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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Providing an out-of-hours palliative care medicines service

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

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

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy provides a comprehensive out-of-hours palliative care medicines service to help people who are struggling to access end-of-life medicines because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy owner was informed by the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group that it was struggling to obtain palliative care medicines for people because of pharmacy closures and reduced pharmacy opening hours across the palliative care network caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pharmacy was already part of the local palliative care network. And the pharmacy owner identified they could help further by offering an on-call service to palliative care practitioners and carers in the district. The pharmacist was available to provide access to the pharmacy and its medicines 24 hours a day. And the pharmacy was remunerated for each call-out.

What difference this made to patients

People in the local community have access to a 24-hour service that was not available before the pandemic. This means they can continue to have quick and easy access to end-of-life medicines when they need them. And when the usual providers of these medicines are not able to supply.

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