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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Equipment installed in a location where people’s privacy is not adequately protected

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

The pharmacy is located on a parade of shops in a residential area of the city. The pharmacy dispenses NHS and private prescriptions. It provides some services such as Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) and the New Medicines Service (NMS). And, it supplies substance misuse services to a large number of patients living in the local area.

Relevant standards

  • 5.3 - Equipment and facilities are used in a way that protects the privacy and dignity of the patients and the public who receive pharmacy services

Why this is poor practice

The privacy and dignity of people who use the supervised consumption service is compromised by the position of the equipment and automated software system, used for dispensing and recording their medication.

What the shortcomings are

The pharmacy used a Methasoft pump to dispense medicines for people requiring supervised consumption. This was placed inside a cabinet that was in full view of the retail space which meant that the privacy for people requiring this service was not maintained. The team had written onto the cabinet ‘Methadone s/f’ so it was even more obvious what the contents contained. The team described receiving feedback and complaints from users of the service and from members of the public that they could clearly see that these medicines were being dispensed to people.

What improvements are required

The Methasoft pump needs to be screened or positioned in a way so that it is less obvious that people are receiving their medicines through this service. Moving this into the second dispensary that was located behind the wall where the pump was currently sitting or installing a panel to help screen the pump would mitigate this risk.

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