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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Supporting vulnerable people in decision making

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

  • 1.8 - Children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy uses respected guidance to help vulnerable people to make their own decisions about contraception. This includes assessing people’s ability to understand and agree to any contraceptive treatment. And it allows them to express their own wishes.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had safeguarding policies which referred the EHC and OC prescribers to the 2019 online guidance produced by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) of the Royal College of the Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This guidance had included the ethical and legal issues to consider when arranging contraception for someone with a learning disability. And it had included information on how to support them to make their own decisions about contraception. It had also assisted prescribers to assess people’s competence to consent to treatment. It did this by assessing people’s ability to understand the information provided. And their ability to weigh up the risks and benefits and express their own wishes.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy’s policies help to make sure that vulnerable people using its services are safeguarded, informed and receive a high standard of 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