The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has published updated Guidance on ‘Maintaining Clear Sexual Boundaries with Patients and Carers for Pharmacists in Northern Ireland. The work forms part of the regulator’s ongoing review of its Standards and Guidance documents, which support pharmacists in Northern Ireland to comply with the Professional Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance (2016), (the Code).
Commenting on the publication of the revised Guidance, Dr Jim Livingstone, the President of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI stated:
“The vast majority of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, work with dedication and integrity and are committed to providing the best possible patient care. However, in a small minority of cases, inquiries have shown that patients and carers can be seriously harmed when healthcare professionals breach sexual boundaries. In addition to the direct harm that can be suffered by patients and carers, the reputation of the pharmacy profession and the trust the public has in the pharmacy profession, may be severely damaged by such incidents.
“The evolving clinical role of pharmacy in Northern Ireland will continue to develop in a way that involves more direct consultancy with patients and carers, which increases the potential for sexual boundaries to be breached, making this updated guidance timely and important.
“This Guidance will also be of interest of patients and service users as it outlines the standards they should expect from their pharmacist in relation to maintaining clear sexual boundaries.
“Once again, I would like to thank our stakeholders for engaging with us in revising this important document and I would urge that all pharmacists, healthcare managers and employers in Northern Ireland to read and apply the Guidance”.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland’s Guidance on Maintaining Clear Sexual Boundaries with Patients and Carers is available here.
The Professional Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance for Pharmacists in Northern Ireland (2016), (the Code) is available here.
This revised Guidance is published following a targeted stakeholder engagement and Council approval.
All pre-registered trainee and registered pharmacists in Northern Ireland have been informed of the revised Guidance which is effective immediately.