Out of Hours

Published on: 19th July 2013 | Updated on: 15th March 2022

Examples of this service that have been commissioned locally are available on the Community Pharmacy England online services database.

Tools and publications which may be useful to support the commissioning of this service can be found on the Service development tools and publications hub.

Template service specification

Out of Hours template service specification (Microsoft Word)

Out of Hours template service specification (PDF)

Above is a nationally negotiated template service specification (developed and agreed by Community Pharmacy England, the Department of Health and NHS Employers). LPCs and contractors are able to negotiate to provide services in accordance with this specification where a local need for the service is determined. Alternatively LPCs, contractors or the service commissioner are free to develop their own local services in response to identified needs.

COVID-19: Out-of-Hours supply of medication to Care Homes  

Following the publication of a letter from Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Prichard outlining the second phase of NHS response to COVID-19, Dr Nikki Kanani, Matthew Winn and Ed Waller published a letter asking primary care and community health services to help provide the best possible care for care home residents. As part of this urgent response to COVID-19 in care home settings, one of the key tasks under the title of ‘Service enablers’ in the letter is that: 

 CCGs must ensure that clear and consistent out of hours provision is in place for each care home. Out of hours provision to care homes may be provided via out of hours providers and community health services and should include arrangements for the supply and availability of medication through community pharmacy or other routes. This support must be clearly signposted to care homes.  

In response to this and as a result of discussions between the LPC Rapid Action Team and Community Pharmacy England, a task and finish group has developed an LPC guidance document and service specification template after a review of existing and past out-of-hours medication services, to assist Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) with any approaches by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to explore the options to best provide care home residents with out-of-hours provision of medication.  

LPC Guidance Document (PDF) (For LPC use only)

Template out-of-hours service specification (Care Homes) (Microsoft Word)

Template out-of-hours service specification (Care Homes) (PDF)

Related resources

Community Pharmacy England Services Case Studies Hub

Community Pharmacy England and NHS England worked together in 2014 to review the commissioning of out of hours (rota) services. The results of this collaborative working can be viewed by LPC members by logging into the LPC Resources Centre on the Community Pharmacy England website.

For more information on this topic please email comms.team@cpe.org.uk

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