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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using continual audits to monitor compliance with the pharmacy’s processes and to drive improvement.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

This is a busy community pharmacy next to a medical centre in the centre of a village. Most people who use the pharmacy are from the local area and a home delivery service is available. The pharmacy dispenses NHS prescriptions, and it sells a range of over-the-counter medicines.

Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed
  • 1.2 - The safety and quality of pharmacy services are regularly reviewed and monitored

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy uses regulatory checklists, and monthly audits to ensure the team complies with all procedures and that records are accurate and up to date. The pharmacy team is fully engaged in the process, completes any actions required and reviews the actions taken.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had a regulatory checklist on display in the dispensary showing daily, weekly, and monthly checks carried out by its team members. The professional regulation pharmacist conducted a monthly regulatory audit. This included checks on the standard operating procedures (SOPs), patient safety, record keeping, medicine storage, drug alerts, date checking, cleaning, and health and safety. Any areas for improvement were noted as required actions and discussed at the team’s monthly huddle meeting. For example, the team had discussed the importance of making effective records relating to signposting, interventions and the action taken in response to safety alerts and drug recalls. Progress made on the actions from the previous month was discussed at the start of each meeting. For example, team members had completed the required training allocated to them and were alerted to outstanding learning associated with SOPs.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy is using checks and audits to support the safe and effective running of its services. It is sharing the learning from these audits to continually drive improvement to keep people using the pharmacy safe.

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