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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Reviewing pharmacy team members skills to support introducing new pharmacist-led services.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

This is a community pharmacy co-located with a village Post Office. It dispenses NHS prescriptions including supplying medicines in multi‐compartment compliance packs. Pharmacy​ team members advise on minor ailments and medicines use. And they supply some medicines via a national minor ailments service. 

Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed
  • 1.3 - Pharmacy services are provided by staff with clearly defined roles and clear lines of accountability
  • 2.2 - Staff have the appropriate skills, qualifications and competence for their role and the tasks they carry out, or are working under the supervision of another person while they are in training
  • 2.5 - Staff are empowered to provide feedback and raise concerns about meeting these standards and other aspects of pharmacy services
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy reviews its team members skill mix before introducing new pharmacist-led services. It provides training for team members, so it can optimise the knowledge, skills, and experience of its team members when introducing these new services.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had introduced the Scottish NHS Pharmacy First Plus service. It did this after its regular pharmacist qualified as a pharmacist independent prescriber (PIP). When planning for the service the regular pharmacist had conducted a review of the skill-mix of members of the pharmacy team. They identified development opportunities so the pharmacy team could help the pharmacist deliver the service safely and effectively.

A pharmacy technician had undertaken recognised training to allow them to complete final accuracy checks on prescriptions. This helped the pharmacist have time to deliver more patient-facing services. While in their training role, the pharmacy technician had been supported in developing and implementing a standard operating procedure (SOP). The new SOP described the updated final accuracy checking procedure. And this was approved by the superintendent pharmacist (SI). The pharmacy used the SOP to train the rest of the team. So that all team members understood the new roles and responsibilities for the responsible pharmacist (RP) and the accuracy checking pharmacy technician (ACPT).

The pharmacy consistently encouraged its team members to share their ideas and make suggestions for improvements. The pharmacy technician had suggested the pharmacy introduce a new, green basket. The team used the green basket to highlight the prescriptions the pharmacist had already clinically checked and annotated as suitable for a final accuracy check by the ACPT. This helped make it easier to identify the number of prescriptions waiting for an accuracy check and supported the team in managing workload safely.

What difference this made to patients

People have access to a greater range of services in the pharmacy, which helps them to manage their healthcare needs more easily. And this helps reduce pressure on other healthcare services. People receive these services in a safe and effective way. And in a way which minimises impact on the pharmacy’s existing services.

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