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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Supporting hard to reach groups during the COVID-19 pandemic

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 proactive at identifying vulnerable people in hard to reach groups. And it is providing advice and resources to reduce cross-infection of COVID-19. It is also facilitating medical support for people with underlying health conditions that may be infected.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy was in an area of high deprivation. And it provided services to support many vulnerable people living in the area. For example, all patients with a high risk of COPD exacerbations who may have difficulty accessing medicines to manage their condition during the lock down.

The Superintendent Pharmacist (SI) had been providing an outreach service to a local homeless hostel. And they had contacted hostel staff at the start of the pandemic. The staff reported to the SI that nobody else had reached out and contacted them. And they were grateful for the support. The SI provided telephone advice to the staff. And arranged for some personal protective equipment to be delivered to the hostel. The SI also spoke to the GPs from the Homeless Health Service about people living at the hostel who had underlying health conditions and were either infected or at risk of infection. The SI supported the GP’s interventions. And this included supporting compliance if the GP prescribed a new medicine and reinforcing any advice or information they have received from their GP.

What difference this made to patients

The support offered effectively reduces the risk of cross-infection at the hostel and in the wider community. And it has identified vulnerable people with underlying health conditions that need medical support and treatment for COVID-19.

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