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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Proactive steps to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19

Pharmacy type

Community

Pharmacy context

​COVID-19

Relevant standards

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

Why this is notable practice

Proactive measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus between patients and staff and between members of the pharmacy team. This includes measures to allow early detection of the common, known COVID-19 symptoms amongst pharmacy team members.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had introduced social distancing measures in the dispensary by creating clearly segregated work stations, which were placed two metres apart. In addition, the pharmacy had given each member of staff their own portable phone so that they did not have to share phones with one another. The pharmacy had a wholesale dealer’s licence and so it used tamper-proof cardboard boxes for delivering specialised medicines to hospitals rather than the usual plastic totes. The change to using the single-use cardboard boxes meant that risk associated with cross-infection was reduced.

The pharmacy manager had also set up a staff baseline temperature chart and a staff baseline oxygen saturation level chart. These were routinely measured every week and if anyone reported that they were not feeling well. This was done as an additional precaution to help identify anyone who may be unwell due to the virus. Pharmacy team members were also asked if they had taken any medication which would affect their temperature readings for reliability.

What difference this made to patients

The measures put in place by the pharmacy reduce the risk of transmission of the virus between staff and to patients and protects people’s health.

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