Raising concerns | General Pharmaceutical Council

We regulate pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacies in Great Britain

We work to assure and improve standards of care for people using pharmacy services. Our role is to protect the public and give them assurance that they will receive safe and effective care when using pharmacy services. We ask pharmacy professionals and pharmacies for evidence that they are continuing to meet our standards, and this includes inspecting pharmacies.

As set out on the Pharmacy Order 2010, one of our tasks is to investigate concerns about pharmacists and pharmacy technicians that could suggest there is a risk to patient safety or could affect the public’s confidence in pharmacy. We also deal with concerns about pharmacies.

We securely collect the information that is submitted to us and carefully review and assess all concerns in order to consider whether we need to begin an investigation.

Examples of things you might want to report to the GPhC include:

Serious unprofessional or inappropriate behaviour 

Pharmacy professionals must show respect for others and maintain proper ‘professional boundaries’. We have produced guidance that gives information and advice to help pharmacy professionals meet our standards

Dispensing errors

A dispensing error could include being given out-of-date medication or medication that is incorrectly packaged or labelled. It could also include being given the wrong medication or prescription product, or the wrong dosage.

Criminal conduct

A pharmacy professional may have received a criminal caution or conviction. Not all criminal cautions or convictions will necessarily be related to their work or even mean that we open a ‘fitness to practise’ case, but we still need to know about these.

Dishonesty or fraud

Dishonesty could cover a lot of issues – for example, theft or claiming sick pay while working. Fraud could mean wrongly claiming money from the NHS or other bodies. 

Working under the influence of drink or drugs 

The misuse of drugs does not necessarily mean illegal drugs. Prescription medication and other legal substances can also be abused. We need to know about situations where there may be a risk to patients if a pharmacy professional is misusing alcohol or drugs. 

Having a health condition that affects the ability to practise safely

If a pharmacist or pharmacy technician has a health condition which might affect the way they work, we may need to investigate whether they are able to practise safely.

Practising while unregistered

Pharmacy professionals must be included on the GPhC’s register to be able to legally carry out their duties. We need to know if you suspect someone is working as or claiming to be a pharmacist or pharmacy technician when they are not registered.

Concerns from pharmacy professionals

If you are a pharmacy professional raising a concern about someone or something at your place of work, read our guidance for whistleblowers

Education and training of pharmacy professionals

We have a separate process for raising concerns relating to the education and training of pharmacy professionals- please complete the education and training concerns form

Concerns from employers and locum agencies

If you an employer or locum agency, please read: Thinking of reporting a concern? A guide for employers and locum agencies