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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Supporting pharmacist independent prescribers in keeping their knowledge and skills up to date

Pharmacy type

Internet / Distance Selling

Pharmacy context

This pharmacy is situated in a business park. It is a distance-selling pharmacy, so people do not visit it in person. The pharmacy provides NHS dispensing services. It also specialises in prescribing and supplying oral contraceptives (OC) and non-prescription emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) to people living in the UK via a separate website. ​

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

The pharmacy encourages the ongoing learning and development of its team members. Each member of the prescribing team undergoes regular competency checks to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to prescribe safely.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy’s recruitment process had included a prescribing competency review. This involved each pharmacist independent prescriber working through a series of completed test questionnaires similar to those used on its website. This task helped to provide assurance that the prescriber was working within their scope of practice.

All prescribers had completed training on post-COVID-19 prescribing provided by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH). And each year prescribers completed at least one specific continuing professional development example on reproductive health prescribing.

The pharmacy also had a structured appraisal process. This included annual reviews of prescriber's performance and development needs. The medical director used the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) guidance for reference when completing these reviews.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy monitors the skills and knowledge of its prescribers. This helps to make sure people receive a safe and effective prescribing service.

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