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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Providing key information through the pharmacy's telephone answer phone.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

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

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy has changed its outgoing answerphone message to provide key information to people during the covid-19 pandemic. The information provided on the message includes changes to opening times, changes to the services it is providing and information relating to stock issues.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy has set up a voicemail greeting on its telephone system. The greeting explains the current situation. It explains that there may be delays in answering the telephone. But it asks people to stay on the line, wait for someone to answer, and not to come in to the pharmacy. The greeting also informs people that the pharmacy could only deliver to people new to the service if they were over 70, as the service was at capacity. People outside this age group were asked if they could arrange for someone to collect their medicines for them. The greeting also advises people that it takes three days for the prescription to arrive at the pharmacy after it has been ordered from the GP team. And to allow further days for dispensing. The greeting informs people that the pharmacy had no stock of hand sanitiser. It also asks people to be kind and considerate when speaking to the pharmacy team. And lets them know the pharmacy would be closing at 9pm until a specified date.

What difference this made to patients

The outgoing answerphone message means some people’s queries are answered without needing to speak to a member of the team. This frees up the telephone for more important calls. The additional information on the message also helps people to manage the collection of their medicine so they aren’t making unnecessary trips to 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