Each year pharmacy contractors must perform a practice-based audit as part of the contractual requirements of the NHS Pharmacy Contract. The audit must have a clear outcome that will assist with developing patient care.  Practice-based audits provide an opportunity to review the systems and procedures within the pharmacy and, having assessed them, decide what can be improved. Alternatively, audits can be used to gather data about pharmacy practice so that we can work with other healthcare professionals to improve safety, quality and patient experience.

Background to the 2019/20 CCA and AIM practice-based audit
On occasion, pharmacists and their support staff will not fulfil a patient’s request for a particular medicine (GSL or P Med) to be supplied Over The Counter (OTC).
The broad reasons for this are:
       1. The pharmacist/pharmacy staff provide advice instead
       2. The patient/customer is unable or unwilling to pay for a recommended item
       3. The pharmacist/pharmacy staff refuse to supply a requested item based on:
                    o    Suspected abuse, or
                    o    Unsuitability of the product requested for the patient’s circumstances, or
                    o    Legal reasons relating to restrictions on the product (e.g. quantity, age of patient)
       4. The pharmacist/pharmacy staff advise the patient/customer to consult another healthcare professional/support service.

The 2019/20 audit will explore the reasons why patients/customers may leave the pharmacy without being provided with the specific OTC medication that they requested. This audit will enable us to gather quantitative data about:
       o    Patients/customers who are unable or unwilling to pay for self- care in respect of medicines
       o    Patients/customers whose requests for self-care are not met based on their inappropriateness
       o    Pharmacy staff signposting of patients to other providers (e.g. Health and social care services or support organisations)
       o    Patients who have been referred into community pharmacy through the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), and the outcomes of these patient interactions

A similar audit was conducted by CCA pharmacies in 2015/16 and the results of this year’s audit will be compared with the previous data set to establish if there have been any changes in the provision of self-care advice and reasons for pharmacy teams not supplying OTC medication.