In a move worthy of Sir Humphrey the PSI announces not one, not two but three public consultations over the summer period. Probably hoping that nobody would notice.
Here is a copy of my submission in relation the the Proposed Code of Conduct.
I wish to make the following comments in relation to the proposed code of conduct.
1. Always put the patient first.
Does this direction include the situation whereby the pharmacist may be making a (significant) financial loss by supplying a prescription. Many pharmacists are also company directors and as such have a fiduciary duty not to trade recklessly. Employee pharmacists have a duty similar to their employers. This would happen primarily with prescriptions paid by government schemes as private patients could just be asked to pay and then it is their decision if they wish to pay the extra. This gives rise to a clash of interests between the welfare of the patient and the viability of the pharmacy.
“3. Must recognise and respect patients’ values, diversity, beliefs and cultural identity and make sure they are treated fairly.
5. Must respect the right of the patient to refuse treatment or services”
Patients must also recognise and respect the pharmacists’ values, diversity and beliefs and respect the pharmacists’ right to refuse treatment or services. This should be qualified with a duty on the pharmacist to refer the patient to another pharmacist where they may receive the treatment or service.
” at all times, both inside and outside your work environment, ”
“2. Should look after your own health and well-being.”
Does this imply that pharmacists who choose to smoke tobacco, drink more alcohol than recommended, are obese and decline to diet, do not partake in the recommended amount of exercise per week, engage in risky sexual behaviour or partake in recreational drugs in jurisdictions where it is legal would be considered to be in breach of the code of conduct?
What if a pharmacist should decline medical treatment even if it would shorten their lifespan? Do we give up free will when we become pharmacists?
Pharmacists’ behaviour outside of the work environment is their own private business. When pharmacists hold themselves up as health professionals in their work environment then they should be subject to higher standards. When they are private individuals they are just that, Private!
“6. Should use social media and other forms of electronic communication appropriately and responsibly, both professionally and personally”
I repeat When pharmacists hold themselves up as health professionals in their work environment then they should be subject to higher standards. When they are private individuals they are just that, Private!
“10. Should facilitate student learning to help them develop their professional knowledge, competence and confidence.”
Should indicates a strong recommendation. There must be no obligation to take part in any training of students or interns. It must be voluntary. Also it should be properly recompensed. A student would not go to college expecting free tuition. A lecturer working in a college would not expect to work for free. This should not be in the code of conduct rather it would be more appropriate to a contract of employment.
“1. Must comply with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.”
It follows that CPD requirements must be reasonable and rational.