Layer 1

English pharmacies can claim £1,500 for Easter bank holiday opening

NHS England: Pharmacies that are open on those days can claim the money on the MYS portal
NHS England: Pharmacies that are open on those days can claim the money on the MYS portal

English contractors will be able to claim £1,500 for the three hours they are required to open on both Good Friday and Easter Monday, NHS England has said.

The payment, which was agreed by NHS England and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), “will be £250 per hour, so £750 for the three hours that you’ve been directed to open on each day”, NHS England deputy director for pharmacy commissioning Jill Loader announced during a community pharmacy webinar yesterday (April 8).

“That does reflect some acknowledgement that it is a bank holiday and so that is the amount that we’ll be paying,” Ms Loader added.

NHS England had initially said last week (April 3) that the rate of payment – which comes in addition to the global sum – would not “reflect a bank or public holiday premium”.

Ms Loader said pharmacies that are open on those days will be able to claim the money on the manage your service (MYS) portal on the NHS Business Services Authority’s website, and added that more information on that will be shared “as soon as we can”.

“Later than we hoped”

PSNC CEO Simon Dukes said the discussions around the Easter opening hours “have concluded much later than we had hoped, and we know that this has caused considerable logistical challenges for contractors”.

“We are pleased to have reached agreement on a funding rate though and we look forward to resolving similar questions around the May bank holidays much earlier,” Mr Dukes added.

Pharmacy teams in England reacted with disappointment to the announcement last week (April 3) that pharmacies would be required to open over the bank holiday weekend despite the additional workload that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.

NHS England clarified earlier this week (April 7) that pharmacies can  seek an exemption from their regional NHS England team if they think there is no need to open on those days, for example if there is “minimal demand”.

Ms Loader said yesterday that specific “local situations” might mean that, in some cases, opening at the hours directed by NHS England “isn’t the right time to open”.

“If [a] GP practice [is] opening just in the morning, it would make sense that a pharmacy co-located or located very nearby would open at the same hours,” she said.

Pharmacies that have been directed to open at a different time – not between 2pm and 5pm – should claim the payment for opening at those different hours “using the local procedure in place for this direction unless it has been agreed with the regional team that the national announcement payment process applies”, PSNC wrote on a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page on its website.

What do you make of NHS England's announcement?

P M, Community pharmacist

risk vs reward pal

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Agree David. Would £50 an hour be a reasonable rate for a locum?
Clarification****. Following some of the comments, I simply meant for the 2 Bank holiday 3 hour shifts NOT long term !!!

David Kent, Community pharmacist

Angela I very much agree this to be a reasonable rate.  £50 ph for a 40hour week equates to £104k per annum.  Taking into account that the employer of a locum does not pay NI or holiday pay, nor is there any other benefits such as medical insurance or payments if off sick then this figure reduces to less than £100k per annum.  This is not unreasonable for the ability input into the practice of the profession and the responsibility undertaken.  


Mr Anon, Community pharmacist

I hope the £50/hr rate will reflect the quality of the locum at that price. Too many times have locums worked for a high rate and, according to the dispensers where I worked, have been lazy and keen to do the bare minimum. Refusing to do dosette boxes, sitting down most of the day. Coming in to work the next day to find work that should have been finished the day before having to be finished by myself. 

Pharm Druggist, Community pharmacist

I wish for all my pharmacist and pharmacy colleagues to be able to earn a nice living, so i'm all for this. However, I sincerely hope you don't believe that £50ph  is anywhere near realistic under the current funding model. Independant contractors earn nowhere near than quantum and if you think otherwise I'm afraid you are misinformed.

Ahmed Patel, Community pharmacist

I own a pharmacy and this may seem like a lot of money but we have one staff off self isolating and our deliveries have gone up 300% and prices for generics have gone up with some items we are dispensing at massive losses and we have had overtime for all staff during this period and no rest, so as a small independent pharmacy this payment is welcome but will not compensate the losses we have incurred. 

David Kent, Community pharmacist

You neglect to mention your added income from increased Rx voume.

Pharm Druggist, Community pharmacist

GPs prescribing 56-84 days treatment within the last 2 weeks is not a true increase in Rx volume. It is not added income, but a real-terms loss and at best, an advance. Why? Those patients will not need their meds again for that respective period of time. It has just shifted workload forwards - the single activity fees will be lost further down the road. 


Watto 59, Community pharmacist

Notwithstanding the loss of income from CPCS which has dried up from a trickle to a rare drip combined with virtual ceasing of MUR and NMS. 

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist


Any word from Rudkin ?! Tumbleweed......

interesting article about Wage theft from the PDA. Any pharmacist working for the usual pitiful rates should consult the PDA(if a member).




Axed Locum, Locum pharmacist

A whopper of a payment, plus all the extea profits from counter sales!, and the pharmacists, locums and staff get next to nothing!! a mere £22.00 p/h


Simon Dukes has done very well for the contractors


Watto 59, Community pharmacist

It is by no means a whopper when properly analysed  & Counter sales are nothing to do with the NHS contract

Axed Locum, Locum pharmacist

Utter nonsense, the counter sales have gone up exponentially, and at much higher prices, meaning higher profits!!

Also  there has been rates relief for majority of the retail stores!! An added bonus!!

Watto 59, Community pharmacist

It is obvious why you are an axed locum. Many small volume pharmacies already have full small business rate relief so no difference there. Also many pharmacies rely on 85 -95% NHS turnover.  If OTC turnover doubles for a month it certainly will not be  fourfold after 2 months.  NET profit (which is the only relevant figure) from extra OTC  does not amount to much extra at all and will only last until an inevitable slump a few weeks down the line. In any case OTC is extra to the abysmal NHS contract so does not(and should never) enter into remuneration issues. 

Independent Dave, Community pharmacist

Fair enough in terms of a lot of the larger Mulitples, but do not paint all contractors with the same brush please. We are not all the same.

Axed Locum, Locum pharmacist

C&D are not an authority on the matter, and they plead for the contractors, as does the NPA, RPS, and the PSNC.

Pharmacists have themselves and now the PDA to plead for them..A statement from the PDA would be welcome, in respect of a fair locum rate generally, and in such circumstances, where pharmacy contrators are awarded fees far in excess of the costs incurred.  Should they not pass on at least £100 p.h for three hours opening, leaving them with a very decent profit, for simply being a contractor!!

Watto 59, Community pharmacist

You cannot isolate 6 hours extra work from the rest of the month's issues and associated costs

Ronald Trump, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Back of a fag packet calculations would mean:

Boots get ~ £2million

Well get £0.5million

for opening up their english pharmacies to for two extra days

If they dont pass a good chunk of this money on to the staff on the ground risking their lives then that would be a digrace wouldnt it

Axed Locum, Locum pharmacist

£250.00 p/hr plus profir from CPCS fees ,counter sales, plus extras. Locums being paid a £22.00 p/h.

Lets have a comment from Mr Rudkin et al, on the exploitation of the pharmacists!!.

I bet he will remain silent.



David Kent, Community pharmacist

Rudkin is only interested in his own position with little or probably no thought of the pprofessionals he persecutes.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

On another service we are waiting to hear about

"""PSNC and NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have been in negotiations about a community pharmacy delivery service through the COVID-19 pandemic for a number of weeks.

We are pleased to announce tonight that we have reached agreement on the details of the service and that full guidance for contractors will be available tomorrow (April 9)."""

It is now 16:58, and almost the end of TODAY (April 9), yet we don't have any Guidance published. So much for speedy actions!!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Please note, this is not extra money even if it is not part of the Global Sum.


Because, we have lost MUR funds, NMS funds, Establishment payments and the ever increasing generic prices that are never reimubursed at the buying price, are few to mention.

Hence, this money would partly count as a relief for a month, if anything left after paying Double rates for Locum/ staff and other expenses incurred in keeping the Pharmacy open during the COVID-19 period.

PSNC -- we need more emergency funding PLEEEEEEESE

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

I'm surprised you're not advocating for the forced 2/3 daily murs face to face with no PPE.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Benie, I am not advocating anything. I am just saying, this money would have been earned through these services had there not been this crisis. So this is not new money!!

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

And precisely how much of that £1500 will filter down to those who actually do the work, literally putting their lives at risk in these bizarre times? Answers on a VERY small postcard to any multiple you care to mention.

David Kent, Community pharmacist

Interesting that more people think the posting above is bad.  This, in my not so humble, opinion shows the attitude of employers to thei locums without whom they could not operate.

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Midlands, Cheshire & Dorset
Salary dependent upon experience