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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Supporting an electronic repeat dispensing pilot

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is actively reviewing its processes during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is working closely with care home staff and GP surgery teams to effectively manage people’s prescriptions through a pilot of the electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) service.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy provided medicine services to thirteen care homes and had remained in regular communication with each one throughout the pandemic. This helped to inform regular reviews of its procedures and processes for managing the supply of medicines to the homes during the pandemic. And in managing returned medicines, no longer required by the homes.

One care home was involved in a prescribing pilot, so all eligible people in the care home (90%) had been transferred to twelve month eRD prescriptions. To be included, people were required to be on a stable medicine regimen with infrequent changes. The pharmacy had worked through some initial issues with the surgery. And pharmacy team members had found they could manage and process the prescriptions more efficiently. The electronic prescribing service (EPS) allowed for a full audit trail through the prescription tracker. This meant the pharmacy didn't have to rely on care home staff to tell them when a medicine had been discontinued as this was recorded on the EPS system by the prescriber.

The pharmacy had implemented an additional safeguard by keeping hard copies of the prescription tokens, so the team could refer to these in case of queries or issues with EPS. Since the change the pharmacy had noticed a decrease in the number of telephone queries. The pharmacy had built up a good relationship with the pharmacist working in the GP surgery and had direct access to them to resolve any questions or concerns with the pilot.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy is working closely with other healthcare professionals to support safe and efficient access to medicines for people living in care homes. It is closely reviewing its processes and sharing learning to encourage the wider rollout of eRD.

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