An assessment of pharmaceutical inspection reports from nursing and residential homes for the elderly in Northern Ireland

Anna K. Schweizer, Nuala B. Curry, Carmel M. Hughes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: To highlight issues currently being inspected in nursing, residential and dual-registered homes (care homes) for the elderly in Northern Ireland as part of a pharmaceutical inspection. Methods: A cross-sectional survey and analysis of reports from pharmaceutical inspections in Northern Ireland care homes between January 1999 and December 2000 was undertaken, using reports provided by the four Registration and Inspection Units (R & I Units 1-4) within the region. Reports were reviewed and all recommendations made by inspectors were classified into 11 main categories. Binary logistic regression was used to examine possible relationships between the type of home (nursing, residential or dual-registered) or the R & I unit and the recommendations made by the inspectors, with corresponding odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Key findings: Reports from 415 homes (one report per home) formed the final sample for analysis. Each R & I unit used different documentation to conduct a pharmaceutical inspection. Homes received the majority of recommendations from inspectors in the categories 'Records' (66.7% of all homes), 'Policies and protocols' (39.3%) and 'Medication' (31.8%). More recommendations in a number of categories emanated from R & I unit 4 compared with R & I unit 1 (referent). Dual-registered homes (those registered as a nursing and residential facility) were more likely to receive a recommendation in the categories 'Storage of medicine', 'Order and receipt of medication' and 'Equipment' than nursing or residential homes. Conclusion: Inspections of care homes should be standardised in terms of documentation used and facilities should be given guidance on issues that are likely to result in recommendations from inspectors. In the longer-term, pharmaceutical inspections should move from a focus on structure/ process measures to those that emphasise quality in prescribing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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