Updated COVID-19 SOP introduces local management of flexible opening hours

Updated COVID-19 SOP introduces local management of flexible opening hours

October 27, 2020

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have today issued an updated Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for community pharmacies in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A key amendment enables regional NHSE&I teams to notify pharmacies that they may work behind closed doors without the need for contractors to apply for such closed-door working. This change has been made to help healthcare bodies to tailor their response to the pandemic dependent on the local or regional situation. NHSE&I will consult with LPCs.

When agreed, working behind closed doors will be permitted up to 2.5 hours a day with opening between 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm (or 2-6pm for 100 hour pharmacies) required as a minimum.

Community pharmacy contractors should also note the information about NHS Test and Trace, which indicates that advice should be sought from the local Health Protection Team if a pharmacy team member tests positive for COVID-19 and there is a risk to the provision of pharmaceutical services.

Other amendments bring the SOP in line with the latest information and guidance already available to contractors on, for example, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and the expanded flu vaccination programme.

Read the SOP



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