Pharmacy Forum NI has joined organisations from across the UK community pharmacy sector, who have come together to look into the future of “supervision” in community pharmacy. This group has now produced its final report.

Over the course of nine collaborative and positive workshop-style discussions the Supervision Practice Group aimed to provide recommendations to reframe legislation, regulation and professional standards and guidance to achieve a new vision for community pharmacy. The group has produced a report which makes several recommendations on the subjects of:

  • the legislation relating to “supervision”;
  • the temporary absence of the Responsible Pharmacist from the pharmacy;
  • delegation;
  • the preparation and assembly of medicines when the RP is not signed in.

The report can be viewed here. The recommendations provide a framework on which the Department of Health and Social Care and the regulators can draft specifically worded revisions to legislation and regulatory standards. These specific legislative and regulatory changes – that are proposed by government and regulators – will be subject to a full consultation process. Professional standards and guidance can then be updated to reflect these changes and provide further support to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Pharmacy Forum NI Manager Julie Greenfield said:

“It has been great to be part of such a collaborative piece of work to reach a consensus on the longstanding issue of supervision.

“Whilst everyone in the group agreed that the pharmacist should be present in a community pharmacy – and that supervision should no longer be interpreted to mean supervising individual transactions – there remained debate on where that should be defined in legislation, rules and regulatory standards.

“The Forum has taken the position that this concept should be anchored in the Medicines Act 1968 to give confidence to pharmacists and the public in the future and inform the nature and style of commissioning going forward. The ability to adapt and respond to innovation, technology and new models of practice will still come from the agile review of regulations and professional guidance.

“We believe the publication of this report creates a vision and approach that will inform the legislative and regulatory changes now required to deliver future innovation and service development within community pharmacy. Public and patient safety were foremost in our work in addition to enabling full and appropriate use of the skill mix and expertise of the whole pharmacy team.

“Along with the report’s other authors, Pharmacy Forum would encourage all colleagues to read the whole document to understand the discussions and reasoning for the recommendations made above.”