The General Pharmaceutical Council – the independent regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain – has recently published new guidance on religion, personal values and beliefs, welcomed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
A spokesperson from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said:
“We welcome the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) publication of the Guidance on religion, personal values and beliefs.
“We met with the GPhC during the consultation process, and corresponded again after this initial process had ended to emphasise the importance of an individual’s right to conscientious objection while maintaining person-centred care.
“This guidance is an improvement on the draft which went out to consultation. It is good that the consultation makes clear that “professionals should use their professional judgement when making decisions about what is clinically appropriate for the individual person”. We believe that more could be done to ensure that pharmacists do not have to provide procedures or treatments that they do not believe would be of overall benefit to the patient.
“We also welcome the greater emphasis in the guidance on partnership between pharmacy professionals, employers and colleagues and, in particular, the recognition that “employers should be sensitive to the religion, personal values and beliefs of pharmacy professionals, and create and maintain fair working environments”.