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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Staff learning and development

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

This is a community pharmacy based in large health centre. The team dispenses in the region of 4,500 NHS items and a small quantity of private prescriptions per month and offers a range of services including both private and NHS influenza vaccinations, head lice treatment, minor ailments, smoking cessation, medicines use reviews (MURs), new medicines service (NMS) and Monitored Dosage Systems (MDS) . Services are provided to a varied and predominantly elderly population with a range of chronic health care needs.

Relevant standards

  • 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

Why this is notable practice

Staff are actively encouraged to reflect on their performance and identify learning and development needs, for themselves and for the pharmacy, and they are supported to address them. The pharmacy provides protected time to undertake continuing education.

How the pharmacy did this

Staff were supervised by the pharmacist at all times. Staff work within the bounds of their competence and qualifications and within the parameters set out by various standard operating procedures (SOPs). Training certificates for all staff were displayed. Staff training was ongoing and carried out formally, by way of training courses, or informally within the team, often by means of role play with each other. Staff were actively encouraged to reflect on their own performance by utilising a yearly self-appraisal process, which was then used as the basis for an annual discussion with their manager about their own learning and development needs. Staff were also asked to highlight one objective for the year for their own improvement and two improvement objectives for the pharmacy as a whole. This information was then collected by the Superintendent and discussed with the team at their weekly meeting and action plans created to achieve the goals set by the team. Each staff member had their own development file where they kept records of training courses attended and qualifications gained. Each member of staff was given at least half an hour of protected learning time a week, which was built in to the staff rota, to allow staff to undertake their own learning in whichever way they saw fit. Staff members were currently enrolled on an online course of e-learning modules and were in the process of completing each module, either in their protected time or at home. Staff stated that they were supported, not only by the company, but by their manager and each other to achieve their learning objectives and acting out role play scenarios in quiet times, particularly with the pre-registration pharmacist, enhanced and reinforced their learning.

What difference this made to patients

Staff are supported to continually review and reflect on how they can improve the own performance and that of the pharmacy as a whole. This helps to ensure that they are able to provide safe and effective services for patients.

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