How to access Pharmacy and Prescriptions out of hours.

November 17, 2023

During engagement with people and communities, we have heard that it can be a struggle to know how to access pharmacies and prescriptions outside of usual business hours, including during weekends and on bank holidays.

We have drawn together some information to help you find a pharmacy near you, including those open outside of 9am to 5pm.


‘Find a Pharmacy’ tool

If your local pharmacy is closed, if you have a prescription you can get your medicine from any pharmacy as long as they have it in stock.

The NHS website includes a ‘Find a Pharmacy’ tool.

Users of the tool can input their postcodes and the website will list pharmacies by distance.

Pharmacies can be filtered to only show those that are currently open at the time of the search, which can be useful in finding pharmacies that are open ‘out-of-hours’. Some are open until midnight or later, even on public holidays.


If you do not have a prescription

If you run out of prescription medicine and do not have a prescription with you, you may be able to get an emergency supply from a pharmacy without a prescription.

If your medicine is prescribed as a repeat prescription, take an old prescription or the medicine’s packaging with you, if you have it.

If your medicine is not prescribed as a repeat prescription, call NHS 111 to discuss your options.


NHS 111

If you urgently require a supply of a regular medicine, then you can ring NHS 111, who may be able to help you find an out-of-hours pharmacy, offer support, or connect you with another NHS service.

These services might require you to go through a consultation before you are given any medication.

Please note that NHS 111 may only refer a patient to a pharmacy for an urgent supply of a regular medicine, but not certain controlled drugs.


Repeat Prescriptions

If you take medicine regularly, one way to ensure that you have an adequate supply of medicine, especially before weekends and bank holidays, is to set-up a repeat prescription. This will help ensure the medicine(s) you require are available and can be accessed when required.   

There are several ways to do this. For more information, please see our article on ‘Ordering Repeat Prescriptions’.

Additional information on accessing medication out-of-hours is available on the NHS website.


Your experience of Pharmacy or NHS 111 

If you have used a Pharmacy or NHS 111 then share your experience on our Feedback Centre and tell us how things were for you. You can also see what other people’s experiences have been.

You can also share your experience or seek further support from our Information & Signposting service via:


Telephone: 0333 101 4007 Monday – Friday (10am-2pm)

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