Managing a temporary pharmacy closure

Published on: 16th September 2022 | Updated on: 6th June 2024

From 31st July 2023, it is a Terms of Service requirement for each NHS community pharmacy owner to have a business continuity plan for a temporary suspension of service (closure) due to illness or other reason beyond their control, and to action this when necessary.

If an emergency situation, for a reason beyond the pharmacy owner’s control, means a pharmacy needs to close for a short period, there are actions a contractor needs to undertake to ensure patients are able to access their prescriptions and that the contractor’s business can resume easily and effectively once the emergency has passed.

The following Community Pharmacy England Briefing provides guidance on planning which can be undertaken, as part of business continuity planning, in advance of an emergency closure and actions that should be considered in the event of a closure:

Checklist for when a temporary suspension occurs

Briefing 023/23: Business Continuity Plan for Temporary Suspensions

Pharmacy Business Continuity Plan for Temporary Suspensions template (can be added to the Community Pharmacy England Business Continuity Plan template as Annex 6 or used on its own)

Where a pharmacy has to temporarily close, the pharmacy must display information about the closure so that it is visible from the outside of the pharmacy. The following poster complies with the Approved Particulars for Displaying Notices Regarding a Temporary Suspension and can be used by pharmacy owners to inform patients:

Pharmacy closed poster (PDF)

Pharmacy closed poster (Word)

Other local pharmacies will probably become busier due to the temporary closure of a pharmacy and the following poster can be displayed to explain this to patients:

Poster for pharmacies being affected by a local closure (PDF)

Poster for pharmacies being affected by a local closure (Word)


Briefing 024/22 Emergency closure checklist for community pharmacy (August 2022)

Read more about Emergency and Business Continuity Planning

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