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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Acting on feedback from people using pharmacy services to reduce queues and waiting times.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

This is a community pharmacy in a large town. Its main activity is dispensing NHS prescriptions. It also provides a range of services including the NHS Scotland Pharmacy First Plus service and vaccination services. It provides some people with their medicines in multi-compartment compliance packs to help them take their medicines correctly. And it provides deliveries of medicines for people.

Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed
  • 1.4 - Feedback and concerns about the pharmacy, services and staff can be raised by individuals and organizations, and these are taken into account and action taken where appropriate
  • 4.1 - The pharmacy services provided are accessible to patients and the public
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy reviews the way it provides its services in response to feedback and the action it takes provides a more efficient service for people. And it helps provide a quieter environment for team members to work to reduce the risk of error.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy was in a region of the UK that did not have an electronic transfer of prescription service. In response to feedback about queues building up in the pharmacy the team had created an alternative system for people wishing to drop off their prescription forms and collect their medicines the next day. They had implemented a secure box for people to post their prescription. The box was tamper-proof to avoid the risk of accidentally disclosing people’s personal information. And to keep the prescriptions secure.

Team members emptied the box several times a day to process the prescriptions and order any medicines the pharmacy did not have in stock. This reduced working pressure in the dispensary as the queue at the pharmacy counter was minimised. And the new system had reduced the number of people in the pharmacy at any given time providing a quieter environment for team members to concentrate on dispensing tasks. It also meant people who required urgent medicines or advice were served in a timely manner due to the reduction in queues.

What difference this made to patients

People using the pharmacy experience a more efficient service, that meets individual needs. People with an urgent need to access services are seen in a timely manner.

Highlighted standards

We have identified the standards most likely and least likely to be met in inspections, and highlighted examples of notable practice for each of these standards; to help everyone learn from others and to support continuous improvement:

  1. 1.1 Risk management
  2. 1.2 Reviewing and monitoring the safety of services
  3. 4.2 Safe and effective service delivery
  4. 4.3 Sourcing and safe, secure management of medicines and devices
  5. 2.2 Staff skills and qualifications