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GPhC considers leaving Canary Wharf but stands firm on fee increase

The GPhC moved to 25 Canada Square in Canary Wharf in 2014 (credit: Kurkoe under CC BY-SA 3)
The GPhC moved to 25 Canada Square in Canary Wharf in 2014 (credit: Kurkoe under CC BY-SA 3)

The GPhC is considering whether to remain at its Canary Wharf headquarters in a bid to save money, but stands firm on plans to increase renewal fees.

In a consultation – which ran from November 2018 to January 2019 – the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) proposed increasing pharmacist renewal fees by £7, premises renewal fees by £21 and pharmacy technicians renewal fees by £3.

Having considered the consultation responses, the GPhC is proposing to implement the increased fees of £257 for pharmacists, £121 for pharmacy technicians and £262 for premises – which remain unchanged from its original proposals – from July 1.

Announcing the proposals at a council meeting in October, the regulator said the fee for registered pharmacies will be higher than the fee for pharmacists “for the first time”. The proposed increases follow three years of frozen renewal fees.

However, analysis of the 5,409 consultation responses showed that 70% of pharmacy professionals and organisations disagreed with increasing the fees for pharmacists, while 66% disagreed with increasing the fees for pharmacy technicians and 51% opposed increasing premises fees.

The GPhC said it “recognised the financial climate and uncertainty in which our registrants are working” and it will “continue to challenge our costs”, including a pledge to secure a £720,000 efficiency saving for 2019-20.

“However, our income and fees must ensure that we can continue to work effectively as a regulator in the long term,” it said in papers published ahead of its council meeting on Thursday (March 7).

“The GPhC faces similar financial challenges and in order to continue effectively in our role in protecting the public, we need to take necessary steps to increase our fees,” it added.

The council will consider the consultation responses at the meeting on Thursday before any decisions are made, the GPhC stressed.

Office move considered

In its annual plan for 2019-20, the GPhC outlined ways it intends to “improve efficiency and effectiveness”, including the possibility of moving from its offices in Canary Wharf, London, the regulator said.

The GPhC moved to 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, in 2014, when it said it had been quoted an annual rent of £35 per square foot – equating to £1,347,500. It also pointed out that it would be exempt from paying VAT on rent in Canary Wharf.

In its latest council papers, the GPhC also said that alongside its efficiency savings work, “we will explore how we might be able to develop a more flexible set of fee arrangements and better allocate the cost of regulations to our registrants”.

17 Comments
Question: 
Did you respond to the GPhC's pharnacy fees consultation?

Medicine Man , Community pharmacist

Think we should start a petition to move them to cheaper areas. They could work from Hull or Middlesbrough 

Seena R, Community pharmacist

Breaking news: Canary Wharf offices being transferred to Mayfair. 

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Have they stopped considering the move yet?

PARESH shah, Community pharmacist

With the GPHCs own prediction that a lot more pharmacies will leave the profession because of Revalidation changes, who is going to pay the shortfall in fees next year. This is your own making and I for one do not want to pay for your bad decisions .

anti-depressed Pharmacist, Manager

Done nothing of value for 9 years except rob us of our savings.

9 years on and the pharmacise are still understaffed, stress is higher than its ever been and while everyone  is struggling to get by you increase the fees from you london ivory tower.

 

GPhC is a complete joke, the only thing they are protecting is their pension.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

They hold a consutlation just to look as if they are taking account of the feelings of registrants and not because they have any intention of taking any notice of the outcome of said consultation!

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Everybody does that including the government so why not play the same game ?!

R A, Community pharmacist

What happens when most of us quit?

I have suffered nothing but torment from this job and all I have been rewarded with is scorn from the public, staff and management of multiple pharmacies!

Why would I want to carry on with this job when the pay gap between a pharmacist and standard living wage narrows? Meaning that even a simple admin job will enable me to earn a similar wage to what a pharmacist commands and not pay a regulator and not file CPD and not worry when I get home if I missed anything?

Another thing to remember GPhC is that thanks to automation a large part of the pharmacy workforce will be made redundant therefore good luck trying to find that extra pot of cash!  

Aldosterone antagonist, Locum pharmacist

Leave this profession. I have already planned my exit from pharmacy to another career.

Its not looking great for us 'frontline' pharmacists

Another Pharmacist, Hospital pharmacist

Why don’t they move to Nottingham? Boots have a huge campus and I’m sure they could lend them a shed for a bit. 

NHS digital has closed its London offices and is now in Leeds...loads of places are moving out of London for cost saving. As they regulate the whole of GB, why don’t they pump some money into some economies less fortunate than London...Shetland is a lovely place!

John Ellis, Community pharmacist

Pharmacies face the biggest funding cuts in a generation, yet the GPhC believe an increase in fees is justified. I would like to know exactly what 'good deal' was negotiated to situate their offices in central London? They never mention how much their accommodation is costing, I'm guessing it's so expensive, it would definitely undermine their funding request.

Ismail Syed, Locum pharmacist

 Very reasonable points raised 

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

With Brexit looming, should they consider Calais?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

If they are serious about public and their own finances, then they should shift to an area where most of the complains/ dodgy deals/ fake meds are abundant. But then these areas are available for a pittance compared to Canary Warf, so I doubt they would like this idea!!!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"""Having considered the consultation responses, the GPhC is proposing to implement the increased fees"""

Then, what is the point of doing a consultation. Will GPhC agree if a Pharmacy/ Pharmacist/ Technician ignored a report from the inspector/ a patient survey asking for some changes ??? No..........

“However, our income and fees must ensure that we can continue to work effectively as a regulator in the long term,”

“The GPhC faces similar financial challenges and in order to continue effectively in our role in protecting the public, we need to take necessary steps to increase our fees,”

Then why don't you ask the funding from the Govt or the Public directly, as you are not trying to Protect us or the profession for sure !!!!!

Meera Sharma, Primary care pharmacist

Excellent point!

john oli, Marketing

i think GPHC should source their funding from the government like other agencies or the public directlly like BBC .... No where in the world is this system obtainable ...we cant continue to fund your gold plated offices while you dont fight to protect us from income erosion, stress overload , fight for decriminalisaion of disensing errors or similar situations like GPs, and lots more.. It is a noble goal fighting for the public and it is also fair to receive funding from the public or its representative:the govt.  It is an ethical decision

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