Inspections during the coronavirus pandemic

During national lockdowns, and while Plan B restrictions were in place, we stopped our programme of routine pharmacy inspections. Instead, we focused on providing support to registered pharmacies on their arrangements and plans, to help manage pressures and challenges during the pandemic.

This included introducing support calls to pharmacies to check how they were coping during the pandemic and to signpost pharmacy teams to resources that may help them deliver their services to patients and the public.

From 31 January 2022, our inspectors have resumed visiting pharmacies that had previously not met all the standards, focusing on those pharmacies with published inspection reports where a six-month re-inspection is due. Our inspectors are visiting these pharmacies to check whether they are meeting all the standards for registered pharmacies, and the inspector will produce a report for publication. We are also inspecting pharmacies newly entered onto the register that have not previously been inspected.

During this period, we will also be continuing with our support calls to pharmacies.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to act quickly on any information we receive which suggests a risk to patient safety by undertaking intelligence-led inspections.

We are using what we learnt from the pandemic to try out a new approach to routine inspections.  Find out more in our ‘Different types of inspections’ page.