Storm Ciara: pharmacy opening and staffing arrangements

Storm Ciara: pharmacy opening and staffing arrangements

February 10, 2020

Due to the adverse weather conditions arising from Storm Ciara, some NHS pharmacies may not be able to open if staff are unable to travel safely to work. Community pharmacy contractors should be appropriate in their expectations for staff travelling to NHS pharmacies while the effects of Storm Ciara last.

Where there is a temporary suspension for a reason beyond the control of the contractor, the pharmacy is not in breach of the terms of service so long as they notify their local NHS England team as soon as possible, and use all reasonable endeavours to resume provision of pharmaceutical services as soon as practicable. Should this be the case, contractors are expected to be able to evidence the issues (such as significant travel disruption) that prevented them from opening.

Dr Jill Loader, Deputy Director of Pharmacy Commissioning (England), has stated the following:

“We know NHS pharmacies in England will make every effort to open and to continue to make sure their local community receive the pharmaceutical services they need. We do understand that Storm Ciara has caused difficulties with travel, flooding and infrastructure damage in some parts of England. Where necessary pharmacies should implement their Business Continuity Plans and if they are unable to open should contact their local NHS England office.”

 Contractors may wish to refer to PSNC’s resources for business continuity planning in pharmacies, which includes severe weather.

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