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Health assessments

12 Jan 2011

The GPhC may need to conduct a health assessment if it receives information about a pharmacy professional’s health indicating that their fitness to practise may be impaired.

Pharmacy professionals must inform the GPhC if they are suffering with a health condition which impairs or may impair their fitness to practise – that is to say if there is a risk to patient safety or they are prevented from undertaking any of the regular tasks carried out by a practising pharmacist or pharmacy technician. Note however this does not include where the professional is unfit to work for a limited period of time due to a physical health condition or they have a health condition that is under control and for which they are receiving appropriate treatment.

A pharmacy professional wishing to report such a matter should the ‘Fitness to Practise — Something to declare’ form and ask their doctor to complete the ‘Health Information Form’ .

On receipt of the information, the GPhC may:

  • request further information from the pharmacy professional in relation to their current health; and/or
  • request further information from that person’s doctor in relation to their health; and/or
  • request that the person undergo a medical examination.

Following the examination, which is to is to obtain further information regarding the professionals health situation and an opinion from an appropriately qualified healthcare professional as to whether the physical or mental health condition could impair the person’s fitness to practise, the medical assessor will prepare a report and send a copy of the completed report to the GPhC.

This report will include information such as details of past medical history, current medication and treatment, the investigations the medical assessor carried out in relation to the person’s health and a diagnosis. The report will also contain an opinion regarding the persons fitness to practise.

Once the GPhC receives the medical assessor’s report, the Registrar will consider the contents of the report and will determine whether or not the case meets the criteria for referral to the Investigating Committee.

In cases where a registrant is very unwell and poses a risk to the public or to themselves, the Registrar may make a decision that the case should be referred directly to the Fitness to Practise Committee to consider whether it is necessary for the protection of the public or otherwise in the public or the registrant’s interests, for an interim order (for suspension or for conditions to be attached to their registration) to be imposed.

Written by Marie Dancer

Since joining Richard Nelson LLP in 2003, Marie Dancer became a Partner in 2009 before becoming the Managing Partner in 2015. Marie is a highly regarded professional disciplinary lawyer who defends a variety of healthcare and teaching professionals in fitness to practise investigations.

Read more about Marie Dancer.

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