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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Managing risks associated with a small consultation room

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 adapts the way it delivers its services so that it can continue to deliver them safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is doing so without bringing people unnecessarily into its small consultation room.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had carried out a risk assessment. And had concluded that its consultation room was too small in size to provide its services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. And so, in order to provide a flu vaccination service, the pharmacy had created a ‘pop-up’ consultation room in a quiet area of the pharmacy’s retail area. The team had put a screen around the area for privacy. And it had vaccinated people by appointment. Appointments were organised in two-hour slots each day. During each two-hour period the pharmacy restricted physical access to other people, whom team members served at the door.

The pharmacist had also reviewed the way in which she held a consultation with someone requesting emergency hormonal contraception (EHC). She had advised team members to take a contact number from anyone requesting EHC. People were then quietly asked to either wait in an appropriate place outside the pharmacy or return to their car. The pharmacist then telephoned the person from the consultation room. This meant that she could conduct the conversation in private without bringing people into the consultation room.

What difference this made to patients

People can access a range of pharmacy services even though the pharmacy’s consultation room is small. And people can access services without being unnecessarily exposed to the risk of coronavirus transmission.

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