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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Maintaining social distancing when providing supervised consumption for substance misuse services

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

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

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is providing supervised consumption of medicines to drug and alcohol addiction service patients whilst maintaining social distancing, and other safeguards.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had a consultation room with two entrances; one from the dispensary and one from the shop area. Only two members of the public were allowed into the pharmacy at any one time. The drug and alcohol addiction service patient entered the pharmacy, identified themselves and waited outside the consultation room. The pharmacist entered the consultation room using the dispensary door and placed the daily dose for the patient, and a plastic cup of water on the desk. The pharmacist then stood by the dispensary entrance to the consultation room, but with the dose remaining in full sight. The patient was then asked to enter the room from the shop entrance and took their dose whilst being supervised by the pharmacist at a two metre distance. The empty medicine bottle and plastic cup were put into a bin in the consultation room which was emptied twice a day by a member of staff wearing PPE. The room was cleaned regularly.

What difference this made to patients

People are able to continue to have their doses supervised and the pandemic does not interrupt their treatment programme.

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