Regs explainer (#10): Commencement notices and contractors entering administration


Regs explainer (#10): Commencement notices and contractors entering administration

November 6, 2020

On 20th October 2020 new NHS regulations were laid to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for pharmacy contractors. Some of these changes relate to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but most are changes which were previously agreed as part of the 5-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and were originally planned to be introduced in July 2020.

This article is one of a series, explaining what the changes mean for pharmacy contractors and their teams.

These changes apply from:

9th November 2020

What are the new requirements?

Commencement notices

Currently, a contractor or applicant, must give NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) a valid commencement notice (e.g. to open a new pharmacy), in the correct form, no more than 14 days in advance. PSNC guidance has been that at least one month’s informal notice should be given to ensure there is time for NHSE&I to authorise changes to the Organisation Data Service (ODS) code and connectivity to be established to NHS services, including the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).


  • a contractor, or applicant, must give NHSE&I a commencement notice no fewer than 30 days in advance, unless a shorter period of notice has been agreed with NHSE&I prior to giving NHSE&I the commencement notice; and
  • the contractor, or applicant may change the date on which services will commence (from the original to a new opening date) but to do so must notify NHSE&I as soon as reasonably practicable of any change of date, and this must be in advance of both the old and new opening dates.

NHSE&I have made a form available to contractors for applicants to change the date of commencement.

This change does not apply to a notice of consolidation.

Pharmacy contractors entering administration

If a pharmacy contractor’s company enters administration, the contractor must notify NHSE&I of this. The notice must be in writing and may be by electronic means.

A company enters administration when the appointment of an administrator takes effect.

NHSE&I have made a form available to contractors to notify them that the company has entered administration.

Training for repeat dispensing

In addition, a specific requirement for contractors to undertake appropriate training in respect of repeat dispensing is removed from the terms of service, although such training remains a part of general induction and other staff training, as appropriate.

Where can I get more support on this?

Further guidance on these Term of Service will be contained within NHSE&I’s regulations guidance, which will be published shortly.

Further guidance on putting your company into administration may be found at GOV.UK or obtained from professional advisers.


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