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Launch of revised Raising Concerns Regulatory Guidance

In light of the release of the Francis Report into the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust the Pharmaceutical Society NI believes it is timely to launch and reiterate our guidance on Raising Concerns.  This guidance underlines the duty of pharmacists to put the patient first at all times and where there is a concern about the treatment of a patient in the totality of their care, this must be raised with the appropriate authorities or others so as to protect the patient. 

 The guidance also sets out where to go for help and support and how to tackle any barriers that may exist. Please click here to read the document 

 Pharmacists are reminded of their obligations under the Code of Ethics principle 8.13[1], which states that a pharmacist must:

 ‘make known to relevant persons or bodies any concerns about policies, systems, working conditions, or the actions, professional performance or health  or others that are likely to compromise patient care or public safety, or are already doing so.’

 Speaking today MsJacqui Dougan, President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI said,

 ‘Pharmacists as key healthcare professionals have always been committed to putting the patient first.  We must always remember that in our professional lives we meet and engage with many vulnerable individuals who place great trust in us as individuals.

 ‘Today as the regulator of Pharmacy inNorthern Ireland, we are launching this most vital piece of regulatory guidance. 

 ‘Whilst this guidance is a reissue and revision of the 2009 Raising Concerns Guidance, it is no less important for pharmacists and the public to re-familiarise themselves with their responsibilities in this vital area.

 ‘We fully support the need for a change of culture to ‘make sure that patients come first’ identified in the final Francis report.  Raising concerns must become embedded as part of the culture of an organisation and of all health professionals. 

 ‘Clearly this is a timely reiteration of our policies, but with the launch of the Final Francis Report, this may not be the final guidance on this subject.’

 In closing Ms Dougan said,

‘I would encourage all pharmacists to read this document, to familiarise themselves again with their responsibilities and where they have concerns, they must act. Failure to fulfil this role may lead to a fitness to practise inquiry.’



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


Notes to editors

  1.  The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is the regulatory body for pharmacists inNorthern Ireland.  Our primary purpose is to ensure practicing pharmacists inNorthern Irelandare fit to practise, keep their skills and knowledge up to date and deliver high quality safe care to patients.
  2. The revised Guidance on Raising Concerns will be launched on 7 February 2013 and will be available on the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland website  
  3. The final report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry was published on Wednesday 6 February 2013