Supporting access to pharmacy and medicines out-of-hours

Safe and secure handling of medicines

Pharmacy services operate throughout the year, including evenings, weekends and bank holiday periods. There are a range of out-of-hours service providers and pharmacy has an important role, working in collaboration and liaising with the relevant NHS team, to ensure ongoing access to medicines and advice. Our support resources aim to help RPS members access the support they need, including out-of-hours. A list of our support resources are available on our website.

Our professional support service provides expert advice for members' professional enquiries. Members can access professional support resources via our website and this can be particularly helpful when the enquiry service is closed.

The Professional Support Service has highlighted our top 3 resources for answering professional enquiries, as these can provide essential support out-of-hours:

Medicines, Ethics and Practice is a professional guide for pharmacists. Information and guidance on legislation and matters affecting pharmacy practice, for example:

  • Home Office approved wording for instalment prescribing (a frequent enquiry to our service) 
  • Emergency supply of medicines 
  • Regulatory information such as GPhC standards and guidance (e.g, guidance for responsible pharmacists), and the MHRA statement providing guidance for pharmacists on wholesale dealing
  • Healthcare professionals (links for checking registration; what can they prescribe?)
  • Further reading includes British National Formulary and British National Formulary for Children, accessible along with other leading medicines references via MedicinesComplete.

RPS support alerts provide information about drug and device recalls, patient safety notices, health professional letters and other important communications concerning patient safety.

Seasonal influenza resources. Our winter web resource for pharmacists.

There are many additional resources and organisations, so we signpost to these from our support resources. We highlight here:

  • Looking for a pharmacy in England, Scotland or Wales? View information on finding a pharmacy.
  • Specialist Pharmacy Services provides useful medicines information for any healthcare setting (including out-of-hours), including UKMi National Medicines Information’s Q&As.

What we are working on. In 2017 we will launch our Ultimate guide for Pharmacists working in Urgent and Emergency Care, a resource for England, Scotland and Wales. Further news will be announced on our website.

Share this content