NHS Pharmacy Regulations Guidance 2023

The NHS (pharmaceutical and local pharmaceutical services) regulations 2013 (the 2013 regulations) set the legal framework for the commissioning of pharmaceutical services in England by (integrated care boards (ICBs)). In particular they set out:

  • the requirements for the publication of pharmaceutical needs assessments by health and wellbeing boards,
  • the maintenance of lists of contractors who provide pharmaceutical services or local pharmaceutical services (LPS) namely pharmacies, dispensing appliance contractors and dispensing doctors,
  • how applications for inclusion in pharmaceutical lists, maintained by ICBs and published by NHS England, are made and determined,
  • specific matters relating to the provision of services in rural areas,
  • the terms of service for those contractors who provide pharmaceutical services, and
  • other miscellaneous provisions.

The 2013 regulations have been amended several times since they came into force on 1 April 2013, and this document provides information on the latest set of amendments contained within The NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 (the 2023 regulations).

The 2023 regulations amend a number of provisions within the 2013 regulations and for the most part these amendments came into force on 25 May 2023. The one exception to this date is the amendments made to the terms of service relating to the temporary suspension in the provision of pharmaceutical services by pharmacy contractors (paragraph 23(10), Schedule 4 of the 2013 regulations) and the requirement for contractors to have a business continuity plan for each of their pharmacy premises (paragraph 29D, Schedule 4 of the 2013 regulations). Those requirements came into force on 31 July 2023.

Full details of the regulatory changes and the dates from which they come into force can be found in the guidance: NHS England » Guidance on the NHS (pharmaceutical and local pharmaceutical services) (amendment) regulations 2023.