Allegations of sexual misconduct

The request was partially successful.

To whom it may concern,

I write to request the following under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please state the number of allegations you have received of
a) sexual misconduct
b) sexual harassment
c) sexual assault
d) rape

Allegedly committed by staff regulated by your organisation in each of the last five calendar years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

2. For each of these allegations received, please state:
a) Whether the alleged victim was a member of the public, a patient or a health professional
b) Whether you launched an investigation
c) The outcome of the case

3. Please provide any official definitions used by your organisation classify allegations of a sexual nature (such as the four listed in question 1) and any official guidance/flowcharts for dealing with such cases.

Yours faithfully,

Leila Haddou

foi, General Pharmaceutical Council

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Dear Leila,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request.

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are required to
provide a response within 20 working days following the first day of
receipt, however your request will be processed as soon as possible.

Kind Regards,
Information requests
General Pharmaceutical Council
25 Canada Square | London | E14 5LQ
Email: [GPhC request email]
www.pharmacyregulation.org

foi​
 
General Pharmaceutical Council
25 Canada Square | Canary Wharf | London |E14 5LQ
 
Email: [1][GPhC request email]
www.pharmacyregulation.org
We’re consulting on significant changes to the initial education and training standards for pharmacists – [2]tell us your views
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foi, General Pharmaceutical Council

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Dear Leila,

 

Thank you for your request, which was considered under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

On 28 January 2019 you requested the following:

 

Please state the number of allegations you have received of

a) sexual misconduct

b) sexual harassment

c) sexual assault

d) rape

 

Allegedly committed by staff regulated by your organisation in each of the
last five calendar years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

 

2. For each of these allegations received, please state:

a) Whether the alleged victim was a member of the public, a patient or a
health professional

b) Whether you launched an investigation

c) The outcome of the case

 

3. Please provide any official definitions used by your organisation
classify allegations of a sexual nature (such as the four listed in
question 1) and any official guidance/flowcharts for dealing with such
cases.

 

 

Allegations

The GPhC does not categorise cases using the terms you have provided. All
the cases you have referred to are categorised as "Sexual
Misconduct/Assault." We are therefore providing these numbers under our
own category, sexual misconduct/assault. All except one of these cases was
investigated. Seventeen of these cases are currently Open.

 

Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Grand Total
Sexual Misconduct/Assault Cases 9 21 17 21 14 86

 

We are unable to provide the information to you using your categories, as
it is not collected in a format where this is extractable from a database.
To categorise our cases using the headings you have provided we would have
to review the case file of every case that falls within our own category.
From our preliminary assessment, we estimate that fulfilling your request
using your categories exceeds the appropriate costs limit (£450 or 18
hours) set out in section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  .
The following has been calculated accordingly:

Cost of labour: £25 per person per hour (as per ICO guidance)

Time to complete one task: 15 minutes per case to read and extract
information

Total time needed: 21.5 hours

Total cost: £537.5

 

 

Victims

With regard to the type of victim involved in each case, this again would
require an examination of each case file individually as we do not record
the type of victim in our database. The same calculation above would
apply, and to extract this information would exceed the cost limit set out
under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Although we are unable to provide the information as requested, if you are
able to narrow the scope of your request to reduce the number of hours
needed to complete the required tasks described above to below 18 hours,
for example, by reducing the number of years required, we may then be able
to provide you with the information relevant to a narrower scope. Please
note that exemptions may apply to some data, in particular where
information was given to us in confidence and where individuals may be
identifiable.

 

 

Outcomes

We are able to provide you with a total count for outcome of closed cases
over the past 5 calendar years.

Outcome Total Count
Closed at triage - NFA 1
Case Closed at Investigation - Guidance 1
Case Closed at Investigation - NFA 27
FtPC - Guidance 1
Removal 11
Warning 5
Conditions 1
Suspension 7
Fitness to Practise Not Impaired 4
Letter of Advice 2
No Case to Answer 1
FtPC – Facts not proved 3

Notes:

NFA: No further action

FtPC: Fitness to Practise Committee

Triage: Concerns are reviewed at the ‘triage’ stage to decide whether or
not an investigation should be opened

 

Where a determination has been made public, we would be happy to provide
you with further information on individual cases, but we cannot provide it
to a forum such as What Do They Know. The GPhC maintains a rolling
Register, which is constantly updated according to changes in circumstance
and our retention policies. Releasing this information to a website such
as What Do They Know would create a static record of this list, which is
unfair to those individuals whose Fitness to Practise records are changed
or updated in the future on our Register, but not on this static list.
Furthermore this will create an inaccurate reflection of our Register,
which we consider is not in the interest of public safety. We therefore
request that you contact us directly with a personal email address, to
which we can send this information without publication.

 

 

Definitions

The following is the definition used by the GPhC for this category, as
well as an explanation of how it is used:

In the sexual misconduct cases presented before the FTPC our advocates
invite them to apply the following definition used in the criminal
jurisdiction, when determining whether or act a Registrant’s actions were
sexual or not.

 

In the criminal jurisdiction the definition of the term “sexual” is
contained within Section 78 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (“the Act”)
which states as follows:

 

Section 78. “Sexual”

 

For the purposes of this Part (except section 71), penetration, touching
or any other activity is sexual if a reasonable person would consider
that—

 

(a)         whatever its circumstances or any person’s purpose in relation
to it, it is because of its nature sexual,

or

(b)         because of its nature it may be sexual and because of its
circumstances or the purpose of any person in relation to it (or both) it
is sexual.

 

The approach should be :

 

•             Did the act alleged occur?

•             If so, were the acts sexual, either by virtue of their very
nature, or the circumstances in which they occurred, or by reference to
the Registrant’s purpose at the relevant time.

 

Rule 42 of The General Pharmaceutical Council (Fitness to Practise and
Disqualification etc.) Rules 2010  confirms the burden of proving the
allegations rests with the Council and the civil standard of proof
applies, namely the balance of probabilities. The Committee should only
find an allegation proved if they are satisfied that it is more likely
than not that the matter alleged occurred in the manner alleged by the
Council.

 

Please find attached the relevant guidance – see pages 30 & 31. The
[1]raising concerns section of our website explains the stages in the
process for responding to concerns.

 

Kind Regards,

Information requests

General Pharmaceutical Council
25 Canada Square | London | E14 5LQ

Email: [2][GPhC request email]

[3]www.pharmacyregulation.org

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original request and should be addressed to: Duncan Rudkin, Chief
Executive & Registrar, General Pharmaceutical Council, 25 Canada Square,
London, E14 5LQ  [4][GPhC request email].

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF

 

 

foi​
 
General Pharmaceutical Council
25 Canada Square | Canary Wharf | London |E14 5LQ
 
Email: [5][GPhC request email]
www.pharmacyregulation.org
We’re consulting on significant changes to the initial education and training standards for pharmacists – [6]tell us your views
[7]                                                                                                                                                                                       
This email and any attachments are confidential, may contain information that is privileged and protected by copyright. If you are not the intended recipient, dissemination or copying of
this email is prohibited. If you have received this in error, please notify the
sender by replying by email and then delete the email completely from your system.

Where the content of this email is personal or otherwise unconnected with the organisation's business, the General Pharmaceutical Council accepts no responsibility or liability for such
content.

Internet email may be susceptible to data corruption, interception and unauthorised amendment over which we have no control. Whilst sweeping all outgoing email for viruses, we do not
accept liability for the presence of any computer viruses in this email or any losses
caused as a result of viruses.

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