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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Risk assessing the reintroduction of clinical services

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

The pharmacist is identifying the risks involved in delivering face-to face services. They are assessing these risks and are re-introducing services where the risks can be managed and the service is as non-contact as possible.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacist researched the available risk assessment tools available to support the return to clinical services. They used these as a basis to devise a bespoke risk assessment to suit the pharmacy’s services. The risk assessment tool enabled them to identify the potential hazards and to manage these. It also considered what was already being done to control the risk. The pharmacist used current guidance from sources such as Scottish Government and Public Health England (PHE) to document what further action needed to be taken to control the risk, by whom and by when. They carried out the risk assessment and completed all required actions ahead of re-introducing services.

The actions taken in accordance with the risk assessment included:

• Writing a new standard operating procedure (SOP) incorporating the actions identified and PHE guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

• Removing unnecessary furniture and other items not required for consultations from the consultation room.

• Enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures.

• Extended intervals between appointments to allow for thorough cleaning. Only three appointments per day.

• No treatments involving saliva were to be carried out.

• The pharmacy asking COVID-19 questions when people were booking appointments.

• Asking people to complete a pre-appointment wellness checklist including questions about COVID-19 diagnosis and symptoms, and recent travel, for themselves and close contacts within 24-hours of their appointment. And repeated for all follow-up appointments.

• COVID-19 questions included in the initial consultation, carried out by phone immediately before the face-to-face appointment, usually while the person was in their car outside the pharmacy.

• Implementing a call system so that people could wait in their car or outside the pharmacy until called in.

• All Adults attending unaccompanied.

• The pharmacist checking people’s temperatures before they entered the consultation room.

• People using hand sanitiser on entering and leaving the consultation room.

• Minimising the time people spent in the consultation room.

• No leaflets or magazines were available for self-selection.

• Contactless payment used where possible. Immediate hand-washing or sanitising if money was handled.

• The pharmacist wearing ‘scrubs’ and full PPE which was correctly fitted, and CE marked. The PPE was stored in the consultation room. The pharmacist changed out of ‘scrubs’ before entering other areas of the pharmacy.

• PHE guidance for hand-washing and putting on and removing PPE was displayed in the consultation room and followed.

• Used PPE was placed in bags which were tied and placed in a clinical waste bin.

What difference this made to patients

The measures the pharmacy have adopted give people assurance that they are receiving professional healthcare in an environment where the risks are well managed. This means they feel confident when accessing services such as travel vaccinations before travelling abroad.

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