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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Engagement with other healthcare professionals to meet the needs of the local community

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

The pharmacy is on a high street in the centre of town. Pharmacy team members mainly dispense NHS prescriptions and sell a range of over-the-counter medicines. And they offer services including medicines use reviews (MUR), the NHS New Medicines Service (NMS) and various vaccinations. They provide a substance misuse service, including supervised consumption. And they supply medicines in multi-compartment compliance packs to help people take their medicines safely.

Relevant standards

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

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy actively engages with other local healthcare professionals to provide services to meet the needs of the local community. This means people can access advice and treatment for minor ailments more easily.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacist had developed a referral system with the local GP surgery. He met with the surgery every quarter to discuss any issues the surgery had and to discuss collaborative working. During one meeting, GPs had told him they had noticed a significant increase in the volume of appointments being requested by people for minor ailments that did not require a GPs attention. So, they had developed a triage system and people were referred to the pharmacy if they were describing an ailment that the pharmacist could help with. When they arrived at the pharmacy, people had a consultation with the pharmacist. The pharmacist provided the necessary advice and treatment. Or, he would refer the person back to their GP for an expedited appointment, using a dedicated referral form, if their symptoms required further investigation or a treatment that was not available from the pharmacy.

What difference this made to patients

People in the local community were able to access treatment for minor ailments in a more efficient way. The referral system had resulted in a significant reduction in GP appointments for minor ailments.

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