Emergency/ Unplanned Closure of Pharmacy

The South West Temporary Suspension of Services Policy v1.0 was implemented in the region on the 1st November 2022, with a revised version (Temporary Suspension of Services Policy v2.0) being circulated in July 2023 following a further review.

The local policy describes a set of principles for community pharmacy to follow in managing Temporary Suspensions, including implementing their business continuity plan and demonstrating they have used all reasonable endeavours to resume the provision of services. The local policy sets out the approach the South West Pharmaceutical Services Regulations Committee (SW PSRC) and the Commissioner takes when monitoring and using contractual sanctions in relation to temporary suspension of services in Community Pharmacy across the 7 South West ICBs.  This includes breach notices and financial withholdings based on the number of breaches.

View the new policy below:

South West Community Pharmacy Local Policy for Temporary Suspension of Service v3.0. 

Please ensure you read this policy and share with relevant colleagues within your Community Pharmacy.

Unplanned Closures

Newly issued documentation to support with actions required should you need to undertake an unplanned closure:

The key actions you need to take in the event of an unplanned closure include:

  • Notifying your Local GP Surgeries
  • NHS England notified of suspension of services
  • Profile Manager updated for all services (Click here for more info on Profile Manager)
  • Liaise with and update local opiate replacement service commissioner (Contact daily pick up / supervised clients – make alternative arrangements if necessary).
  •  Other local pharmacies notified

Change to Reporting of Temporary Suspension of Services April 2024

Please ensure you understand the need to complete the online Microsoft Form ‘Pharmacy Contractor Notification of a Temporary Suspension of Service’ for each Temporary Suspension.  Temporary suspensions reported to us (the commissioner) in any other format or version of this form will not be accepted.  The form enables you/your team to confirm how you have implemented your business continuity plan and to declare you have used all reasonable endeavours to resume pharmaceutical services as soon as possible in the event of a temporary suspension of service.

The South West ‘Contractor Notification of a Temporary Suspension of Service’ Form is located on the NHS England South West Community Pharmacy website via an online Microsoft Form.

Please click the link below to take you to the Microsoft Form:

Pharmacy contractor notification of a Temporary Suspension of Services

Once completed online the Microsoft form will be automatically sent to the commissioner.  All further correspondence relating to the temporary suspension of services will be communicated using the pharmacy’s NHS mail shared pharmacy email account.




In the event of an unplanned closure, all contractors should immediately complete the ‘reporting an unplanned closure’ service, then once full pharmaceutical services (business as usual) have resumed the ‘pharmacy reopening’ service should then be completed.

PSNC has updated its guidance for contractors on the planning which can be undertaken, as part of business continuity planning, in advance of an emergency pharmacy closure and the actions that should be considered in the event of a closure.

A poster has also been made available for contractors to use to inform patients when a pharmacy has to close temporarily.

Read the briefing and download the closures poster from the PSNC website

Service Reporting Unplanned Closures on PharmOutcomes…

As you will all be aware, if a pharmacy is unable to provide services at any point during its opening hours (both core and/or supplementary) then there may be a ‘temporary suspension in the provision of pharmaceutical services,’ also known as an ‘unplanned closure.’

Contractors have previously been requested to complete a notification form providing details of the reason for the closure, the steps being taken to resume services and the measures put in place to mitigate the effect for patients.

In order to support contractors with this reporting process (including the things contractors must consider when closing), a new service has been created and is now available on PharmOutcomes for all contractors in the South West.

The form can be found under the ‘services’ tab under the sub heading ‘unplanned closures’ where there are two services:

  • Reporting an unplanned closure
  • Pharmacy reopening service

Link to the Profile Manager for use when contractors need for using for DOS and the website updates. https://psnc.org.uk/digital-and-technology/databases-of-pharmacies-and-services/nhs-profile-manager/