Failure to Open Notifications and Emergency Closures

ICB update July 2024:

With immediate effect, pharmacies are to follow the process below when notifying the ICB of any Failure to Open/Temporary Closure of a pharmacy (this replaces the notification process using PharmOutcomes and the PO platform will be closed).

Submitting a FTO notification:

To submit the notification, you will need to complete the form found here: *Please bookmark this link in your browser for future use*. HNY ICB require the submission of a Failure to Open (FTO) notice for each closure.

You must also follow steps 1-5 below to ensure your Terms of Service requirements are met and that the pharmacy is reporting in line with the regulations, this will ensure patients are aware and that affected services can put mitigations in place to minimise the impact on themselves.

These steps are:

  1. Updating both the DOS profile and NHS website to show the availability of services during the closure period.  This can be done via the new profile manager.  Please see email shared with colleagues about the new profile manager and how to access it alongside a power point presentation providing more detail of its functionality. Profile Manager emailProfile Manager Powerpoint v1.0.
  2. Ensure local Pharmacies/GP Practices/OOH (if applicable) are informed of the closure.  We appreciate that closures may be last minute, but it is vital that this happens as those closest to you will be most affected by the closure.  If they are aware they can let patients and anyone else who will be affected know.
  3. Ensure patients are signposted to the nearest pharmacy that is open and to display a notice clearly to the public to explain how long the pharmacy is expected to be non-operational.  Again, we appreciate that closures may be last minute, but it is really important that this happens as they will be affected by the closure, and it is helpful for them to know (if possible) when the pharmacy will be open again.
  4. Informing any patients on daily pick-ups on when they can come to collect their medication.  If patients are able to collect their medications prior to the closure that would minimise the impact on them, if possible, for example if you know you are going to close in the afternoon or the next day.  Liaise with specialist prescribers if needed to arrange alternate ways of working for key user groups.
  5. Ensuring any scripts are returned to the spine and, if possible, a member of staff is available to answer phone calls coming into the pharmacy, monitor the NHS mail inbox for urgent action emails and to direct patients accordingly.  We appreciate that due to the closure staff may have to be deployed elsewhere but if prescriptions not dispensed could be returned to the spine it really helps the GP practices as they can then send them to a different pharmacy to be dispensed whilst the patient’s nominated pharmacy is closed.

Please update your SOPs accordingly.

For any other enquiries please email the ICB at:

Other help and resources for managing a temporary pharmacy closure:

Please visit CPE for more information, help, and resources for managing a temporary closure. Resources include, briefings, closure checklists, and posters.

Visit CPE