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Pharmacies in England not required to open on May bank holiday


By Isabel Shaw

20 May 2020

Pharmacies in England will not be asked to open on the upcoming Bank Holiday (25 May), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has announced.

Instead, contractors are encouraged to work closely with local providers to ensure the local public have ‘adequate access to pharmaceutical services’ on the bank holiday.

However, NHSE&I may ask some pharmacies to open if this is deemed appropriate.

In the announcement made yesterday, NHSE&I also thanked pharmacy teams for opening and working on the previous two bank holidays to provide a health service to patients and the wider public during the pandemic.

PSNC Director of Operations and Support, Gordon Hockey, welcomed the announcement, but noted his ‘disappointment’ with the length of notice given.

‘PSNC has been clear from the outset that the local arrangements in place for bank holidays during the pandemic would have been sufficient to meet patient needs.

‘Whilst we are pleased that NHSE&I has now recognised there is no need for them to impose bank holiday opening on pharmacies, we are disappointed that the announcement has been made with less than a week to go.’

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