New code of conduct released for Waterford pharmacies
Details of a new Code of Conduct, setting out revised ethical standards that all pharmacists practising in Ireland must meet, was published this week by the pharmacy regulator, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, (the PSI).
It takes cognisance of modern pharmacy practice and public expectations as well as legal changes in Ireland in recent years. It is in place to ensure that pharmacists are clear about their responsibilities and supported to deliver caring, professional services to over two million visitors to pharmacies each month.
The launch of the Code was marked on World Pharmacists Day, highlighting the important role pharmacists play in ensuring the safe and effective provision of medicines and access to advice and services for the public.
The new Code of Conduct puts the patient first, sets out provisions for acting professionally and for communicating effectively, enabling enhanced patient-centric care. As well as being a document for pharmacists, it creates a picture of what patients should expect when visiting an Irish pharmacy or when receiving treatment and advice from pharmacists in any other setting.
Developed following an extensive consultation process with the public, patients, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals it replaces a pre-existing Code, which had been in place since 2009.
According to Niall Byrne, Registrar and Chief Officer of the PSI, the updated Code of Conduct acknowledges the changes that have taken place in healthcare, in pharmacy, and an evolving role for pharmacists, as well as a need to ensure that this Code remains relevant for current and future pharmacy care and services that will be on offer to patients.
“We encourage the public as well as pharmacists to familiarise themselves with the Code, which sets out the ethical standards that the public, patients and other healthcare professionals expect from pharmacists. Mandated under legislation, it builds on the previous Code to lay down the principles of good professional conduct and practice. Where things go wrong in that relationship between patient and pharmacist, as can sometimes happen, patients have the right to report their experience to the PSI and appropriate actions can be taken,” he said.
The Code of Conduct is a guide to professional principles, standards and ethics that all pharmacists will have to adhere to in Ireland from 21 October 2019. The PSI, the regulator, has a responsibility to ensure that all pharmacists nationwide practice in a way that maintains and improves the health, wellbeing, care and safety of patients.
Speaking at the launch of the Code, Joanne Kissane, a pharmacist and President of the PSI said, “The new Code of Conduct for pharmacists provides the standards that can support pharmacists through their professional journey and protect the public now and into the future. The importance of collaborating with other healthcare professionals, of maintaining public trust with good communication, honest behaviour and utmost professionalism is vital for pharmacists whatever their area or scope of practice.”
Aware of the number of visits made by the public to pharmacies every month, the PSI maintains that upholding professional trust is the cornerstone to providing effective and safe pharmacy services that benefit patients. The Code requires pharmacists to display full technical competence in their chosen profession, but also to behave with probity and integrity and to be accountable for their actions or omissions.
Looking to ensure the PSI Code of Conduct remains a useful document for contemporary practice and modern society, the PSI undertook a review of the 2009 Code of Conduct with an extensive two-year programme of engagement and consultation delivering a new Code that comprises of seven key principles:
1. Put the patient first
2. Act professionally
3. Communicate effectively
4. Work with others to deliver patient-centred care
5. Show leadership
6. Maintain competence
7. Be open and honest
The new Code of Conduct applies to all pharmacists whether they practise in community, hospital, industry, in regulation or in any other form of professional practice and is effective from October 21, 2019.
The updated Code of Conduct for Pharmacists is available to view on the PSI website – www.psi.ie.