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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Optimising effective communication between an online prescribing service and the person’s usual GP.

Pharmacy type

Internet / Distance Selling

Pharmacy context

Thisis a pharmacy with its own online prescribing service, it also dispenses NHSprescriptions. People are able to access the pharmacy’s services through itswebsite.

Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed
  • 1.2 - The safety and quality of pharmacy services are regularly reviewed and monitored
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy obtains consent to inform the person’s usual GP when medicines are prescribed through its online prescribing service. It verifies the information people provide when completing the consultation questionnaires. This ensures people receive medicines that are appropriate for them.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy requested consent to inform the person’s usual GP for all online consultations, and this was mandatory for some medicines which required additional monitoring. For example, people with thyroid conditions needed to consent to share information about the care provided to them. And the pharmacy required the person to upload proof of their health condition. It did this by specifying which documents would be accepted as proof. Or by obtaining the persons consent to share information from their Summary Care Records (SCR). The information requested by the pharmacy included evidence of health screening were appropriate. For example, it requested an electrocardiogram (ECG) prior to starting a person on levothyroxine.

The prescriber only issued prescriptions for certain medicines if the person had uploaded evidence or SCR information that indicated that it was appropriate for them to do so. The pharmacy used standardised templates for GP correspondence for consistency. It kept a record of GP correspondence such as, examples of the prescribers querying certain prescriptions along with responses from the usual GP and any actions taken as a result. These were discussed at clinical meetings and any outstanding actions were recorded on an action log and followed up.

What difference this made to patients

People receive treatments which are safe and appropriate to their health condition. And their own GP is made aware of which medicine they have been prescribed.

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