Pharmacy delivery service to protect patients to restart in England

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Relaunch of pandemic delivery service means pharmacies will need to ensure people on the protected patient list receive medication at home

Pandemic delivery service will restart in England following updated advice from the government that people ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ should not visit a pharmacy.

The announcement was made in a letter signed by Keith Ridge, Director of Pharmaceuticals for England, and Ed Waller, Director of Primary Care, who expressed their “continued appreciation” to the community pharmacy teams and said that due of sustained community transmission of COVID-19, the delivery service would restart.

NHS England initially ordered the pandemic delivery service from April 9 to July 1, 2020; the plan was then extended until July 31, 2020.

This new service will run for four weeks, from November 5, 2020 to December 3, 2020.

In the letter, Ridge and Waller reiterated that the relaunch meant that all pharmacies and dispensing physicians in England would again be required to ensure that people on the protected patient list receive their medication at home.

The updated Guidance on the Protection and Protection of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People from COVID-19, released on November 4, 2020, identifies two new groups to be added to the list of protected patients: adults with chronic kidney disease. stage five and adults with Down syndrome. The need for children and young people to remain on the list will also be considered taking into account individual circumstances.

He added that: “People who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be advised by the government not to go to a pharmacy.”

The letter also reminded pharmacy teams of the update to the standard operating procedure for community pharmacy, released on October 26, 2020, which details that if a pharmacy needs to temporarily close or change opening hours from 9 November 2020 it is mandatory to update the NHS 111. NHS website directory of services and profiles to reflect this.

He also pointed out that from November 1, 2020, the need for patients to sign off on prescriptions was temporarily suspended until March 31, 2021.

The new protection measures will apply nationwide for four weeks until December 2, 2020. The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has said it will seek to return to a regional approach thereafter and that he would publish new guidelines at the time.

“Community pharmacy teams continue to face the challenge of supporting the most vulnerable patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alastair Buxton, director of NHS services on the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.

“This is a vital role, but one that also puts a strain on their limited resources, so we are delighted that with the restoration of the delivery service in the event of a pandemic, additional funding will be provided to support entrepreneurs in the event of a pandemic. this work. “


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