Pharmacist ignored work ban

Liverpool Road Pharmacy, Platt Bridge
Liverpool Road Pharmacy, Platt Bridge

A WIGAN pharmacist has become the first in Britain to be prosecuted for practising while banned.

In a landmark case, Mark Robert Taylor was taken to court by the General Pharmaceutical Council after he was found to be working at a local dispensary despite being suspended.

GPhC’s Fitness to Practise Committee had blacklisted the 44-year-old from Appley Bridge for six months last June after finding him guilty of misconduct.

While working at Rowlands Pharmacy at Leigh’s Parsonage Retail Park back in 2008, Taylor was accused of breaching his code of practice by accessing controlled drugs in its dispensary while off duty and also having a heated argument with a female colleague during which he threatened to “rip her face off”.

The committee found the claims proven in his absence, accusing him of a “flagrant disregard for the reputation of the profession”.

He did not do himself any favours by failing to co-operate with the investigation either, although he expressed remorse to his employers and said that he deserved to be punished.

But just a month after receiving his punishment, Taylor was found during a routine GPhC inspection to have been working at Platt Bridge Consortium pharmacy on Liverpool Road.

For breaching the suspension he was taken to court and so became the first to be prosecuted by the council. After failing to attend two hearings he was convicted in his absence earlier this month at Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court which is near to the GPhC’s headquarters. He was found guilty of an offence under Section 38(4) of the Pharmacy Order 2010 and fined £1,750 plus costs of £635.

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said today: “This conviction sends a clear message that there are serious consequences if someone tries to work as a pharmacist when they are not registered to practise.

“Patients and the public can have confidence that we will take decisive action to prevent anyone from practising as a pharmacist if they do not meet the high standards of conduct, ethics and performance necessary to hold registration.”

Taylor remains suspended from the register and the matter will now be brought back before a Fitness to Practise Committee.