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Council publishes revised Guidance on Patient Consent

The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has published updated Guidance on Patient Consent. 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 said:

“Pharmacists have a duty to gain valid patient consent. Patient consent forms an integral part of the open and honest relationship between patients and healthcare professionals. It is vital for patient autonomy, but it also builds trust between pharmacists and their patients. Providing patients with the information they need to make informed decisions, also helps to maintain trust and professional relationships on the rare occasions when things go wrong.

“For consent to be valid, Pharmacists must ensure that patients have the necessary capacity and information to understand the treatment options and the potential consequences of receiving a particular treatment.

“We consider this updated document to have an improved structure and be more accessible to pharmacists and patients alike; providing enhanced support to pharmacists in Northern Ireland to comply with their obligations under the Code. We will be looking at this document again when the relevant sections of the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 are implemented.

“As the clinical roles of pharmacists evolve, the nature of their interactions with patients are changing making this revised guidance timely and valuable.

“I would like to thank our stakeholders for engaging with us in revising this important document and I urge all pharmacists, healthcare managers and employers in Northern Ireland to apply the Guidance”.


For further information please contact Mark Neale at the Pharmaceutical Society NI on 028 9026 7933 or

Notes to editors

The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is the regulatory body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland. Our primary purpose is to ensure pharmacists in Northern Ireland are fit to practise, keep their skills and knowledge up to date and deliver high quality safe care to patients.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland’s Guidance on Patient Consent 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 exercise. The revised Guidance was considered and approved by Council on 26 November 2019.

All pre-registration trainees and registered pharmacists in Northern Ireland have been informed of the revised Guidance which is effective immediately.