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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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UK Meds Direct Ltd (9011117)

Pharmacy context

This is a private internet pharmacy which dispenses private prescriptions mainly written by pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs) who work remotely from the pharmacy. Medicines are delivered to people using postal and courier services; supplies are to people living in the UK and in Germany. The pharmacy’s website offers a prescribing service for a large range of treatments and conditions. Most prescriptions are for lifestyle medicines. The remainder are for a range of acute and chronic conditions such as malaria prophylaxis, asthma, hypertension, oral contraceptives, and situational anxiety. It also sells face masks and other sundries associated with Covid-19. The pharmacy also sells some over-the-counter medicines in addition to dispensing. The pharmacy does not have an NHS contract and so does not offer any NHS services or dispense NHS prescriptions. The inspection was carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Inspection summary findings

Principle 1. Governance

Standards not all met

The pharmacy cannot show that all risks linked to the supply of medicines online, particularly those that are higher-risk or require ongoing monitoring, have been identified and managed appropriately. Such as medicines used to treat asthma and diabetes, or medicines which have higher toxicity in overdose. The pharmacy does not have risk assessments for each medicine it supplies. It does not recognise in its policies all medicines which need additional care when prescribing. It has not adopted practices which it previously identified as offering additional safety checks, particularly when supplying medicines to more vulnerable groups. Prescribing decisions are not always recorded adequately. And not all prescribing information is accessible to the clinical lead making it more difficult for them to have appropriate oversight of the other prescribers. However, the recently introduced daily reviews of individual prescribers has improved the oversight provided by the clinical leads. In addition, the responsible pharmacist intervenes on some prescriptions where there are potential patient safety issues. And the pharmacy has some processes for learning from its mistakes through, for example, reviewing dispensing mistakes. It has also made changes to the way it asks people for information, incorporating feedback from prescribers to make the process more effective. 

Principle 2. Staff

Standards met

The pharmacy has enough members of staff to manage the workload in the pharmacy effectively. Team members work well together, and the pharmacy team can communicate well with the remote prescribing team. The whole team can share ideas about how to improve the service provided. And they receive support in developing their skills and knowledge.

Principle 3. Premises

Standards met

The pharmacy keeps its physical premises safe, secure and appropriately maintained. The pharmacy’s website is secure, and people’s personal information is protected.

Principle 4. Services, including medicines management

Standards not all met

The pharmacy cannot show that its prescribing service always protects people’s health and well-being. It doesn’t consider all the risks where people do not give authority for the pharmacy to contact their regular prescriber. Where people do give authority, information about its prescribed treatments are not routinely shared with other healthcare professionals involved in the person’s care. And opportunities to confirm that the information provided by people is reliable have not always been taken. So, people taking higher-risk medicines or medicines that require ongoing monitoring or support may not always receive the appropriate level of care. There have been very recent improvements, but the pharmacy’s PIPs have not always made adequate records about their justifications to prescribe. This means the next prescriber doesn’t always have a full history to support their prescribing decision. However, elements of the pharmacy’s activities are suitably managed. For example, the pharmacy gets its medicines and medical devices from reputable sources. And it responds appropriately to safety alerts about medicines to protect people’s health and wellbeing.

Principle 5. Equipment and facilities

Standards met

The pharmacy has access to the appropriate equipment and facilities to provide the service that it offers.

Pharmacy details

Unit 3
Castlebridge Office Village
Castle Marina Road

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What do the inspection outcomes mean?

After an inspection each pharmacy receives one overall outcome. This will be either Standards met or Standards not all met

Met The pharmacy has met all the standards for registered pharmacies
Not all met The pharmacy has not met one or more of the standards for registered pharmacies

What does 'pharmacy has not met all standards' mean?

When a pharmacy has not met all standards, they are required to complete an improvement action plan, which you can find via a link at the top left of this page. We monitor progress to check the improvements are made and inspect again after six months to make sure the pharmacy is maintaining these improvements. A new report will then be published.