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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Updating the business continuity plan to include how people access pharmacy services on the telephone

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

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

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy has a business continuity plan which considers how people access pharmacy services on the telephone. It includes contingency plans to enable the pharmacist and other team members to continue with some work from home when they are required to self-isolate but feel well enough to support the pharmacy’s work.

How the pharmacy did this

The number of telephone calls received by the pharmacy had increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pharmacy had a web-based telephone system which linked up to an external internet portal. The portal could be linked with any telephone number and calls could be diverted to a mobile telephone or even an off-site line. The pharmacist had used this to his advantage whilst self-isolating during the early stages of the pandemic. By taking calls at home he had been able to free up the pharmacy’s on-site resources and increase its working capacity.

What difference this made to patients

Having a dedicated call handler means people’s calls can be answered while reducing distractions and taking pressure away from the rest of the team. This means that the team are able to provide services more efficiently for people.

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