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Home  »   Coronavirus (COVID-19)Latest News   »   The ending of emergency provisions around flexibility to provide NHS pharmaceutical services

The ending of emergency provisions around flexibility to provide NHS pharmaceutical services

It has been confirmed that temporary flexibilities in the provision of NHS pharmaceutical services introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic in England will end on 31 March 2022.

Wed 30th March 2022 The PDA

The flexibilities were enacted in March 2020 when changes to the Pharmaceutical Services (Advanced and Enhanced Services and Emergency Declaration) Directions 2020 were made following a declaration of emergency at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, the flexibilities have permitted temporary opening hours and closures during a specified period due to a genuine Covid-19 related emergency. NHS England and Improvement has advised pharmacy contractors that the emergency declaration will not be extended further and will expire on 31 March 2022.

Pharmacy contractors will therefore no longer have the option to close pharmacies within their agreed contracted hours with the NHS.

These measures were rightly introduced for extreme circumstances during the height of the early Covid-19 pandemic. However, the PDA also heard concerns from pharmacists during that period that some employers approached safety regulations inappropriately and were asking pharmacists to break the law.

Consequently, the GPhC had to issue a reminder to businesses about the critical need for a responsible pharmacist to maintain safety in each pharmacy.

The end of these temporary regulations should leave pharmacy businesses in no doubt about their obligations to deliver the pharmaceutical services that they have committed to provide.

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