PSNC updates Test and Trace advice

PSNC has updated its guidance on NHS Test and Trace based on recent discussions between NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and Public Health England (PHE).These discussions have indicated that contractors should, in particular:

  • Ensure the PHE Local Health Protection Team consider community pharmacy contact tracing cases. If the local team don’t make the initial contact with the pharmacy, contractors should escalate cases to the team, or call the team direct. This may not be necessary if a contractor is satisfied with the decision without full assessment.
  • Ask pharmacy staff NOT to give their colleagues’ names to NHS Test and Trace if they test positive for coronavirus, but to provide the contact details of the pharmacy. This is because any names given will be entered automatically into NHS Test and Trace systems with no assessment of whether they are close contacts – this is difficult for the local health protection team to ‘overturn’ if its assessment finds that pharmacy colleagues are not close contacts of the individual.
  • Continue to take all appropriate steps to make the pharmacy COVID-secure, so far as practicable, including social distancing, the proper use (donning and doffing) of appropriate PPE, but recognise that if one staff member tests positive, sometimes other staff may still be close contacts and asked to self-isolate depending on the PHE Local Health Protection Team assessment.

View PSNC’s updated briefing in full here

PSNC is awaiting a response to its letter to the Minister reported last week on the issues some community pharmacies are experiencing with NHS Test and Trace and will update contractors in due course.