COVID-19 Q&A: for pharmacy owners

We have compiled answers to the questions we are being asked in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

Categorised by theme, use the links below to navigate to the relevant section.

Last reviewed 20 August 2021.

Pharmacy inspections

COVID-19: testing (opens on a separate tab) 

COVID-19 vaccination programme (opens on a separate tab)

Communicating with patients and public who don't speak English  

Pharmacy inspections

Are you currently carrying out routine pharmacy inspections?

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.

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. 

How can I contact my inspector for advice about coronavirus?

You can send an email to and your query will be passed onto an inspector or other relevant member of the team.   

Communicating with patients and public who don't speak English

Are there any resources available to help me communicate about COVID-19 with patients and the public visiting my pharmacy who do not speak English?

Doctors of the World has translated the latest NHS guidelines on COVID-19 into 44 languages.

You can translate the information on our website using the ReciteMe tool via the ‘Accessibility tools’ link on the top navigation bar.

You may also want to speak to local voluntary organisations representing different communities in your area, if you need specific support with translation.