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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Continuous professional development and a learning culture

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

This was a high street pharmacy in a town of mixed demographic although the immediate area included some deprivation, dispensing around 5500 NHS items per month and a small quantity of private dispensing. The NHS items included supply to around 80 patients in Monitored Dosage System trays. Pharmaceutical services were provided for 7 care homes, totalling around 120 beds. Other NHS services provided were the standard Scottish pharmacy contract services – Chronic Medication Service (CMS), Minor Ailments Service (eMAS), smoking cessation and the gluten free food prescribing service for 1 patient. Services provided under PGDs were unscheduled care, smoking cessation, emergency hormonal contraception, chloramphenicol ophthalmic products, trimethoprim, post-immunisation paracetamol and fluconazole. A substance misuse service was provided. There was a consultation room and a discreet counselling area at the end of the medicines counter.

Relevant standards

  • 2.2 - Staff have the appropriate skills, qualifications and competence for their role and the tasks they carry out, or are working under the supervision of another person while they are in training
  • 2.3 - Staff can comply with their own professional and legal obligations and are empowered to exercise their professional judgement in the best interests of patients and the public
  • 2.4 - There is a culture of openness, honesty and learning

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy encourages, supports and provides appropriate access to training and development, making good use of the skills of staff members to develop and deliver this. A training initiative led by pre-registration pharmacists is contributing to their own and other staff’s personal development and providing a useful reference source of information about services.

How the pharmacy did this

The training procedure, running a number of years, involved a pre-registration pharmacist in each of the pharmacies, writing a short training module on a topic suggested by staff. These included the eMAS, the CMS, baby products and thrush. These modules were developed as a short coaching session in the dispensary at a quiet time of the week. All of the sessions were delivered at each of the branches by the on-site pre-registration pharmacist. This was building into a substantial resource of information, and some topics were repeated from previous years if new staff required them. This was described as useful and topical with all staff members participating. Staff that were undertaking accredited training were given time in the pharmacy to undertake that and the pre-registration pharmacist got adequate time for her own study and for preparation of training material. The pre-registration pharmacist at this branch also wrote a short article for a local publication which the pharmacist superintendent pharmacist had oversight of and submitted. This was a professional article that covered a variety of topics, such as availability of pharmacy services and products stocked. Meetings were held monthly/2 monthly with pharmacists from all the branches, sharing information, discussing SOPs, training and anything else that was topical. Dropbox was used to share notes of meetings and any documents referred to or developed as a result

What difference this made to patients

Patients benefit from having well-trained staff who are up to date with the services available and how these should be delivered.

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