Concern over super-regulator proposals

25 Jan 2018

Proposals to create a health sector super-regulator could dilute pharmacy expertise within the regulatory regime and shift focus from key aspects of pharmacy practice, the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) say.

The comments are taken from the NPA’s response to the Department of Health’s consultation on Promoting Professionalism, Reforming Regulation, which was submitted this week.

The NPA is also concerned that an amalgamated regulator could become London-centric, to the detriment of services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which currently has its own regulator.

Nitin Sodha, chair of the NPA’s policy and  practice committee, said: “As the third largest healthcare profession, pharmacy requires a bespoke regulator, in line with the medical and nursing professions.

“The NPA is also concerned that large scale regulatory bodies may be less accessible to patients and the wider public and may not lend themselves to greater responsiveness.”

The Department of Health consultation considers proposals that could see the number of UK health regulators reduced from nine to three or four. If adopted, the proposals would see the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) scrapped.

Broadly speaking, the consultation document argues that regulators with fewer than 100,000 members are less efficient. The GPhC and PSNI have 89,377 and 2,852 members, respectively.