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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Developing a rigorous clinical check procedure

Pharmacy type

Hospital

Pharmacy context

Thisis a community pharmacy located in a hospital. It dispenses prescriptionswritten in the hospital for people who aren’t staying there. It sellsover-the-counter (OTC) medicines and some other health-related products.

Relevant standards

  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy rigorously checks all of its prescriptions against many relevant and up-to-date clinical reference sources to ensure that they are correct. And in particular it checks that the dose needed is appropriate and accurate. The pharmacy team directs all its queries directly to the appropriate clinician. And it only supplies the medicines once all queries are resolved. The pharmacy team gives detailed counselling to people to help ensure they take them safely and benefit fully from them.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy team annotated every prescription to show which pharmacist had screened the prescription, which dispensing assistant had labelled and assembled it, who checked it for accuracy and finally who had handed it out. The final check was not completed by the same pharmacist who had initially screened the prescription.

The initial screening involved a thorough clinical check of each medicine using a number of clinical reference sources. The pharmacy had a file containing the hospital’s prescribing protocols. And the pharmacist used this to help them check the dose against a number of relevant factors such as the person’s weight and age. Those protocols included how unlicensed medicines could be prescribed for children.

The pharmacy always had either a pharmacist or a dispensing assistant at the counter when handing people their medicines. They gave people a thorough explanation about the medicines they were taking and why they were taking them. This helped improve people’s understanding and compliance. So, it helped to ensure that they got the most benefit from the medicines they had been prescribed.

What difference this made to patients

People receive their medicines after their prescriptions have been thoroughly checked by the pharmacy team. And they receive appropriate and detailed information about their medicines.

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