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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Protection of patient data and privacy.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

The pharmacy is located within a conservation area in the centre of town. It provides a range of services to a large population of elderly residents. There were a significant number of ‘walk-in’ customers with a prescription collection and delivery service provided to patients registered with 10 surgeries in the surrounding area. The opening hours were Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm with lunch-time closing and Saturday 9.00am to 1.00pm. It dispenses approximately 5000 items per month (50 in Monitored Dosage System trays). Other services include MAS; Chronic Medication Service (CMS); Flu vaccination service; Smoking cessation service; Supplies against a range of PGDs.

Relevant standards

  • 1.7 - Information is managed to protect the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of patients and the public who receive pharmacy services
  • 3.2 - Premises protect the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of patients and the public who receive pharmacy services

Why this is notable practice

Staff have a good appreciation of the importance of maintaining patient confidentiality and privacy and the pharmacy has appropriate measures in place to support this.

How the pharmacy did this

Staff had been trained by the new pharmacist to ensure compliance with data protection procedures and staff were proactive at safeguarding patient information. A number of effective controls were in place, for example, a shredder was used to dispose of sensitive data and spent records were archived and safely retained and when expired were safely disposed of. Prescriptions awaiting collection were seen to be safely and securely kept in the dispensary, and patient medication records (PMR) screens could not be seen from the waiting area, with access restricted to authorised dispensary staff. A portable phone was available so that private conversations could not be overheard by customers in the waiting area. A consultation room was available and kept neat and tidy so it was professional in appearance.

What difference this made to patients

Patients are able to receive services in a confidential manner which protects their privacy and dignity.

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