Dispensing errors defence due in law in April

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has welcomed the news that a new defence around inadvertent dispensing errors is one step closer to coming into force.

The Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Registered Pharmacies) Order 2018 was passed by Parliament in December and has now been signed by the Privy Council, paving the way for a change to the law to come into effect as soon as April.

This UK-wide measure applies to registered pharmacy professionals in registered pharmacies.

It aims to increase patient safety by reducing the fear of criminal prosecution and encouraging a more open culture of error reporting and learning from mistakes.

Ash Soni, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said:

“MPs and Peers from across the political parties approved a change to the law in December, so I am pleased to see this step towards it being implemented.

“Fostering a culture where health professionals feel able to report errors and learn from their mistakes will support a safer and better service for patients.

“I now look forward to the Government publishing the long-awaited consultation on similar proposals for hospitals and other pharmacy settings as soon as possible.”