The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that due to ongoing COVID-19 pressures across all sectors, the requirement to publish renewed Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs) will be suspended until October 2022 – an extra six months to add to the previous extension.
The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 will be updated to reflect this change in due course.
During the extension period the DDA advises members to contact their LMC to ensure that local rurality is correctly documented to protect practice dispensing rights.
PSNC has advised that before a renewed PNA is published, in most cases Local Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) retain the ability to issue supplementary statements to respond to changes in the availability of pharmaceutical services, where those changes are relevant to the granting of applications.
Updated guidance on PNAs will be published this summer, which should assist HWBs and LMCs with the process of renewing PNAs.