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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using a live-chat function as an alternative to telephone calls

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 4.1 - The pharmacy services provided are accessible to patients and the public

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is constantly reviewing the ways in which people can easily contact the pharmacy team and improve accessibility to its services. The pharmacy has a live-chat option available for people to communicate with the team when the telephone lines are busy.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy identified that the number of telephone queries from people had increased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the pharmacy upgraded its website and included a live-chat function. This helped the pharmacy manage these calls and offer people a different way to contact the pharmacy. The pharmacy switched the live-chat function on and off dependent on how busy the telephone lines were and turned it off when the pharmacy was closed. A suitably trained member of the team was tasked with responding to the live chat messages to ensure that people received a prompt and accurate response.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy manages its communications with people more effectively as people have an alternative option to contact the pharmacy when it is experiencing a high number of telephone calls. This improves people's access to services and advice.

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