Retention of Pharmacy Records

Tim Root, Assistant Head, Medicines Assurance, NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service, Specialist Pharmacy ServiceSource NHS Specialist Pharmacy ServiceLast updated See all updates


The 2020 version of the retention of pharmacy records document is now available.


This document, based on one first generated at the request of the East of England Senior Pharmacy Managers Network, is a collation of information on legal requirements and national guidance about retention of pharmacy records.

It is intended as a comprehensive but concise first point of reference for pharmacy professionals and as an aid to local decision making. In some circumstances more than one piece of legislation is relevant to a specific record or situation and requirements may appear to conflict with one another. Where no relevant legal requirement or national guidance has been identified, a ‘best practice’ recommendation may be given. If you are in any doubt as to the interpretation of any of the requirements or recommendations in this document, consult the original document from which it was obtained. Organisations may also have their own local policy, recommendations or requirements.

Two key issues will be addressed in a future update.

  • The definition of the “Patient Medical Record” is unclear and the requirements for storage of records of consultations carried out under the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service remain to be clarified.
  • At the time of publication, NHSX is also consulting on the draft of the Records Management Code of Practice 2020.


Change history

  1. Addition of info about records of medicines & vaccine adminstered under PSD, PGD, National Protocol