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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Working proactively to safeguard vulnerable adults and children

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

A busy city centre pharmacythat is open 365 days a year, including late into the evening. The pharmacy dispenses NHS and private prescriptions.It offers a number of services to support people in managing minor illnesses and long-term conditions. It also supplies medicines in multi-compartmentalmedicine packs to people who live in their own homes and to people inresidential care homes.

Relevant standards

  • 1.8 - Children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy considers safeguarding in all aspects of its service delivery. Waiting areas promote wellbeing through innovative promotion of lifesaving information. The pharmacy identifies the most vulnerable people and works collaboratively with other organisations to safeguard these people whilst also considering the safety precautions it must take to protect its own staff.

How the pharmacy did this

Pharmacy team members had completed training on safeguarding. Information relating to safeguarding was contained within the staff handbook and on notices throughout the pharmacy. All safeguarding concerns were brought to the direct attention of the responsible pharmacist in the first instance.

The pharmacy completed disclosure checks on its delivery drivers prior to employment. All drivers received safeguarding training and were issued with mobile phones. If a person missed two attempted deliveries the pharmacy would follow up by making checks to ensure the person was safe and well.

There was guidance in the dispensary about the safe supply of opioid medicines. Pharmacy team members handed out a card when selling codeine-based medicines. The card contained a telephone number which people could ring if they felt they were having problems with addiction.

The pharmacy had television screens in its waiting areas. These displayed rolling health and lifestyle information. A patient group and local substance misuse services were involved with reviewing the contents of these videos. The rolling video in the substance misuse waiting area included harm reduction information and a demonstration of how to put a person into the recovery position. The pharmacy had received positive feedback on the contents of the video from a person who was able to put a friend into the recovery position whilst waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

There was continuity of staff providing the substance misuse service. This meant that the pharmacy team members providing the service were familiar with people accessing it and could intervene and make additional checks if any concerns arose.

The pharmacy had managed an acute safeguarding concern particularly well. This had involved a person presenting in the pharmacy in a distressed state. The pharmacy team acted swiftly to ensure the person received immediate emergency care and they had taken immediate action to protect the persons motor vehicle from the risk of theft or vandalism.

The pharmacy worked with other healthcare and social care organisations to safeguard vulnerable people. Some members of the pharmacy team had recently been involved in a multi-disciplinary risk management meeting relating to putting plans in place to provide health services to a vulnerable person. The pharmacy had completed a risk assessment relating to the services it would be providing to allow the person to access pharmacy services from their own home.

What difference this made to patients

The pharmacy team members are knowledgeable and skilled in recognising safeguarding concerns. They take steps to swiftly manage concerns and ensure the safety and wellbeing of people using the pharmacy is always maintained. The pharmacy engages with other health and social care organisations to support vulnerable people and it puts adjustments in place to ensure these people can access the pharmacy’s services.

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