Clinical audit

Published on: 22nd September 2014 | Updated on: 1st August 2022

Community pharmacy contractors must undertake a clinical audit each year, the topic of which they choose.

In addition to this pharmacy-based audit, they must also complete an audit on a topic that has been determined by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).

COVID-19 update – NHSE&I national audit and clinical audit requirements for 2021/22

Recognising the current challenges being experienced by pharmacies and the contribution of the pharmacy workforce to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, PSNC has reached agreement with NHSE&I and the Department of Health and Social Care that the requirement for pharmacy teams to complete a NHSE&I national audit (intended to be on valproate) and the requirement for pharmacy teams to complete a contractor-chosen clinical audit in 2021/22 will be waived.

Read the announcement

NHS England and NHS Improvement determined audits

Since the introduction of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework in 2005, community pharmacies have been required to carry out an annual audit where the topic of the audit was determined locally by the Primary Care Trust or latterly by the local NHS England team. It was agreed that in 2014/15, rather than audit topics being chosen by local NHSE&I teams, one nationally agreed audit would be undertaken by all pharmacies.

Previous nationally determined audits

The 2018/19 CPCF national clinical audit on flu vaccination for people with diabetes

The 2014/15 CPCF national clinical audit on emergency supply

Pharmacy chosen audit

The annual clinical audit, the topic of which is chosen by the pharmacy, can focus on an appropriate topic of relevance to the practice of the individual pharmacy team. Guidance on undertaking clinical audits can be found via the link below, alongside template audits developed for use by pharmacy teams.

It is not a requirement in the terms of service to send your pharmacy chosen clinical audit results to NHSE&I. However, pharmacy contractors should be prepared to demonstrate they have carried out a clinical audit at the time of any contract monitoring visit carried out by NHSE&I.

A guide to clinical audit

Valproate medicines safety (Company Chemists’ Association)

PSNC audit on LABA as monotherapy for the treatment of asthma without ICS preventer treatment

Hydration messages to prevent acute kidney injury clinical audit (on PharmOutcomes)

NSAID clinical audit (on PharmOutcomes)

RPS audit hub, including templates

For more information on this topic please email

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