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In a bid to support the public during persisting Covid-19 pandemic, the DH has asked community pharmacy contractors to ensure that patients are still able to make complaints and raise concerns through the NHS complaints procedure.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DH) advised pharmacy contractors to continue to acknowledge complaints within three working days as per regulations.

Pharmacies have also been asked to consider whether there are any immediate patient safety issues that should be addressed, then managed as usual and recorded subject to recognition.

“Be especially mindful of complainants who were impacted by the pause which took effect between April 1 and June 30, 2020 (their complaint may have been received prior to April 1, 2020 or during the pause) and ensure their complaints are prioritised and not further impacted wherever possible,” the Pharmacy Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said in an update.

This advice is effective through to April 30, 2021.

The latest advice from the DH follows persisting pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and a flexibility in the NHS complaints procedure.

Under the terms of service, community pharmacy contractors must respond to complaints in accordance with the Local Authority Social Services and NHS Complaints Regulations 2009.

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