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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using national guidance to inform the delivery of specialist pharmacy services

Pharmacy type

Internet / Distance Selling

Pharmacy context

This pharmacy is situated in a business park. It is a distance-selling pharmacy, so people do not visit it in person. The pharmacy provides NHS dispensing services. It also specialises in prescribing and supplying oral contraceptives (OC) and non-prescription emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) to people living in the UK via a separate website. ​

Relevant standards

  • 1.2 - The safety and quality of pharmacy services are regularly reviewed and monitored

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy uses recognised guidance for planning its EHC and OC services. It has internal and external stakeholders who monitor the content of these plans against this guidance.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy had ensured that its procedures were of good quality. They were referenced and were written in accordance with guidance issued by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) of the Royal College of the Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. An external medical panel had reviewed the procedures, and the pharmacy had made appropriate amendments in accordance with the panel’s recommendations. The medical director, who was a GP, a second GP who had a diploma in family planning and reproductive health, and a health system strategist had checked the FSRH’s guidelines every quarter. And the medical director communicated any changes to these guidelines to the prescribing team during its monthly meetings. This had allowed the prescribing team to make appropriate changes to its procedures.

What difference this made to patients

The clinical governance arrangements help to make sure that people receive high standards of care for the pharmacy’s EHC and OC services.

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