Inspections during the coronavirus pandemic

We regularly review our position on inspections during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the first part of the pandemic, we stopped 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. 

Since the beginning of August, our inspectors have been visiting pharmacies that had previously not met all the standards, initially focusing on those pharmacies with published inspection reports where a six month re-inspection was 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. 

From the beginning of November, we have suspended routine pharmacy inspections in areas that are in the highest levels of COVID-19 restrictions.  

This includes the whole of England during the new national restrictions from 5 November, any areas in Tier 3 in England after the end of the national restrictions, any areas in Level 3 or above in Scotland and the whole of Wales during the ‘firebreak’ lockdown.

We are continuing routine inspections in areas that are not in the highest levels of COVID-19 restrictions.  

During this period, we will be continuing with our support calls to pharmacies to discuss their contingency planning.

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.

To make sure our inspection activity is carried out as safely as possible we have carried out a Risk reduction assessment for GPhC community pharmacy inspections. [PDF 446 KB]