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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Managing risks associated with diverting pharmacy services away from a NHS Hot Site

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 is managing the risks associated with being next to a ‘hot-site’ to keep people safe and to be able to continue to offer pharmacy services.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy owners were planning to temporarily close one of their pharmacies, which was situated next to a local satellite surgery. The pharmacy was located within a health centre and the surgery was due to become a 'COVID-19 hot site’ in a few days' time. This meant that it would be a triaging base for any patients displaying mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 infection. The pharmacy shared a car park and a communal corridor with the surgery and the pharmacist felt that the risk of infection was too high to continue providing services from this site, even behind closed doors. He had proposed to the local area team that all services should be temporarily moved to a larger nearby branch. Planning for the move included the need to put signs up at the closed pharmacy advising people they could access their prescriptions at the nearby branch. And the pharmacy planned to divert the phone lines to this pharmacy and would advertise the move on the company's social media page. The surgery was also informing patients of the move.

What difference this made to patients

People using the pharmacy are not put ‘at risk’ by being in close proximity to people that are demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19. People still have access to pharmacy services by using a nearby premises.

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