NHS England has urged commissioners to help ensure care home residents receive an unbroken supply of medicines after a company supplying pharmacy services to hundreds of homes across the UK abruptly closed down.

Bristol-based Pharmacy Plus wrote to its customers on 14 May warning them that the company would no longer provide their residents with drugs due to ‘supply issues’.

They have asked all the homes expecting medicine from the company, which will cease to provide any drugs from Monday 26 May, to find alternative pharmacy providers.

The company has withdrawn from all of its community pharmacy contracts in England, after going into administration on 19 May with the loss of 240 jobs.

NHS England’s director of commissioning, Linda Prosser, has written to all clinical commissioning groups, area teams and heads of primary care, asking them to inform local authorities, care home providers and GP practices about the issue “as a matter of urgency”.

An NHS England spokesman said: “All care homes expecting medicines supplied from Pharmacy Plus from Monday 26 May 2014 have been informed that they will need to seek an alternative pharmacy provider and their prescriptions have been returned to them.

“Clinical commissioning groups and NHS England area teams for affected care homes are aware of the situation and are ensuring that alternatives are put in place.”

In 2012, Pharmacy Plus reported an £450,000 loss on a turnover of £15,800,000.