This website uses cookies to help you make the most of your visit.
By continuing to browse without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.
Give me more information

Welcome to our BETA website - tell us what you think and help us improve it

Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Managing care home services during COVID-19

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 assessing the risk associated with managing its care home dispensing service during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is making adjustments to the service it delivers in liaison with care home managers. This effectively minimises the risk to pharmacy team members, people living in the care homes and people accessing other dispensing services.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy provided a dispensing service to several care homes, both nursing and residential. The superintendent (SI) spoke with the care home managers and agreed to dispense people’s medicines in original packs with medication administration records (MARs) instead of re-dispensing into compliance packs. This change allowed pharmacy team members involved in the supply of medicines to care homes to help other team members with the increased workload associated with acute and repeat prescriptions for people living in the community.

To help reduce the risk of errors in administration in the care home, the pharmacy had purchased some clear containers with lids, one for each person living in the care home. The pharmacy team dispensed and checked the person's medicines into the container to help keep individual people’s medicines separate. And to make it easier for the care home to book the medicines in. The containers fitted into the medicines trolley for ease of administration.

What difference this made to patients

Pharmacy team members are effectively managing the increase in workload seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means people in the care homes continue to receive their medicines in a safe and appropriate manner. And people in the community can also receive their medicines in a safe and timely manner.

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