The short-term working party, led by Lord Carter of Coles was asked to work with key stakeholders on proposals to form two separate bodies to oversee pharmacy - a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to regulate the profession and a body akin to a Royal College for pharmacy to provide leadership.
Submitting his recommendations to the Government, Lord Carter of Coles said: 'There is no doubt in my mind that a General Pharmaceutical Council should be formed and I hope our report points a way forward for the regulation and leadership of the pharmacy profession.
'It is entirely appropriate that the regulation of the pharmacy profession falls in line with other healthcare professionals, by ensuring regulation is independent of professional leadership. The transformation from a 'product-focused service' to a truly clinical profession, directly caring for patients and the public is to be welcomed.'
Welcoming the report, Health Minister Lord Hunt said: 'I thank the group for the considered work it has managed to produce in such a short space of time.
'In the past, pharmacy has not necessarily been given the recognition it so clearly deserves as a core sector of the health service.
Hemant Patel, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) said: 'We want to work with others to ensure that the pharmacy profession can realise its full potential in improving patient care and safety. The RPSGB welcomes the publication of this report and the recognition in it that the Society will form a major component of a future body akin to a Royal College.'
The Government aim is for the GPhC to be established and running in January 2010.
The 'Report of the working party on professional regulation and leadership in pharmacy' was published on 16th May and can be found on the DoH website.
The Government White Paper; Trust, Assurance and Safety, The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century, was published on 21st February and can also be found on the DoH website.
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