Mandatory Business Continuity Plans for Temporary Suspensions (England)

From 31st July 2023, all community pharmacies must have a Business Continuity Plan for Temporary Suspensions. This includes closures due to illness or any other reason beyond the control of the contractor.

Community Pharmacy England (CPE) has produced a template plan that can be used in addition to the continuity plan already in place.

The Terms of Service requirements that pharmacies need to comply with in relation to a suspension of service are:

  • Notifying the Integrated Care Board (ICB) of a temporary suspension and a likely temporary suspension (in accordance with the relevant approved particulars
  • Updating the NHS England Directory of Services (DoS)
  • Reducing referrals under Directed Services that relate to urgent care
  • Notifying the main local GP practices and other local contractors of the temporary closure and its anticipated duration
  • Displaying relevant information for patients on the premises (in accordance with the relevant approved particulars), or for Distance Selling Premises (DSP) pharmacies displaying relevant information on their website
  • Continuity of care, for example, for patients with booked appointments and those who have supervised administration of medicines.

From 31st July 2023, each NHS community pharmacy must use all reasonable endeavours to implement their Business Continuity Plan for Temporary Suspensions in the event of:

  • A temporary closure; or
  • A likely temporary closure, in a manner proportionate to the likelihood

CPE has produced a useful checklist to ensure all actions included in the continuity plan are implemented.

CPE Business Continuity Plan for Temporary Suspensions template and checklist