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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using a telephone queuing system to provide information and help manage the workload

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is managing its calls to ensure that queries and repeat prescription requests can be managed efficiently. It has a pharmacist available to answer the ‘query line’ which is successfully reducing the number of interruptions to other work, including dispensing.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had reduced its opening hours in order to manage its workload. And it had set up a telephone queuing system to help with this. The telephone queuing system provided several options for people to choose from. And the initial message clearly stated what the pharmacy’s current opening hours were. The message also stated that, between 1pm and 2pm, the pharmacy telephone lines were dedicated to taking repeat prescription order requests. To help manage the number of telephone queries the team were receiving the pharmacy had set up a dedicated query line. And one of the two pharmacists working was responsible for dealing with any queries coming in by telephone each working day. This meant other team members could concentrate on their work and it reduced the risk of mistakes.

What difference this made to patients

The telephone queuing system gives people confidence that their call will be taken, and their queries answered by a pharmacist. The dedicated time for ordering repeat prescriptions means that people calling at this time will not be competing with other calls and so their call will be dealt with efficiently.

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