Let’s fight the threat of Remote Supervision together!

An Emergency Meeting is being called for Sunday 8th and Monday 9th October at the Pharmacy Show, NEC Birmingham.

Tue 26th September 2017 Website Editor

Since 2006, the PDA has been fighting the threat of remote supervision. The plan to operate a pharmacy in the absence of a pharmacist is just not safe for patients, but like a weed in the garden, every time it’s cut back it returns. The government has tried many times in the past to change the current arrangements but has never managed to make progress due to the vigorous resistance that it has faced.

When this threat first surfaced, in 2006, the PDA was the only organisation that was concerned. We knew how this would be used by some unscrupulous employers to reduce patient safety just to improve their profits by operating their pharmacies without a pharmacist. We were proved right, when, under the 2009 Responsible Pharmacist regulations, certain large multiple pharmacies, using what they call and Advanced Declaration Template (ADT) have been operating their residential homes dispensing operations in the pharmacy in the absence of a pharmacist for two hours before the RP arrives at 9.00am. They require the RP to sign the RP register to show that they were signed on from 7.00am to make the process ‘legitimate’, making the pharmacist fully responsible for all the dispensing that was done before they arrived for work. If the patient safety considerations weren’t bad enough, they argue that this shouldn’t be reflected in any remuneration arrangements as they feel that that the RP is not actually working. Just imagine what would happen if Remote Supervision became fully legal!

Since 2011, the government has been working in a kind of ‘bunker’ which it has called the Rebalancing Committee; unsurprisingly, considering the PDA’s resistance to Remote Supervision we are not on this committee. Here, the discussions are kept away from the wider profession and only ’sanitised’ minutes are ever released. We know what the government and the pharmacy technicians want to achieve, but we are less clear about what our pharmacy representatives are agreeing to and what their motivations are – this concerns us enormously.  A wider stakeholder group is supposed to help inform their work. The PDA is a member of this wider group – but no stakeholder group meeting has been held for several years. There has been a shocking and unacceptable lack of engagement and transparency shown by this committee, we are now being led to believe that even the Health Secretary did not know what they were discussing. Recently, in a memo leaked to the pharmacy press, it transpires that this committee is proposing to enable pharmacy technicians to supervise the sale and supply of P and POM medicines in the absence of a pharmacist. The Rebalancing Committee should have been looking at the supervision arrangements to make the pharmacist more accessible to the public in a community pharmacy and not less so; it is difficult to contemplate a proposal that could be less supportive of this aim.

Since the leak, they have now agreed to discuss this proposal with stakeholders with the intention of moving ahead with a public consultation.

There is no doubt that the time to Stop Remote Supervision finally has arrived.

We will be holding an emergency meeting to which we invite you, so that we can discuss the plan that we have developed and to let you know what you can do to help. Fortunately, the organisers of the Pharmacy Show have agreed to allow us to use their Keynote Theatre and this allows us to hold a meeting at very short notice on both Sunday 8th and Monday 9th of October (one meeting but held twice) to give our members choice and to make it more accessible. We will hold our meeting at 5.00pm on Sunday 8th and 11.45am on Monday 9th of October in the Keynote Theatre – please note the capacity of the theatre is 400.

To register for the Pharmacy Show CLICK HERE

We invite you to come and join the campaign to Stop Remote Supervision!

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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
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and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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