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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Supporting transfer of Medicines Care and Review serial prescriptions due to a pharmacy closing permanently

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

This community pharmacy is on a high street in a town in Scotland. The pharmacyprovides medicines to several people in multi-compartment compliance packs tohelp them take their medication. And it supplies serial prescriptions as partof the NHS Medicines: Care and Review (MCR) service. 

Relevant standards

  • 4.1 - The pharmacy services provided are accessible to patients and the public
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy plans well ahead for its permanent closure. There is a proactive approach to identifying people with MCR serial prescriptions needing to have these prescriptions dispensed at an alternative pharmacy. There is good engagement with people living in the local community, other healthcare professionals and pharmacies.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had a large number of people who were registered with the MCR service and received a serial prescription from their GP. Most of these prescriptions lasted for one year, with people receiving a supply of their medicines every eight weeks. As people received their medication from the MCR serial prescription, a completed treatment summary report (TSR) was sent to their GP practice.

Due to the planned closure of this pharmacy, the pharmacy team had proactively been in contact with people receiving their medicine through this service to ask which pharmacy they wished to move their prescription to. The pharmacy team was also contacting the GP practice to advise of people’s choice of future pharmacy. This allowed the practice to send people’s new MCR serial prescriptions directly to the new pharmacy.

The pharmacy had developed a close working relationship with neighbouring pharmacies. It obtained consent from people to share their details with their new pharmacy to support continual care. It also shared an MCR paper record which included details of previous supply dates of the serial prescription. This had enabled one local pharmacy, that had taken over the care of a considerable number of people, to match up the record with the new serial prescriptions. And to set up the dispensing of these prescriptions in accordance with previous treatment supply dates. This supported uninterrupted care for people. It reduced the risk of supplying medicines too early and helped prevent delays in supplies. As this pharmacy was aware of the increase in prescription volume, it had been able to assess its prescription storage area to ensure it had enough capacity. It had also reviewed workflow to ensure it had sufficient workspace. There was an ongoing review of staffing levels to ensure that there was enough suitably qualified and skilled staff for the services provided.

What difference this made to patients

A proactive and structured approach to transferring the responsibility of pharmaceutical care associated with the MCR service means people’s ongoing care needs are met. Other pharmacies' plans are supported to ensure they continue to provide services safely and effectively. This results in people receiving safe and consistent care.

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