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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Workforce planning for a COVID-19 Vaccination service

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 has identified that unforeseen circumstances can lead to unintended delays between vaccination appointments. So, it has put measures in place to ensure that vaccinations run on time and delays are kept to a minimum.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy's COVID-19 vaccination service was responsible for administering 1000 vaccines per week. In the first few days of delivering the service, team members observed that there could often be delays between appointments which they had not originally planned for. And so, they had introduced the availability of an extra vaccination station and vaccinator which they used from time to time to prevent queues from building up. By doing this they had been able to keep the appointments on-time. The team had also blocked out time on the booking system at the end of each day to allow time for catching up and deep cleaning before the next day’s appointments. Vaccinators worked in separate teams according to a six-hour shift to give them sufficient time to rest and recover. And they were able to take short breaks when required.

The pharmacy had also recruited a full-time coordinator to organise the workload undertaken by the marshals used for the service. The pharmacy had identified that it needed a minimum of four marshals at any one time. One marshal was needed to oversee parking and outdoor tasks. One was needed at the door to check people’s appointments. This marshal also directed people accessing other pharmacy services into the pharmacy. A third marshal was responsible for pre-screening. This involved checking names and addresses and helping people get ready for vaccinations by removing coats etc. The fourth marshal was needed to clean any surface which a person had been in contact with before they proceeded to the vaccination station. The pharmacy had observed that when it had fewer marshals the service did not run as smoothly.

What difference this made to patients

People attending the vaccination clinic have their vaccination at the appointed time. They are well cared for when visiting the service, and they do not have to wait for any longer than necessary. People can continue to access the pharmacy's other services without delays.

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