Published on: 1st February 2022 | Updated on: 8th September 2023
TEMPORARY CLOSURE PROCEDURES
Contractors should be seen to make every effort to remain open for pharmaceutical services and should only close with “good cause”. Whilst there is no definition in the Regulations of “good cause” LHBs may view the closure as having “good cause” if there is an adequate reason or justification for a particular course of action. Contractual breaches resulting from factors which are outside of the control of the contractor (e.g. flooding, utilities interruption; unexpected sickness absence etc.) are generally considered to have good cause. The Regulations require that where there is “good cause” for closure i.e. it is unavoidable the LHB must be informed of the closure as soon as practicable, and must use all reasonable endeavours to resume provision of pharmaceutical services as soon as possible.
NOTIFICATION OF CLOSURE
Most LHBs require this to be done via NWSPP by completing and submitting the All Wales Temporary Closure Form – Community Pharmacy Wales This form includes a checklist of actions to be carried out which includes informing other local community pharmacies and local GPs of the closure in order that patients can be signposted appropriately. Some LHBs have developed more specific processes which can be found at the links below:
BCUHB Temporary Closure Notification Process
Responding to Temporary Suspension of Pharmaceutical Services details of the process and links to their electronic notification form.
CTMUHB Temporary Closure Notification Process
CTMUHB has developed guidance to support contractors in managing and reporting temporary suspensions to pharmaceutical services. All contractors are invited to make use of an online form as the reporting mechanism of choice. The form is simple to use and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection and a computer or mobile phone. A connection to the NHS intranet is not required, and upon submission of the form, the relevant information will be automatically shared with the health board, NHS Wales Shared Services, NHS 111 and any other relevant partners. Further information can be found via the links below.
- CTMUHB Guidance on Temporary Suspension of Services
- CTMUHB Temporary Closure Form
- CTMUHB Patient Display Notice (English)
- CTMUHB Patient Display Notice (Cymraeg)
HDUHB Temporary Closure Notification Process
HDUHB – Procedure for the Management of Community Pharmacy Contractual Breaches click here
A NUMBER OF OTHER LHBS ARE ALSO TRIALLING SPECIFC METHODS OF NOTIFYING CLOSURES AND CONTRACTORS SHOULD BE ALERT TO THESE CHANGES.
In general, LHBs have an expectation that the pharmacy provides notification as soon as possible after the decision to close is made. With widespread access to emails and new online forms LHBs now expect that this can be done from any location shortly after the decision to close is made (ideally within the hour). Waiting for 24 hours or longer, for submission of forms by head offices is becoming less acceptable.
Where an LHB is not notified of the closure, or where there is an unreasonable delay in notification, it is likely to issue a breach notice (even if the closure was for a short duration).