NPA issues coronavirus business continuity guidance

11 Mar 2020

The National Pharmacy Association is pleased to make available to members new guidance to help pharmacies maintain business continuity, in the light of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): business continuity guidance will help pharmacies review their existing business continuity plans in the context of the spread of the virus.

It covers the four stages of Plan for it, Keep it out, Manage it and Recover.

  • ‘Plan for it’ covers how to identify essential roles and services and reduce risk to pharmacy employees, locums and patients, and methods to reduce the economic impact on the pharmacy business
  • ‘Keep it out’ covers how keep the infectious disease out of the pharmacy by controlling or eliminating clusters of the disease
  • ‘Manage it’ covers how to reduce the impact of infection within the pharmacy business
  • ‘Recover from it’ concerns the recovery of people and returning to normal service provision within the shortest possible timeframe

The guidance reminds members that pharmacies need to designate a business continuity lead – which may be the owner, the superintendent or another senior member of the team.

Meanwhile, NPA Insurance has confirmed that, unlike some insurers who are not covering financial losses stemming from COVID-19, if a policyholder with business interruption insurance receives an enforced instruction to close, NPAI cover will respond. In addition, if the circumstances apply, NPAI will arrange a deep clean to enable policy holders to open their premises and recommence as quickly as possible.  Your NPA indemnity insurance will cover you should circumstances brought about by coronavirus lead you to need to operate outside standard operating procedures – but please call NPAI first to check. You’ll need to record what you’ve done differently and why it was necessary to meet patient need.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): business continuity guidance is available to NPA members on the NPA’s coronavirus website hub:  https://www.npa.co.uk/coronavirus-updates/