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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Supporting the role of the Responsible Pharmacist when providing a COVID-19 vaccination service from registered premises.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 2.3 - Staff can comply with their own professional and legal obligations and are empowered to exercise their professional judgement in the best interests of patients and the public

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy has robust procedures which support the responsible pharmacist (RP) in their role. And ensure that whilst acting as RP they have full understanding and oversight of the COVID-19 vaccination service.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy operated its COVID-19 vaccination site on the registered premises. It ensured it had two pharmacists on duty on vaccination clinic days. This meant the RP was able to concentrate on providing regular pharmacy services. And the second pharmacist held the role of vaccinator.

The pharmacy recognised that the RP was accountable for the safe and effective running of the pharmacy. And this included all services provided. The pharmacy completed a daily checklist each morning before the clinic opened. The vaccinator and RP completed this process jointly. A discussion focussing on running of the service for that day followed completion of the checklist.

The pharmacy made all information about the service, including standard operating procedures available within the dispensary for the RP to refer to. The pharmacy informed pharmacists of the service prior to them booking a shift with the pharmacy. And it only recruited the services of pharmacists who were familiar with the pharmacy. The RP was given a tour of the vaccination site. This included a walk-through of the patient journey through the service.

The vaccination service started half an hour after store opening, and only began after the RP had signed off the check‐list to confirm the service could begin. The service finished half an hour before closing each day to support deep cleaning and feedback to the team, including the RP.

What difference this made to patients

The RP is fully involved in the daily set up and running of the vaccination service through a series of daily checks and briefings. This allows them to feel assured the service is being provided safely. And allows more opportunities for them to engage with people accessing other pharmacy services.

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