Three pharmacists who chose to retire this year and informed the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) of their wish to be voluntarily removed from the register later received emails warning they had been placed in remediation for not completing their revalidation records, they told C+D last week.
One of the individuals, National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP) president Anita White, received confirmation from the regulator of her request to be voluntarily removed from the register in September.
However, she then received “lots of email reminders” to complete her revalidation by October 31. Having failed to do so, she was then told she had been placed in “remediation”.
“It does say you still might get prompts to do your revalidation, but in the early hours of November 1, [I received] an email saying: ‘You are in remediation’,” Ms White explained.
“I’m very disappointed. I’m retiring, I am not coming off the register for any other reason,” she said.
“It’s a cliché, but it leaves a nasty taste.”
“Angry, disgusted and disappointed”
Hazel Baker, a locum pharmacist for over 40 years, informed the GPhC of her decision to retire in September, but was left “annoyed” when she also received notice that she had been placed in remediation for not submitting revalidation records by October 31.
Another pharmacist – who asked to remain anonymous – told C+D that receiving the GPhC’s email made them feel “extremely angry and this passed to disgust and disappointment”.
They had also successfully completed their removal process, after informing the GPhC of their intention to retire at the end of the year.
However, “I received no less than five reminders of the need to reregister before October 31. On November 1, I received the now infamous email stating that I had missed my revalidation deadline and I was now in remediation”, the pharmacist told C+D.
“I have done my best to uphold the honour and professional standards of pharmacy for more than 40 years. The GPhC should look after its members or the number of pharmacists will continue to fall,” they added.
GPhC: “Incorrect emails sent”
The GPhC stressed to C+D that the retired pharmacists “have not been mistakenly placed in remediation, but due to an issue on the system, they received an incorrect email”.
“We would emphasise that our records clearly show that the pharmacists have voluntarily left the register and we are working to resolve the issue that meant they incorrectly received remediation emails,” the regulator added.
The GPhC records will continue to show that these pharmacists have not completed their records for this year, the regulator explained. If they wished to rejoin the register in future, the pharmacists would then need to complete their revalidation records for this year.
637 in remediation
According to the GPhC’s council meeting documents published earlier this month (November 5), 637 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians were placed into remediation in the three months to September, “because they either submitted partial or no revalidation records”.
“Only eight letters of notice of removal have been sent,” the GPhC said.
Speaking exclusively to C+D last week, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said the regulator would look at cases on an individual basis, if registrants have wrongly been placed in remediation.
“If we've made a mistake, just as we would expect of a pharmacy or a pharmacist, for example, we [will] put our hands up and do whatever we can to rectify that,” he told C+D.
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