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The emergency provision of pharmaceutical services, introduced to help maintain pharmacy services during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been extended to March 31, 2022.

The provision allows contractors to make temporary changes to opening hours or temporary closures in condition of adequate reasons for these changes.

Before making such changes contractors have to give 24 hours’ notice to the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), and take approval from the department.

However, if the flexible opening-hours request is refused by NHSE&I, contractors will have to continue to provide their normal service provision, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said in an update.

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