Introduction to Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Published on: 1st February 2022 | Updated on: 20th December 2023

The way in which pharmacy applications are granted has changed and the National Health Services (Pharmaceutical Services) (Wales) Regulations 2013, which included the “necessary and expedient” test, has been replaced by the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services) (Wales) Regulations 2020 which includes the new market entry test.

As of 1st October 2021, Heath Boards in Wales (LHBs) have been required to publish a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) and it is the PNA which is now used by the Health Board to determine applications for new or additional premises, based on current or future needs that have been identified in a LHB’s PNA. Applications from existing pharmacies who wish to relocate to these new premises will also be based on current or future needs identified in a LHB’s PNA.

However, where a contractor needs to relocate for business reasons, for example the demolition of premises or expiry of a lease, such applications do not have to be based on current or future needs identified in a LHB’s PNA and will come under a provision similar to that found in the 2013 Regulations for minor relocations.

Applications for outline consent and premises approval by doctors who wish to dispense, or dispense to new areas, will be based on current or future needs identified in a LHB’s PNA.

Each Health Board’s PNA is published on its website and can be found via the links below:

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments
Analysis of the provision of pharmaceutical services and access to those services has been used to identify any gaps or need in services and so inform the planning and commissioning of additional pharmaceutical services.  Where gaps in service provision are identified the Health Board may grant an application to fill the gap.

  • Guidance on making applications including for new premises and minor relocations can be found via the following link:

Guidance on making applications

  • Fees for making an application can be found via the following links:

The Pharmaceutical Services (Fees for Applications) (Wales) Directions 2021
(English/ Welsh)

Any queries on the application process should be directed to the NWSPP Contracts Management team:
Tel: 01792 860409