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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Managing a COVID-19 vaccination service safely and efficiently

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 4.1 - The pharmacy services provided are accessible to patients and the public

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy has a well organised system which helps it to effectively manage the number of people presenting for the COVID-19 vaccination service.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy provided the COVID-19 vaccination service from associated premises nearby. It provided the service two days per week. The service was popular with many people turning up for each session. Before each clinic the pharmacy contacted each team member scheduled to work, to confirm their availability. The pharmacy also asked its team members to arrive before the beginning of each clinic. This allowed enough time to prepare the vaccination site and to hold a team briefing. The team found that it had been useful to set up the clinic early. Particularly on occasions where some team members had experienced disruptions to their travel, such as during bad weather.

The pharmacy printed off a list of people due to be vaccinated and shared it with the team as part of the pre-clinic briefing. The marshals used the list to mark off when people presented for the vaccine. And they colour coded the time of arrival on the list to show who had arrived on time and who had not. This allowed the team to ensure people arriving late didn't go in before people who arrived on time. The team also used this to explain to latecomers what time they'd receive their vaccine. The list also allowed team members to contact the people who had not presented on time to check whether they were intending to come or if they were planning to re-arrange their appointment. Marshals used tablet devices to check people's booking reference. When a queue formed the marshals moved along the queue with the tablet device to confirm people’s appointments. This also enabled them to reassure people that the team knew they had arrived. And it allowed team members to provide accurate information about waiting times.

Pharmacy team members directed anyone who needed to wait for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine to a dedicated seating area. These people received a laminated sheet providing further information on the vaccine and key points about COVID-19. The pharmacy introduced this after identifying 15 minutes could be a long time for some people. So, having something to read would help pass the time and helped to ensure the person did not leave early. The person handed the information card to one of the marshals who checked that 15 minutes had passed, and that the person felt well before cleaning the card and placing it back on to the chair.

What difference this made to patients

People presenting for the COVID-19 vaccination service experience a well-managed service that ensures they receive the vaccine safely and efficiently. Pharmacy team members are well briefed, so they are kept up to date with the latest information. And so, people can have their questions answered about the vaccination process. And this helps to make them feel at ease.

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