Unplanned Pharmacy Closures
Updated 28th February 2023
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The email for informing the local team has changed to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the moment emails to email@example.com are being forwarded.
Remember Annex 14 should be used to inform NHSEI regional team of closures, it can be downloaded here: pharmacy-manual-annex-14-unplanned-temporary-suspension-of-services (1)**
If you are unable to provide pharmaceutical services, for any reason, you must ensure that your Unplanned Closure procedure is followed, and that the regional NHSE&I team is notified of any time the pharmacy is closed. This may include situations such as fire, flood, electrical failure, building safety issues or sickness of the responsible pharmacist or pharmacy team.
You should include details of
- When the pharmacy was or is closed
- The reasons for closure
- When the pharmacy did, or is likely to be able to reopen
- Actions taken to manage patient need (such as uncollected prescriptions, substance dependency clients etc.)
Registering and informing NHSE&I of closures
When a Pharmacy is unable to provide Pharmaceutical services, for any reason, unplanned temporary suspension of services must be reported to the NHSEI regional Pharmacy Contracting team (via firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as you are aware of the need to close or suspend your services.
Annex 14 should be used to inform NHSEI regional team of closures, it can be downloaded here: pharmacy-manual-annex-14-unplanned-temporary-suspension-of-services (1)
Please also copy in
- email@example.com so that we can support you, and
- the CCG at firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can inform local General Practices
The person completing the Annex 14 form is to include as much information as possible about the closure; the reason for it, the actions taken by the Pharmacy to mitigate the situation and an expected return to full service provision (if still affected at the time of notification). The closure is recorded by the NHSEI Pharmacy Contracting team.
If the pharmacy has been (or will be) closed for longer than 24 hours, please contact the Primary Care Team at the above email address as a matter of urgency, and provide a contactable telephone number so that they can contact you to advise accordingly on next steps.
PLEASE NOTE: the guidance above is relevant for closures at any time (including unavoidable delayed opening or early closure). Failure to open and failure to report a closure are breaches of the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations, which may result in NHS England and NHS Improvement taking contractual action. NHSE&I must be informed no later than 2 days following the closure.
How this Process is Shared and Risk Mitigation
How this is processed and shared:
The information is not shared outside of NHSEI, the information is collated and monitored. If there are multiple unplanned closures from independent and national Pharmacy organisations, the information is presented at East Midlands Pharmacy Services Regulations Committee (PSRC).
Pharmacies are required to have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Temporary Closure and Temporary Suspension of Services. This should clearly outline the process that needs to be followed, should an unplanned closure occur. This should include: who to inform; practical actions to be taken; ensure the unplanned closure is communicated to the public as well as internal and external stakeholders. Such information should be included in business continuity plans.
Pharmacies have a requirement to source locum Pharmacists and/other system managed workforce/bank staff, should they not have an in-house Pharmacist available to avoid an unplanned closure.