Funded Deliveries and Emergency Supply Service

As part of the national response to COVID-19, HM Government is seeking to commission two further services from the community pharmacy sector:

Medicines Delivery Service

Community pharmacy contractors will have seen the news that HM Government and the NHS are to ask around 1.5million people who are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 infection to stay at home for a period of 12 weeks. This process is being described as shielding and people identified in the categories of patients that the Government would like to be shielded will receive a letter from the NHS in the next few days.

The following information is being provided to shielded patients in the letter from the NHS:

The government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will continue to cover the same length of time as usual. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:

1. Asking someone who can pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy, (this is the best option, if possible);

2. Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) or deliver it to you.

You may also need to arrange for collection or delivery of hospital specialist medication that is prescribed to you by your hospital care team.

PSNC is currently concluding discussions with NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) about a new national community pharmacy medicines delivery service to support this group of shielded patients.

We will issue full guidance to contractors as soon as we are able to and we anticipate the service will commence in the next few days.

Information that we can share about the service under negotiation are:

  • This will be a service commissioned nationally by NHSE&I, with associated changes to the Terms of Service for all pharmacies;
  • As noted in the letter to shielded patients, they will be asked in the first instance to have their medicines collected and delivered to them by friends, family or a volunteer, rather than being directed straight to the pharmacy provided delivery service;
  • Patients will be able to ask for support from volunteers, who are part of a national volunteer network which is being mobilised in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Contractors will also be able to request support from volunteers to undertake deliveries of prescriptions to any patient, not just those that are being shielded.

Further information and guidance will be published as soon as possible.

  • An NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Service: This would be a service for patients whose GP practice is closed, allowing them to continue receiving their medicines without a prescription. The service will be switched on locally as needed – this has already happened in some locations.

Waveney Pharmacies
With provisions being made nationally and locally for the increase and spread of the Coronavirus we just wanted to highlight the locally commissioned Funded Emergency Supply Service. If for any reason there is a disruption to the services from the GP practice it is important for pharmacies in Waveney to remember to use this service to limit the disruption to patients in obtaining prescription medicines.

For full details on the Local Funded Emergency Supply Service click here.