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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Adapting the way an INR testing service is provided during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pharmacy type

Community

Pharmacy context

​COVID-19

Relevant standards

  • 4.1 - The pharmacy services provided are accessible to patients and the public

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy provides a warfarin INR testing service to support the local GP teams. The Superintendent Pharmacist (SI) has adapted the way the service is provided to help support continual access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the pharmacy did this

To support the delivery of the INR testing service and maintain social distancing requirements the SI was managing the service as a ‘drive-in’. The SI had considered the risks of providing the service in this way. And had contacted local GP surgeries to confirm the pharmacy was able to continue this service during the pandemic.

The pharmacy was on a cul-de-sac which enabled the person to park close to the pharmacy. After parking the person rang the pharmacy and the pharmacist, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), presented at the car with the testing equipment. The equipment was placed through the window for the person to use. The pharmacist asked the person the appropriate questions about their health and warfarin doses before returning to the pharmacy to analyse the results. The pharmacist then provided dosing information and guidance to the person. Results from the tests were shared with the patient's GP.

The pharmacist changed PPE after each consultation and cleaned the equipment after each use. The service was covered by the pharmacy’s indemnity insurance arrangements. And the INR testing machine was regularly calibrated to ensure it remained safe to use and fit for purpose.

What difference this made to patients

People can continue to have their INR test provided whilst the local GP surgeries are closed or are restricting access. The ‘drive-in’ service reduces the risk of transmission of the virus as the person doesn’t have to physically enter the pharmacy.

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