13-14 OCTOBER 2024

21 May 2018

Supervision changes dependent on decriminalisation of dispensing errors

The much-discussed – and sometimes contentious – changes to pharmacy supervision cannot be put into place until dispensing errors are decriminalised, so said Ade Williams,
superintendent of Bedminster Pharmacy in Bristol.

Speaking at a session on the work of England’s Rebalancing Programme, which aims to bring pharmacy legislation and regulation into the modern era, Mr Williams (pictured) emphasised how the situation in which inadvertent dispensing errors are viewed as
criminal offences was stifl ing innovation. He said: “At the moment, pharmacy technicians work and excel within the current regulations.”

Changing supervision so pharmacy technicians were, for example, able to supervise supply of prescription-only medicines wasn’t a move intended to “usurp pharmacists” or “do things on the cheap” but instead “about releasing the potential of the team so the patients received the best and highest quality of care”, he told Pharmacy Show delegates.

However Mr Williams said that it was vital to make sure that any changes were communicated clearly to the public, especially given that many people had expressed concerns about potential pharmacy closures due to funding cuts. He explained: “We don’t want to lose the goodwill and trust of patients… This is good for the profession, but we need to protect and communicate our integrity to the public.”

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