Community pharmacy opening hours during the COVID-19 pandemic
The joint COVID-19 Northamptonshire Strategic Coordination Centre* has issued an update about pharmacy opening hours, including over the Easter weekend:
There is a substantial increase in the volume of prescriptions pharmacies are currently dispensing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help support the pressure and demand on community pharmacies during this time, the following opening hours have been agreed by NHS England and Improvement:
Community pharmacies may close their doors to the public for up to two and a half (2.5) hours a day, including lunch, until further notice. All pharmacies will be expected on every day they have contracted opening hours, to be open as a minimum to the public between:
- 10am and 12 noon
- 2pm and 4pm
If urgent help is needed, the community pharmacy will display a sign on the door providing information about how to contact the pharmacy.
These measures have been put in place to support community pharmacies and enable them to catch up with their workload and/or to clean their premises.
As GP surgeries will be opening over the Easter bank holidays, community pharmacies will also be open to the public. As a minimum pharmacies will open on the bank holidays between: 2pm and 5pm.
Please be reminded, patients do not need to order their medicines earlier than usual. It is also asked that patients do not order extra medication compared to normal to support community pharmacies in meeting the current demand.
* The Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF), has set up a System Co-ordination Centre in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The centre is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team that works closely with incident co-ordination centres set up across the county by partner agencies including health, social care, local authorities and emergency responders, as well as working with partners in the voluntary, charity and private sector.