When a complaint is made to the GPhC about a registrant, it uses “threshold criteria” to decide whether to refer the matter to the investigating committee, who in turn decide whether to refer to the fitness to practise committee. The GPhC consulted on proposed new criteria to replace the existing.
The PDA was supportive of the simplification of the criteria and welcomed the introduction of a public interest test, but disagreed with the extensive use of double and triple negative clauses. It believes these would make the interpretation of the criteria more difficult and the rationale for the decisions less clear. The organisation also has some reservations with the proposed wording, which may result in inappropriate referrals.
The PDA also expressed serious concerns that there are no threshold criteria applicable to pharmacy owners and superintendents for breaches of the standards for registered pharmacies. Whilst the GPhC issued 771 sanctions against individuals in 2015/16, its annual report makes no mention of sanctions or even the prospect of such for breaches of the premises standards – for which owners and superintendents are responsible.