The inspection questionnaires approved by Council in 2018 were finally implemented in April 2020. The questionnaires incorporate the new grading methodology approved earlier in the year. Details on the work undertaken in reviewing the grading methodology is captured in a document named Inspection grading methodology, which is accessible on Council website. As a supplement to the document, Council created the Pharmacy inspections and guide to compliance which is meant to challenge responsible pharmacists and potential responsible pharmacists to ensure that their pharmacies meet acceptable standards of practice.
Self-inspection questionnaires have been developed and are accessible on the public side of the website under ‘Pharmacy Inspections’ and on the secure site of the website under the Practice page. With the implementation of the revised grading methodology, responsible pharmacists are now required to complete self-inspections to familiarise themselves with the questions and so that they are aware of what is expected during an inspection. Responsible pharmacists are advised to use the self-inspection on the public side of the website and once they are comfortable, submit a self-inspection for their pharmacy using the version on the secure site. Timelines for submission of self-inspections are available on the website.
Pharmacists must strive to obtain an A grading by addressing shortcomings identified in an honest self-inspection before an actual inspection is conducted by Council Officers. Council has put a few slides together with examples indicating how pharmacies are graded. Details are available in the Inspection grading methodology document.
ENFORCING GPP COMPLIANCE MAY RESULT IN THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE RECORDING OF THE PHARMACY TO ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY
Despite numerous attempts to encourage pharmacy owners to comply with the Pharmacy Act, 53 of 1974, the GPP and all relevant legislation, there are still pharmacies which continuously receive grade C inspection results.
Pharmacies that continuously fail to comply with the required standards of practice expose the public to the risk of compromised, and/or poor quality pharmaceutical services. It is the duty of the Council to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public, and to ensure that where such services are compromised, these pharmacies are restricted from providing pharmaceutical services.
For this reason, Council has implemented a Guideline for the removal of pharmacy registration/ recording as a result of non-compliance with good pharmacy practice and other pharmacy legislation.
The guideline clearly articulates legislative framework that empowers Council to undertake this process, the criteria for removal and the process that will be followed by Council in removing these facilities. The document further details the appeals process and the relevant documents to be completed should an owner wish to have their facility restored.