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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Identifying and managing risks associated with an increase in telephone calls about a COVID-19 vaccination service.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is using information from its engagement with COVID-19 Pharmacy-led vaccination sites to help it manage its services safely and effectively. It is taking swift action to help mitigate some concerns reported by these pharmacies. And it has put systems in place to manage the increased volume of telephone calls more easily.

How the pharmacy did this

The superintendent pharmacist (SI) had attended a meeting with a COVID-19 pharmacy-led vaccination site. The pharmacy-led site described how it had two telephone lines. In addition to this, calls which were not answered were forwarded to a mobile telephone. Despite this arrangement pharmacy team members were struggling to answer the volume of calls coming in. The pharmacy site identified that people needing to access its regular pharmacy services were not able to get through by telephone. And it had needed to act upon these concerns to resolve the matter.

To address this identified risk prior to the pharmacy beginning the service, the SI spoke to his internet telephone supplier. The supplier worked with the pharmacy to put more options into its system. This meant when a person telephoned for vaccination service information, they would hear a pre-recorded message providing details of the service, such as accessibility. And people ringing for other services were able to speak with a member of the team about their query.

What difference this made to patients

People have ready access to the information they need. People who need to speak to the pharmacist for advice can do so without having to travel to the pharmacy in person. And people seeking information about the COVID-19 vaccination service can obtain it more easily.

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