Pharmacy Supervision – The Consultation

Organisations from across the community pharmacy sector, who have come together to look into the future of “supervision” in community pharmacy, have produced their final report.

Supervision in community pharmacy

The DHSC has now launched the consultation. It will run for 12 weeks from 7th December to 29th February 2024.

The Department of Health acknowledges in the consultation that the physical presence of a pharmacist within a pharmacy is a critical safeguard. This reflects the longstanding position of the NPA and is in line with a cross sector report (below).

The NPA will be working with its members to formulate its response to the consultation and to that end, it will be holding a number of engagement events in the New Year.


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In the meantime, If you wish to raise any questions please write to Helga Mangion NPA policy at or contact your respective country representative manager.

The consultation document including a copy of the draft statutory instrument is available here.


Pharmacy Supervision Practice Group – Cross-sector report

Over the course of nine collaborative and positive workshop-style discussions in 2023 the Supervision Practice Group aimed to provide recommendations to reframe legislation, regulation and professional standards and guidance to achieve a new vision for community pharmacy. The group have produced a report which makes several recommendations on the subjects of:

  • the legislation relating to “supervision”;
  • the temporary absence of the RP from the pharmacy;
  • delegation;
  • the preparation and assembly of medicines when the RP is not signed in.

The report can be viewed on each organisation’s website. Our recommendations provide a framework on which the Department of and Social Care and the regulators can draft specifically worded revisions to legislation and regulatory standards. These specific legislative and regulatory changes that are proposed by government and regulators will be subject to a full consultation process. Professional standards and guidance can then be updated to reflect these changes and provide further support to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. We would encourage all colleagues to read the whole document to understand our discussions and reasoning for the recommendations above.

Chair of the group, Dr Michael Twigg, Associate Professor of Primary Care Pharmacy, University of East Anglia and Head of Research Design and Evaluation, NHS Norfolk and Waveney said “This report is a major step forward for community pharmacy and will enable the sector to work in new ways to support their patients and communities. It is a report that values the contribution of all members of the pharmacy team and provides a platform for the development of a more holistic model of care. I would like to thank all organisations for their commitment to this process and the honesty with which they have approached the discussions and their interaction with me. This report would not have been possible without this commitment to build a positive future for community pharmacy practice.”

NPA Chair Nick Kaye said: “We are pleased to have reached a common position on pharmacy supervision, after months of working collaboratively to understand, respect and accommodate each other’s stance on this important matter. There is consensus that the physical presence of a pharmacist in the pharmacy is a defining characteristic of community pharmacy – a principle which has been an anchor point for the NPA throughout these talks. We also all agree that changes to current arrangements are necessary to improve access and help pharmacists have the capacity to deliver more face-to-face clinical services. This report means that when the government proceeds to a full consultation on this matter it will have a clear sense of where the consensus sits within the sector.”

AIMp Chief Executive Dr Leyla Hannbeck said: “For months we have been debating the supervision topic and whilst we have reached consensus on many areas covered by this topic, the reality is that there remain areas where organisations continue to differ in opinion. Throughout the process we have involved our membership, as a dynamic, innovative and growing part of the community pharmacy sector, in this process to ensure their voices are heard. We have been a big advocate for seeking a level playing field for community pharmacists in line with our GP colleagues and this applies to the rules of supervision too. We will be responding to the government consultation in accordance with our vision for a robust, innovative and thriving community pharmacy sector with a skilled workforce that play a key role in the primary care.”

APTUK Vice President Nicola Stockman said: “APTUK are pleased that the Supervision Practice Group have been able to publish this report through committed collaborative working between its members. The vision of community pharmacy practice described in the report will enhance patient access to pharmaceutical services, ensure high levels of patient safety, and enable further development of the community pharmacy team including pharmacy technicians. The consensus arrived at by the Supervision Practice Group should now inform a consultation by the Department of Health and Social Care which we look forward to engaging with.”

CCA Chief Executive Malcolm Harrison said: “The CCA is pleased to see the sector and the profession collaborate on the important issue of supervision. All participants agreed on the need for change which is crucial to realising the increasingly clinical future expected of the sector. These changes provide the basis for the greatest evolution in pharmacy practice for 70 years. We want to thank Dr Michael Twigg for chairing the group and the Association of Optometrists for providing its secretariat. The CCA looks forward to responding to the upcoming DHSC consultation on this issue”.

PDA Chairman Mark Koziol said: “The PDA welcomed the opportunity to participate in the group to represent the interests of employed and locum pharmacists.  We want to see pharmacists developing more comprehensive clinical relationships through the delivery of pharmaceutical care in the community pharmacy, to focus on the safety of medicines and to better support patients and the NHS. We have always believed that the physical presence of a pharmacist in a community pharmacy is fundamental to this vision.  The report published today clearly puts forward a view that the physical presence of a pharmacist in a community pharmacy is essential in providing safe and effective patient care, and while there were differing views on the need for this to be specified in primary legislation, the general point about physical presence was agreed by all. We also welcome that the group agreed that the permitted 2-hour time period for absence should not change, and the PDA will seek to maintain that position.  We will now be working with our members to feed into the formal consultation process when that is launched by the government.”

Pharmacy Forum NI Manager Julie Greenfield said: “It has been great to be part of such a collaborative piece of work to reach a consensus on the longstanding issue of supervision. The Pharmacy Forum NI believe the publication of this report creates a vision and approach that will inform the legislative and regulatory changes now required to deliver future innovation and service development within community pharmacy. Public and patient safety were foremost in our work in addition to enabling full and appropriate use of the skill mix and expertise of the whole pharmacy team.”

RPS President Professor Claire Anderson said: “On behalf of our members, we have been pressing for changes to Supervision legislation for many years. We were pleased to work collaboratively with other pharmacy organisation to feed our views into this statement. The output reflects the views of our Boards across Wales, Scotland and England. The RPS will continue to feed into the consultation process and will keep guiding the professions with trusted standards and advice to support the implementation of any future changes into practice.”