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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Protecting vulnerable people.

Pharmacy type

Community

Pharmacy context

​COVID-19

Relevant standards

  • 1.8 - Children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded

Why this is notable practice

Pharmacy team members are aware that implications of the COVID-19 pandemic can affect people’s mental health. They are pro-actively monitoring people and are taking action to support people.

How the pharmacy did this

Pharmacy team members had discussed how some aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic could potentially affect anyone's mental health. They had acknowledged that some patient groups may be more vulnerable. And were encouraged to apply vigilance when engaging with people accessing pharmacy services. Team members were confident in following up initial concerns by asking people how they were feeling. One person had expressed feeling suicidal when asked how he was. The team did not want him to leave the pharmacy due to his vulnerability. They provided him with some time, space and company in the pharmacy. After providing initial support to the person, a team member contacted other agencies, with safeguarding responsibilities, to seek further help. And immediate support was provided by one of these agencies. The person returned to the pharmacy the following day in a much better state of mind and thanked the team for its support. The person believed the outcome would have been very different without the pharmacy’s intervention.

Throughout the situation all team members stayed socially distanced from the person. And they wore face masks and gloves. The individuals from the other agency also wore personal protective equipment (PPE) while in the pharmacy. Team members cleaned and disinfected the area after it had been vacated. This was in line with their standard operating procedure. They routinely cleaned the area twice a day, and after any member of the public had been in it.

What difference this made to patients

Vulnerable people are identified in a timely manner and supported in an empathetic way. This means that appropriate help is available when it is needed, and it may prevent serious poor outcomes for people.

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