Fitness to Practise Statistics 2009 2014

The complaints and disciplinary process of the PSI is provided for under Section 6 of the Pharmacy Act 2007. The fitness to practise function is one pillar of the PSI’s regulatory system aimed at protecting the public interest and safeguarding patient welfare. The PSI complies with the principles of natural justice and relevant decisions of the courts at all stages of the fitness to practise process.

For information, the Fitness to Practise Unit has collated statistics on the processing of complaints received between August 2009 and December 2014. As of 31st December 2014, the PSI had received 270 complaints since commencement of Part 6 of the Act in 2009. 95% of these were considered by the PPC (screening committee) within six months of receipt.

Of these 270 complaints, 69 complaints (26%) had been referred to either the Professional Conduct Committee or Health Committee for inquiry, or for mediation as of 31st December 2014. Forty four of these complaints have been concluded and have been heard by way of 31 inquiries/mediation.  Almost 70% of these were completed within two years. Of the remaining 25 complaints that had been sent forward for inquiry as of 31st December 2014, but where the inquiry has not yet been held, only six were received more than 18 months earlier.

Screening Stage
Although the circumstances of each complaint will differ, all complaints received go through a screening phase which will include the following steps:

  • Receipt of the complaint;
  • The complaint is sent to respondent/s (pharmacist/pharmacy owner complained about) for observations;
  • Pharmacist/pharmacy owner observations are furnished to the complainant;
  • Any further observations received from the complainant are provided to the respondent pharmacist/pharmacy owner;
  • This correspondence goes forward to the PPC (screening committee) which, for example, met eight times in 2014;
  • The outcome of the PPC’s decision goes forward for noting/consideration by the Council, which, for example, met 10 times in 2014.

In 2014, 74% of all complaints were completed at this stage.

Inquiry stage
If the PPC decides a complaint warrants further action and sends it forward for inquiry, the following steps must be taken:

  • A Notice of Inquiry is prepared setting out the nature of the allegations against the pharmacist/pharmacy owner;
  • One or more Production Summonses are sent out to the complainant, respondent pharmacist/pharmacy owner and other relevant parties setting out any further documentation required for the inquiry;
  • All relevant witnesses are interviewed and witness statements are drafted and finalised;
  • An independent expert pharmacist is instructed to review the Notice of Inquiry and all documentation with a view to providing an independent opinion on whether there is professional misconduct, poor professional performance, or both on the part of the pharmacist/pharmacy owner;
  • A date for the inquiry is fixed, which can involve organising witnesses and legal teams, and then giving at least thirty days advance notice;
  • Witness summonses are served on all required witnesses;
  • All relevant documents are furnished to the pharmacist/pharmacy owner;
  • The inquiry is held;
  • A written report is prepared by the Professional Conduct Committee/Health Committee; and the complaint file is considered by the Council, which makes a determination on the appropriate sanction.

Information on the complaints process, including the cycle of a complaint and the PSI’s disciplinary committees, can be found on the PSI website. This also includes guide to sanctioning and a guide to the conditions that may be imposed following disciplinary inquiry.

The PSI’s Annual Report each year provides a breakdown of the source and type of complaints received.

We use cookies on our site, by continuing you agree to their use. For more information please view our Privacy Policy. Hide this message