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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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The GPhC Notable Practice Pharmacy- Top Tips for a Vaccination Site

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

TheGPhC has gathered learnings from existing pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccinationsites. And it is sharing these learnings to benefit those opening new sites.The purpose is to enable pharmacies to deliver a safe and efficient servicefrom the start and to drive continuous improvement.

Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed
  • 1.3 - Pharmacy services are provided by staff with clearly defined roles and clear lines of accountability
  • 2.1 - There are enough staff, suitably qualified and skilled, for the safe and effective provision of the pharmacy services provided
  • 2.4 - There is a culture of openness, honesty and learning
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

GPhC engagement indicates that a good quality pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccination site is one which has

• Clear leadership. The service has been well thought through with a clearly articulated written plan. The plan is person centred. It identifies and mitigates for the potential risks involved in providing the service. And everyone involved understands their roles and responsibilities.

• A well trained and well-motivated team. Team members are fully trained for their individual roles and have a good understanding of the service as a whole. The team regularly reviews the service so that it can modify it quickly to adapt to changing circumstances. And there is a culture of continuous improvement.

• A well-designed, well laid-out and well managed site. It has enough space for people to progress through the vaccination process in a logical fashion, while maintaining social distancing. And people do not unnecessarily cross paths with others. The site has regular robust cleaning routines and the patient journey is well thought through. People can find the site without difficulty, park easily and know what to expect when they get there. People are made welcome and are dealt with thoughtfully, efficiently and speedily throughout the service.

How the pharmacy did this

The GPhC has drawn up a list of ‘Top Tips’ for what a good COVID-19 vaccination site looks like. The Top Tips are what stakeholders, including pharmacy owners, superintendents, LPCs, and NHS commissioners have learned and told us.

1. Don’t underestimate the number of staff you will need, especially marshals, and have a written staffing plan

2. Allow more space than you might expect for storing the consumables, PPE etc

3. Start slowly at first, allowing plenty of time between appointments so that everyone can get used to the process

4. Make sure you have system login details set up and ready for everyone before you open each day, especially if you have different people on different shifts

5. Make sure the marshals outside have a list of appointments for the day so they can check people are in the right place at the right time

6. Have a spare “floating” vaccinator who can step in if there are any holdups

7. Train your volunteers thoroughly, giving them detailed and specific instructions on what to do, with a script for what to say at each step of the process

8. Visit another site to learn from them before you launch your own

9. Do a dress rehearsal / practice session a day or so before launching your service

10. Accurately complete the patient vaccination cards as much as you can in advance, such as batch number, expiry date and date of administration, so then you only need to add the patient name and date of their second jab.

What difference this made to patients

By sharing learnings from existing pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccination sites, those opening new sites can benefit from these learnings. This will help to drive improvement and improve people’s accessibility to the COVID vaccination service. People are put at the centre of the vaccination programme and experience a highly efficient and safe service. This means also that more people can be vaccinated earlier than might otherwise have been the case.

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