Pharmacy Voice response to patient choice statement issued by the GPC, the GMC and the PSNI

In response to a joint statement about patient choice from the GPC, the GMC and the PSNI, Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice commented:

“Pharmacy Voice welcomes the joint statement made by the General Pharmaceutical Council, the General Medical Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.  The statement makes clear that pharmacy professionals and doctors have a duty to support informed decision making by patients and ensure that they do not inappropriately influence patients’ choices.  We particularly welcome the fact that the statement emphasises that there is a clear process whereby concerns can be referred to the regulators and may result in an investigation if it is deemed that their standards may not have been met by individual health professionals.

“Pharmacy Voice has been collecting examples of poor practice and misleading information that undermine choice and seem to lead to the direction of prescriptions to particular pharmacies. To support our members we have been engaging with stakeholders including GPhC and NHS England to reiterate how damaging this can be both for patients and for pharmacy contractors. It is gratifying to see that this statement begins to address some of our concerns. We will continue to ask key stakeholders to work with us to stop this activity and protect the interests of patients and the NHS.

“People’s rights to make informed choices about NHS services are enshrined in the NHS constitution. These principles apply in community pharmacy as in any other setting.  Patients should have a free and informed choice to have their prescriptions dispensed in any community pharmacy.”

For more information please contact Chris Ford  / 020 3405 2810