Business continuity

Business continuity

Community pharmacy contractors should consider their business continuity arrangements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Below is advice and information for contractors to support them in responding to the pandemic. These documents have been drafted to help pharmacies assess their business mix and decide how they can improve their dispensary efficiency, whilst still supporting their most vulnerable patients, in the event of multiple members of staff being off work to COVID-19.

Guidance on opening hours flexibility and temporary closures is available on our network resilience page.


Key workers

The Government has announced that schools in England will be closed for all but a limited number of children. Schools have been asked to continue to provide care for children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot safely be cared for at home.

The definition of key workers has been deliberately drafted broadly, so that all the people involved in the medicines and pharmacy supply chains who are critical to the supply of medicines, and the delivery of pharmacy services, to patients and the public – including pharmacists and pharmacy staff – are included.

Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision

Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers

Template letter that pharmacy contractors can issue to their staff (Microsoft Word)

Legitimate movement letter

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has produced a letter that pharmacy staff can use to help verify their right to legitimate movement as a key healthcare worker with law enforcement teams.

Legitimate Movement Letter


Shared-Care (supervised consumption)

Shared-Care service provision for people being treated for substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic (updated 25th March 2020)

Template letter to enable a representative to collect medicines on behalf of a patient in isolation (Microsoft Word)

For more information, see our instalment dispensing page.

NHSE&I letter – Information for community pharmacies to support health and justice services and released detainees for COVID-19


Multi-compartment Compliance Aids (MCA) provision

Provision of Multi-compartment Compliance Aids (MCA) to patients living in the community

Template letter to share with patients (Microsoft Word)


Care Homes

Care Home Patients

Template letter to send to care homes (Microsoft Word)


Other guidance

For more general information on making business continuity arrangements, see our emergency and business continuity planning page.

For additional EPS/IT contingency resources see our EPS/IT contingency arrangements hub.


Return to the COVID-19 index page.



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