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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Undertaking changes to the working patterns of pharmacy team members as a result of COVID-19 vaccinations and regular lateral flow testing.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed

Why this is notable practice

All members of the pharmacy team are vaccinated against COVID-19 and carry out twice weekly lateral flow tests. They continually risk assess their working practices and have identified that it is no longer necessary for the pharmacy to work in two separate groups and can now work as a whole team again. This means that the pharmacy has a more effective balance of workforce cover every day. And is helping the pharmacy team to get back to ‘normal’.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy was in what had been a high-risk area for most of the pandemic. And so, the pharmacy team had been split into two groups with two separate pharmacists to reduce the impact of a coronavirus infection within the team. Team members had worked alternative weeks, so if a person in one of the groups became infected, the people in the other group would be unaffected and could continue working. But while this had worked well at the height of the pandemic it was not the ideal working arrangement for the team.

Throughout the pandemic the pharmacy manager had continually reviewed the pharmacy’s working practices and the risks associated with them and had decided it was no longer necessary to work as two separate teams. All of the team members had received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination and had undertaken regular lateral flow testing. Team members were able to resume their normal working hours which allowed them to get back to a degree of normality and make the pharmacy operation smoother. The pharmacy team had continued to socially distance and wear personal protective equipment. And had also adhered to a regular cleaning routine.

What difference this made to patients

There are enough suitably skilled staff available at all times so people receive safe and efficient 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