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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using government and NHS guidance to inform the management of risk during a pandemic

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 uses information from trustworthy sources to help keep its team members’ knowledge up to date during the pandemic. And to help ensure its approach to managing risk is consistent with both government and NHS guidance.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy manager worked with team members to continually review the pharmacy’s COVID-19 risk assessment. The risk assessment looked at matters such as physical access into the pharmacy and the management of its services during the pandemic. Daily briefings from sources such as the NHS and government websites, and from emails received via the pharmacy’s secure NHS email account informed this review. One member of the team checked emails each day to ensure the team was fully up to date with any changes to processes, or additional factors which may impact the current risk assessment.

Team members discussed the information through regular briefings, and the manager updated the team when an aspect of the risk assessment changed. For example, the number of people allowed into the public pharmacy had changed during lockdowns, and again when the area changed tier. The pharmacy manager was able to demonstrate how identifying risks associated with providing a vaccination service during the pandemic had helped ensure all team members involved in the service felt confident. And meant the pharmacy kept both its team members and members of the public accessing its services as safe as possible.

By keeping themselves informed and sharing information as it changed, the team was also able to answer queries from the public with confidence. Recent queries had included pharmacy opening hours over the Christmas period, and information associated with wearing face coverings.

What difference this made to patients

People can feel confident that the pharmacy is safe to visit during the pandemic through the dedicated approach to health and safety the team is taking. They receive up-to-date information and support when making enquiries from a knowledgeable and confident team.

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