Pharmacists have been told to follow a specific code in relation to COVID-19, Mason Hayes & Curran (MH&C) LLP points out in a briefing note.
The standards cover a range of areas including infection prevention and control, patient and staff safety, as well as continuity planning to ensure the ongoing provision of pharmacy and medicine services.
Since 2007, regulator the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI), has used the legal provisions of the Pharmacy Act 2007and the Regulation of Retail Pharmacy Businesses Regulations 2008 (as amended) as a means of regulating pharmacists and pharmacies.
These legislative requirements have been augmented with outcome-based COVID-19 operational standards, defining good performance.
The code emphasises a consistent standard of safety and quality for patients and the public.
MH&C LLP says that responsibility for meeting the standards lies with those who have statutory governance responsibilities – pharmacy owners, superintendent pharmacists and supervising pharmacists.
The standards cover good governance, the pharmacy team, the pharmacy setting and the pharmacy services.
The four areas mutually inform and cross-reference each other, with outcome-focused indicators against which the pharmacist can assess compliance.
The PSI says it welcomes innovation and feedback is being sought on how pharmacies meet the standards.