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Pharmacy: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL3042, tabled on 22 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with NHS England about why it has not triggered Regulation 61 of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/349) to allow for the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

28 April 2020

The Department is in regular discussions with NHS England and NHS Improvement over the provision of services during this pandemic.

The Secretary of State has enabled Regulation 61 of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013. Regulation 61 allows NHS England and NHS Improvement to commission a dispensing doctor to provide pharmaceutical services to patients to whom the dispensing doctor is not otherwise entitled to provide pharmaceutical services during an emergency.

The prerequisite is the temporary closure of pharmacy premises which results, in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s opinion, in inadequate provision of pharmaceutical services in an area. There are currently few pharmacies closed across England and whether this extra provision is needed, in any particular area, is an operational decision for NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional teams.