (at 1,373),” the papers say, adding that “at the end of quarter 2 there were 980 concerns open at initial assessment”.

“Council should also be aware that with a backlog at triage there is an increased corporate risk that we fail to act on information indicating an immediate threat to patient safety quickly.”

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It is reported that the GPhC is undertaking “periodic reviews” of FtP cases waiting for allocation “to see if there are any obvious high-risk cases and, additionally, new concerns are given a quick review when received”.

“Where any potentially serious issues are identified, these are prioritised, rather than being dealt with in date order,” the papers say.

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