New 2021 public holiday guide for pharmacies

New 2021 public holiday guide for pharmacies

September 8, 2020

PSNC has produced a quick reference guide for 2021 bank / public holidays to address some of the common queries on the pharmacy terms of service opening hours requirements.

Community pharmacy contractors do not have to open on days which are specifically mentioned in the Regulations (namely Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday) or a day which has been specifically designated as a ‘bank holiday’, unless directed to open by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I).

Contractors also do not have to give formal notice of closures on these public and bank holidays (but must ensure that their Directory of Services (DoS) and NHS website entries are accurate). If contractors want to reduce supplementary hours on other days, for example, to close early, notice of that intention should be given to NHSE&I at least three months in advance.

For 2021, we would like to draw particular attention to Christmas Day (25th December), which will fall on a Saturday. In the UK, if a bank holiday is on a weekend, a ‘substitute’ weekday becomes the bank holiday instead, i.e. Monday 27th December. However, as Christmas Day is specifically named in the Regulations, pharmacies can close without giving notice on both 25th and 27th December 2021.

PSNC Briefing 028/20: Pharmacy opening hours 2021

Contractors should also note the following caveats in this guide:

  1. There have been changes to opening hours regulations due to the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  2. There are planned changes to the Terms of Service that will require contractors to keep their DoS and NHS website entries up to date (former quality standards criteria). This have not yet come into force, but are expected to do so later this year and the date the requirements will commence will be announced as soon as possible.

For more information, including a comprehensive list of FAQs, please visit:

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