Council formally adopts Transcom prospectus

The Transitional Committee’s prospectus for a new professional body forpharmacy was formally adopted by the Council at the February 2009Council meeting

The Transitional Committee’s prospectus for a new professional body for pharmacy was formally adopted by the Council at the February 2009 Council meeting (PJ, 7 February 2009, p123).

NIGEL CLARKE, Transcom chairman, addressed the Council. He said that most of the 1,348 people who had responded to the consultation on the prospectus that closed on 9 January 2009 had made positive remarks.

The consultation had revealed a sense that it was time to get on with the proposals. Members were keen to see a strong leadership body that was acting to promote pharmacy.

There were three principal concerns. Pharmacists were anxious that the total fee payable for the new professional body and the new regulatory arrangements should be no more than they are paying now. They were concerned about issues relating to the relationship between the professional body and the regulator. And they were concerned about a lack of clarity about who could use the “pharmacist” title.

“These are fundamental issues that need to be resolved and understood by people communicating properly over the course of this year,” said Mr Clarke.

GERALD ALEXANDER said that the prospectus for the new professional body is aspirational. “We understand that is what is intended, but there is a need to deliver on these aspirations,” he said.

He added that it was necessary to promulgate to the profession that the new professional body assembly would not necessarily be the Council of the Society. The national boards would take over the work of the professional body.

Mr CLARKE explained that the assembly would determine overall strategy and determine budgets, and that Mr Alexander was correct that the operational hubs of the new professional body would be at national board level, reflecting the world in which pharmacists work.


Clarification (21 February 2009)

Douglas Simpson inadvertently referred to the General Pharmaceutical Council as being a UK-wide body.

As matters currently stand, the GPhC will have jurisdiction only in Great Britain.

DOUGLAS SIMPSON said that the Society had done a lot of good things — conferences, journals, libraries, museum collections — and it was unthinkable that it should not be the basis of the future body.

He had serious reservations about categories of membership, particularly in relation to non-pharmacist membership. “I am quite happy for some sort of associate membership for that kind of thing, but I am not happy that it should be in a sense regarded as full members of the Society.”

He also had reservations about the assembly itself. It was more than just strategy and budgets, he said. “The General Pharmaceutical Council will be operating on a UK-wide basis. Standards are going to be set on a UK-wide basis. I just do not see how we are going to easily fulfil this big role of being the other side of the equation with regulation and representation if we are organised on a national basis.”

He did not decry the importance of national boards but was unconvinced about the structure of the assembly. He thought there should be more members that pharmacists could directly elect.

SUE KILBY said that the future professional body could amend itself in future according to its needs. “We cannot have everything laid down in stone at the moment,” she said.

The PRESIDENT asked the Council to “adopt the prospectus for the new professional body for pharmacy published in November 2008 as the framework for the design and establishment of the new professional body, subject to any unforeseen circumstances of a legal or fiduciary nature which would require additional or alternative actions to those originally envisaged to be taken to achieve the high level objectives set out in the prospectus”.

Twenty-three members of the Council agreed, one disagreed and one abstained.

Citation: The Salvadore URI: 10049379

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