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The Pharmaceutical Society NI seeks your views on a new Code for pharmacists in Northern Ireland

The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland has today launched a consultation on a new Code of Professional standards of conduct, ethics and performance for pharmacists in Northern Ireland (the Code) to replace its previous 2016 Code.

We are inviting comments on the document which will underpin the functions of the pharmacy regulator in Northern Ireland and is an integral part of maintaining patient safety.

Speaking about the proposed Code and the importance of the consultation, Dr. Geraldine O’Hare, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, said:

“The primary responsibility of the Pharmaceutical Society NI is to regulate the pharmacy profession to ensure the health and safety of the public. We do this by ensuring that registered 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 Code of Conduct is the single-most important document the Pharmaceutical Society of NI produces. It sets out the professional standards, behaviour and conduct the public can expect from a pharmacist when accessing pharmaceutical care. It underpins the regulatory functions of the organisation and is intended to guide and support pharmacy registrants in their practice area, professional development and decision-making processes.”

In the proposed Code, we have taken a different approach from the previous Code. In the proposed Code we ask that pharmacists give an affirmation to provide safe, effective, and compassionate care by abiding by seven Standards. For each of the seven Standards we have listed behaviours which pharmacists must demonstrate to meet these Standards.

Much of the content of the Code is unchanged as the fundamental principles of good patient care remain as relevant today as they did in the past. However, the emphasis and language used in the Code has changed. We have tried to make the Code more accessible and relevant to both the profession and the public with clear and unambiguous Standards which are applicable to all areas of pharmacy practice.

Following an initial call for evidence and discussions with stakeholders to update the current Code we are now seeking your views on the results of this work.

We would therefore encourage feedback from patients and the public, pharmacy registrants and potential registrants, employers, professional and representative bodies, and other stakeholders who may have an interest in pharmaceutical care.

The Consultation documents can be accessed here.

The consultation will run from 23 October 2023 to 18 December 2023.