Since the ICBs assumed control of the Dispensary Services Quality Scheme (DSQS) in May,
it appears that they are implementing several modifications, particularly concerning Standard
Operating Procedures (SOPs). A member of Dispex has informed us, that their ICB now requires
them to present actual copies of their SOPs, it’s no longer just a tick box activity. Additionally,
the practice must provide a copy of the written audit trail detailing the amendments made to
the SOPs, including the dates they were reviewed. The deadline for submitting these documents
for the mentioned practice is the end of NEXT month, the 31st of July! If you participate in DSQS,
we strongly advise you to request your 2023/24 contract or double check yours as soon as possible,
as you may be subject to the same changes. If you have any uncertainties, we recommend
contacting your ICB directly.
If you do find yourself in the same situation, it presents a good opportunity to overhaul your
current SOPs. We are pleased to provide our members with assistance in this regard. Members
can login to the Dispex website to access and download our comprehensive SOPs library. ALL
templates MUST be personalised to individual practices.
Standard Operating Procedures
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are defined as, “detailed written instructions to achieve
uniformity of the performance of a specific function” and are ideally suited for use in the dispensary.
Standard Operating Procedures in dispensing practice are a clinical governance issue, and while their
use is not yet mandatory, their adoption will undoubtedly improve patient safety. Practices which sign
up to the DSQS Scheme must develop and maintain a set of SOPs which reflect good professional
practice and cover all dispensary procedures. SOPs must be reviewed and updated at least once every
12 months and whenever dispensing procedures are amended.
DISPEX SOP Templates
Our templates provide guidelines based on DSQS Minimum requirements. You will need to tailor
and adapt the content to your own circumstances and adjust each one to reflect the way your own
Dispensary operates. We recommend that you practice the SOP for a few weeks and then review
with your staff to decide whether it is working or if there are areas which need to be improved.
Then, all your dispensary staff will need to read it and sign that they understand what it means.
This process also offers a good opportunity to identify competencies and for you to offer training
and develop your staff. Please note, all templates MUST be personalised to individual practices,
Dispex cannot accept any responsibility for the way in which these templates may be used by your
practice. Some templates are under development.
Another notable change for the practice is the reduction in the number of audits, from the usual
two per year to just one. Once again, we recommend that you check your contracts and contact
your ICB directly.