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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using technology to provide a robust audit trail for medicine deliveries.

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

This is an NHS community pharmacy which is part of asmall chain of pharmacies. It provides a range of services including a COVID-19vaccination service. And it dispenses people’s prescriptions. It sells a rangeof health and beauty products, including some over-the-counter medicines, topeople visiting its premises in person and through its website. 

Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively
  • 4.3 - Medicines and medical devices are: obtained from a reputable source; safe and fit for purpose; stored securely; safeguarded from unauthorized access; supplied to the patient safely; and disposed of safely and securely

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy has adapted its delivery service during the COVID-19 pandemic to help prevent the spread of the virus. The dellivery driver does not need a signature from people to audit the delivery, as the pharmacy uses technology to show that a delivery has been successful. And to show when it has been unsuccessful. This technology also provides an audit trail of the delivery address and the person accepting the delivery to resolve queries.

How the pharmacy did this

During the COVID-19 pandemic the pharmacy had adapted its delivery process to make it COVID-safe. It no longer asked people to sign its electronic point of delivery device to accept their delivery. But instead, the delivery team member sought permission to make a record of the delivery on the mobile device. An image of the person’s front door was taken as evidence of where the pharmacy had delivered a prescription. If the delivery was unsuccessful the medicine was returned to the pharmacy and an image used in case of queries. The images and the electronic proof of delivery were date and time stamped. And these were used to monitor the service and help the pharmacy team show that the right medicine was delivered to the right address.

What difference this made to patients

People receive their medicines through a delivery service which is safe and efficient. The pharmacy is able to quickly respond to any queries people have about their delivery due to the robust audit trail it maintains.

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