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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Implementing long-term processes to help manage an increased demand for medicine deliveries

Pharmacy type

Community

Pharmacy context

COVID-19

Relevant standards

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

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is adapting its delivery processes to help ensure people receive their medicine in a safe and timely manner. It is looking at long-term solutions to support access to medicines during the winter months.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacist had liaised closely with the pharmacy’s delivery driver at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to seek feedback on how to successfully manage the increased demand for medicine deliveries. The driver had used his knowledge of the local geography to plan daily delivery routes with the purpose of maximising efficiency. Each route was colour-coded on a chart. The most popular areas received deliveries each day. Other areas received deliveries once, twice or three times a week. The pharmacy team used the chart to advise people of the day for their delivery. And the chart meant pharmacy team members could continue to provide the service in the event the driver had to self-isolate.

Some people requesting deliveries lived in tower blocks. The pharmacy had considered the risks of delivering to homes with communal access arrangements. The driver ensured all the deliveries for individual tower blocks were carried out on the same day to minimise the risks associated with entering the building, using the lifts and touching door handles. The driver also had access to personal protective equipment.

The pharmacy team members had begun planning for how pharmacy services would be delivered in the Autumn and Winter months. They were keen to keep some of the working practices developed during the early days of the pandemic as these effectively reduced non-essential footfall into the pharmacy. And meant people continued to receive the majority of their medicines without the need to leave home.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy has adapted its delivery processes to help ensure it can continue to provide a safe and effective service all year round. The new processes reduce time, mileage and fuel costs associated with deliveries which means it is sustainable long-term.

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