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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Working in partnership with charities and local groups

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

​This was a rural village pharmacy close to a city, dispensing around 6500 NHS items per month and a small quantity of private dispensing.The NHS items included supply to patients in MDS trays, a number of whom were patients with autism with support from a national charity. Pharmaceutical services were provided for a local 33 bed care home with s. Other NHS services provided were the standard Scottish pharmacy contract services – the Chronic Medication Service (CMS), the Minor Ailment Service, (eMAS), smoking cessation and the gluten free food prescribing service. Services provided under Patient Group Directions (PGDs) were unscheduled care, smoking cessation, emergency hormonal contraception, chloramphenicol ophthalmic products and post immunisation paracetamol supplies. A substance misuse service was also provided.

Relevant standards

  • 4.1 - The pharmacy services provided are accessible to patients and the public
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is notable practice

Work with charities supporting local patients as well as liaison with local amenities and service providers demonstrates positive outcomes for patients while widening accessibility to pharmacy and other services.

How the pharmacy did this

The non-emergency NHS number was actively promoted and an event was held with Age Scotland, where the charity was invited into the pharmacy. Older patients and customers were encouraged to attend this and there was advertising in local shops, the GP surgery and social media. Patients were encouraged to ask any questions that would open discussion about health and well-being and a common theme from the event was loneliness. As a result, a walking initiative was being explored by the pharmacy. The pharmacist also promoted a charity, Silver line Scotland that provided 24-hour phone support encouraging elderly people to phone with any questions or if they were lonely. An elderly lady, prescribed an antidepressant for the first time, was flagged as a potential CMS and new medication service review patient and during these reviews this phone service was promoted to her. She returned to the pharmacy after a week in a better mood, explaining that she had used the service and found it very useful, especially at night when she could not sleep and felt very lonely and stressed. This feedback was used to further promote the service to other patients.

Two other charities supported patients with autism in the local community and there was close working with both of these to ensure that medication was supplied to them in the most appropriate manner. For example, some used MDS trays and some used original packs with Medicine Administration Record (MAR) charts. Training had been undertaken with the care services manager. This enabled patients to live at home when previously they had moved into residential care settings. The pharmacy had supported dementia awareness week, obtaining packs from Age Scotland with useful resources for sufferers and carers. The pharmacist had obtained public health population data which confirmed the ageing demographic of the area including common conditions experienced by patients. He had also used a tool to identify community groups, such as mother and toddler groups, to target services and information.

What difference this made to patients

Working with local charities the pharmacy is providing more tailored services to meet the specific needs of patients, including those with dementia and mental health issues.

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