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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Managing the risks associated with providing a medicine delivery service during a pandemic

Pharmacy type

Internet / Distance Selling

Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is a distance selling pharmacy which delivers all of its medicines to people. It has processes in place to identify the risks of providing its delivery service during a pandemic. And it acts in a timely manner to manage these risks by making long-term changes to its procedures.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had identified the risks associated with handling paper records during a pandemic and the risks associated with the amount of time the driver spent in the pharmacy organising the delivery schedule. The pharmacy had managed these risks by implementing an electronic system to plan and record deliveries. Pharmacy team members created an electronic delivery record during the dispensing process. And this automatically uploaded the information to the driver’s secure handheld device.

The team ensured all medicines were packed and ready for the driver to collect. The driver contacted the pharmacy by telephone when they arrived at the pharmacy and a team member took the packaged deliveries outside to the driver. This avoided the risks associated with mixing in an indoor setting when it was not necessary. The delivery driver used their handheld device to record the details of each delivery. And pharmacy team members at the pharmacy were able to see the driver’s progress in real time on their computer. This also helped team members manage queries more efficiently should they receive any.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy effectively reduces risks by implementing a paperless, and auditable delivery system. The changes to the way the driver accesses the pharmacy also helps pharmacy team members to limit the risks of spreading the virus, both amongst themselves and to people who use the pharmacy’s services.

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