There may be occasions when a contractor is unable to open its premises for a reason that is beyond its control. This includes flooding of premises, lack of electricity, premises have been broken into or Pharmacist has not arrived.
It does not include planned refurbishment. It also does not include situations where the pharmacy occupies part of a larger building and the rest of the premises are closed, as it is expected that contractors will have put in place arrangements to ensure they are able to fulfil their terms of service regarding their core and supplementary opening hours.
Where there is a temporary closure outside of the contractor’s control, they are required by the 2013 Regulations to notify the NHS England Area Team. Hertfordshire contractors need to notify any closures via the following email address: email@example.com
You can complete this form and and send to the Area Team to determine whether any follow up action is required.
If the closure is for part of a day please remember to inform the Area Team when the pharmacy has reopened. Please remember to display a notice to customers to inform them of the situation and the nearest pharmacies.
The pharmacy should take whatever action it can in the circumstances to mitigate any inconvenience to its patients and other users of the pharmacy and make every effort to inform local interested parties of the details of the temporary suspension.
Clients receiving pharmacy services for supervised consumption or daily controlled drugs collection can be left especially vulnerable when a pharmacy is unable to open at short notice. Pharmacies providing these services should give careful consideration as to how this patient group can be supported should the pharmacy be unable to open. Please make sure you have notified local commissioners and providers supporting you to provide this sort of service.
For supervised consumption and needle exchange please inform firstname.lastname@example.org
For Public Health services including sexual health and stop smoking please inform email@example.com
Depending on how long the temporary suspension will or may last, and the impact this will have on the provision of pharmaceutical services, it may be necessary for the Area Team to direct another contractor to open on different days or at different times. The Area Team will look to inform local interested parties where the temporary suspension is likely to last for more than one day.
The Area Team will review the reason for the temporary suspension and where it appears to be within the control of the contractor, and therefore a potential breach of a pharmacy’s terms and conditions, the Area Team will pass the notification to pharmaceutical services regulations committee. The committee will then decide what, if any, further action to take under the policy and procedure for managing the performance of providers of pharmaceutical services.
Where a contractor knows in advance that it will not be able to open its premises, it may request a temporary suspension of services for a set period. Three months’ notice must be given. Where less than three months’ notice has been given the request will be returned to the contractor advising that it has been refused.
PSNC has put together a useful briefing on “Emergency closure checklist for community pharmacy”