NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has confirmed that there would be no blanket requirement for all community pharmacies to open on the Spring Bank Holiday.
NHSE&I further added that its regional teams will work locally to ensure communities have sufficient access in their areas on May 25.
“Contractors are therefore encouraged to continue to work with their NHSE&I regional team to ensure there is adequate bank holiday provision of pharmaceutical services for the day; involving your LPC as appropriate,” NHSE&I said in a Primary Care Bulletin email on Tuesday (May 19).
However, NHSE&I may ask some pharmacies to open to ensure such adequate provision, if it is deemed appropriate.
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) Operations and Support Director, Gordon Hockey, said: “PSNC has been clear from the outset that the local arrangements in place for bank holidays during the pandemic would have been sufficient to meet patient needs.
“Whilst we are pleased that NHSE&I has now recognised there is no need for them to impose bank holiday opening on pharmacies, we are disappointed that the announcement has been made with less than a week to go.”