COVID-19 Temporary Register to Close in March 2024
The Covid-19 Temporary Register, opened in April 2020 under the Coronavirus Act 2020. This enabled the Pharmaceutical Society NI to temporarily register persons, in good standing, who had withdrawn from the register within the last three years. The purpose of the COVID-19 Temporary Register was to provide the maximum support possible to the pharmacy workforce and the health and social care system in unprecedented circumstances.
On 3 April 2020 during the initial phase, the Pharmaceutical Society NI placed 265 pharmacists on the Covid-19 Temporary Register, providing individuals with the option of removing themselves should they wish. In August 2023, 245 pharmacists remain on the temporary register.
The Department of Health and Social Care in Great Britain and the Department of Health NI has advised health profession regulators that the circumstances to justify the continuation of all Covid-19 healthcare Temporary Registers will no longer apply after the coming winter. Accordingly, we have been asked by the Department of Health NI to commence a six-month period of notice of the intention to close our Covid-19 Temporary Register by 31 March 2024. This will allow registrants who are practising on the basis of emergency registration, a grace period of six months in which to take up full registration if they wish to do so.
Pharmacists who remain on the Covid-19 Temporary Register and do not apply to join the Register, will not be able to practice in Northern Ireland after the 31 March 2024 at which time the temporary registration will be closed automatically.
Commenting on the announcement Michaela McAleer, the Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Society NI stated:
“I want to take this opportunity to thank pharmacists on the Covid-19 Temporary Register who supported our pharmacy services and provided vital health care to the public during such unprecedented circumstances.
“I would encourage all pharmacists on the Covid-19 Temporary Register to apply for full registration with the Pharmaceutical Society NI to enable them to continue to provide this vital care and support to our community.”
The registration page can be accessed here.
29 September 2023
Before engaging a Pharmacist on the Covid-19 Temporary Register employers should satisfy themselves of their: identity, health, character, competence and skills.
To view the Temporary Pharmacist Register please click here: TEMPORARY REGISTER UPLOAD 04.08.2023
At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the UK Government introduced emergency legislation which allowed Pharmacists in Northern Ireland to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic by joining our Covid-19 Temporary Register. Following a request from the Minister for Health in Northern Ireland, we stopped accepting new applicants onto the Covid-19 Temporary Register in March 2022.
Since then, we have been working with the Department of Health to prepare for the Covid-19 Temporary Register to close this month, by encouraging people to join the permanent register. However, on Thursday 22 September, the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in England made a statement setting out plans to keep equivalent temporary registers open in England for a further two years. The Minister for Health in Northern Ireland made a similar decision for the Temporary Register for pharmacists in Northern Ireland on 30 September 2022. This means the Covid-19 Temporary Register will be open beyond 30 September 2022.
Pharmacists who remain on the Covid-19 Temporary Register will be able to practice in Northern Ireland following this extension.
Pharmacists who wish to be removed from the Covid -19 Temporary Register should contact the Registration Department of the Pharmaceutical Society NI.
We are now considering carefully how we will keep the Covid-19 Temporary Register open safely for the next two years and will provide updates accordingly.