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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Premises design, layout and cleanliness

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

​This was a community pharmacy close to a GP practice in a town with a population of 50,000 of which the pharmacy served around 10,000. It had recently had a complete refit and was dispensing around 12,000 NHS items each month. The NHS items included supply to around 350 patients in monitored dose devices. Dispensing was highly automated using 2 robots. Other NHS services provided were the standard Scottish pharmacy contract services – CMS, eMAS, smoking cessation and the gluten free food prescribing service. A substance misuse service was provided An extensive range of other services were delivered including independent prescribing for respiratory conditions, pain management common clinical conditions.

Relevant standards

  • 3.1 - Premises are safe, clean, properly maintained and suitable for the pharmacy services provided
  • 3.2 - Premises protect the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of patients and the public who receive pharmacy services
  • 3.3 - Premises are maintained to a level of hygiene appropriate to the pharmacy services provided
  • 3.5 - Pharmacy services are provided in an environment that is appropriate for the provision of healthcare

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy premises are safe, properly maintained, clean, hygienic and suitable for the pharmacy services provided. A very professional environment is portrayed with the design and layout of the premises tailored to the services delivered. 3 consultation rooms ensure the privacy and dignity of all patient groups using the various pharmacy services.

How the pharmacy did this

The premises had recently undergone a refit and refurbishment to realise the vision of a professional and efficient healthcare environment. The design and layout had been informed by services delivered currently and planned for, and all members of the team had been given the opportunity to input. The equipment, automation and design of the premises was bespoke and aligned to service delivery. An innovative design at the front of the premises provided a window straight into the workings of the robot – this was discreet showing the robot working but no medicines were visible. This was secured using safety glass.

What difference this made to patients

Patients receive services in a clinically safe, clean and professional environment.

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