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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using social distancing and good hygiene measures to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19

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 using social distancing and good hygiene measures to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Its review of working practices reduces the risk of close contact between different members of the pharmacy team and between people accessing the pharmacy.

How the pharmacy did this

This was a small pharmacy team. And so, team members were able to work at a distance from one another. The pharmacy had created two distinct dispensing areas, one at the front and one at the back of the dispensary. This meant the pharmacist and pharmacy technician worked separately when labelling and assembling medicines. They would then swap work stations to carry out supplementary checks during the dispensing process. They sanitised their hands and work surfaces regularly but especially before and after moving from one dispensing area to the other. They had also staggered their lunch breaks and wore personal protective equipment (PPE) as required.

The pharmacy was also managing other risks associated with social distancing. It did this by allowing only two people in the pharmacy at any one time. When inside people could wait in designated areas, two metres away from the counter and two metres apart.

What difference this made to patients

By maintaining social distancing in the workplace, the pharmacy team is reducing the risk of transferring the virus within the team and between team members and people using the pharmacy. This means that services provided for people continue to be safe and effective

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