The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has issued a revised guidance for the dispensing of controlled drugs in instalments on 19 September that has been declared as a bank holiday for Her Majesty The Queen’s state funeral.
PSNC said: “Many instalment prescriptions have already been issued in advance of the upcoming Bank Holiday. Where they contain the Home Office approved wording “Please dispense instalments due on pharmacy closed days on a prior suitable day” then you will need to plan to make these supplies at an appropriate time. This wording would also permit the supply of the initial dose of a prescription starting on the Bank Holiday Monday where the date of the signature is before this.”
However, PSNC is aware that not all prescriptions will contain such a direction to support the supply, in advance, of a dose for Monday 19 September where the supplying pharmacy is closed.
“We recognise that this client group are often vulnerable with multi-morbidities and that the risk to them may be significant. You should therefore exercise your professional discretion in determining when to make an instalment supply for the Bank Holiday Monday. Make the care of the patient your first priority and consider the potential impact of both making the supply in advance and of not making the supply in your decision making process. The exceptional circumstances that led to the Bank Holiday and its short notice may inform your decision.”
Where community pharmacies determine that it is professionally appropriate to make a supply in advance of the Bank Holiday:
- You should seek the agreement of the prescriber or a person designated by them if they have not contacted you already to support this approach
- Any discussion and decision must be documented in the patient’s record (any decision not to make a supply and the rationale should also be recorded)
- Where a decision is taken to change the intervals of supply for a liquid preparation the pharmacist must consider supplying it in separate containers for each dose.
Updating pharmacy opening hours on NHS Profile Manager
PSNC also informed that NHS England has confirmed all community pharmacies’ Directory of Service (DoS) and NHS website entries will automatically be set to show all pharmacies as closed on this date.
Advice on the action required is provided below by PSNC:
- It is important that your profile is correct to ensure NHS staff, patients and the public can access accurate information about your contact information, opening times and services. This ensures, for example, that patients are only referred to the pharmacy through the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS) when it is open.
- PSNC, NHS Digital and the NHS England pharmacy team have jointly supported this bulk update measure to ease the process for pharmacy contractors, and for improved accuracy within the DoS and NHS website systems.
- If your pharmacy will be open on Monday 19th September
- If your pharmacy is due to be open during the upcoming bank holiday, you will need to update the NHS Profile Manager to indicate the hours that the pharmacy will be open. Otherwise your pharmacy will show as ‘Closed’ on Monday 19th September.
- You are encouraged to take action as soon as practicable and doing so before the end of Thursday 15th September is recommended in case of a registration, login or technical issue.
- If your pharmacy will closed be on Monday 19th September
- The pharmacy’s DoS and NHS Website entries will automatically be changed to show the pharmacy is due to be closed. You do not need to do this yourself.
- If you had already used the NHS Profile Manager or the DoS to show that your pharmacy will be closed on 19th September, you do not need to do it again. The entry showing you are closed for the day will remain.