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Following the end of emergency provisions allowing for flexibility of pharmacy opening hours and temporary closures, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Society (PSNC) has published a new guidance to support community pharmacy contractors.

To support contractors, PSNC’s Regulation and Support Team has produced guidance about the rules that must now be followed. The guidance considers various aspects of the requirements, highlighting the key issues that contractors should be aware of.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary of State’s emergency declaration made allowances to maintain the resilience of the pharmacy network. From 1st April 2022, as the Government move to its next stage in the pandemic recovery, the normal pharmacy Terms of Service rules and requirements around unplanned closures of community pharmacies have resumed.

PSNC said: “According to the regulations, contractors must notify NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) of any unplanned closures for staff illness or other reasonable cause, defined as something that is beyond a contractor’s control.”

“Contractors should make arrangements with other pharmacies in the area for the continued provision of pharmaceutical services and make reasonable endeavours to resume services at the pharmacy as soon as is practicable. As long as a contractor complies with these requirements, they will not be in breach of the terms of service under the NHS Regulations.”

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