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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Routine testing of pharmacy team’s knowledge and understanding of SOPs.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

A pharmacy located next to a health centre in a residential area. The pharmacy dispenses on average 6000 items per month. As well as core services the pharmacy offers Smoking cessation; Medicine Use Reviews, New Medicines Service, dressings for nurses and flu vaccinations (NHS and private); and methadone/buprenorphine on instalment prescriptions.

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

Why this is notable practice

Staff members are tested on their knowledge of Standard Operating Procedures to ensure they are aware of their roles and the tasks they need to complete to provide services safely. Locums are also required to complete induction packs before they commence working so that they too are familiar with what the pharmacy requires of them.

How the pharmacy did this

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were available electronically and were up to date. Staff accessed SOPs via their individual log in and had to confirm that they had read and understood the SOPs as well as completing a multiple choice questions test to confirm their understanding. The pharmacist was able to check which members of staff had any outstanding SOPs. Staff were notified of updates to SOPs electronically and given a deadline to read them.

Locums were provided with a pack which they needed to complete before they started working for the company. All staff had job roles and were aware of the tasks that they needed to complete each day. A discussion was held at the start of the day to confirm if there were any planned changes. Responsibilities were also listed on SOPs.

What difference this made to patients

By confirming that staff are clear about their roles and the tasks they have to complete, the pharmacy is reducing risks to patients from non-compliance with SOPS.

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