Lateral flow tests
FILE PHOTO: Health workers and volunteers handle lateral flow test samples and record results as students take coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests at Harris Academy Beckenham, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

With a potential increase in social events during the festive season and the government’s updated recommendation in the wake of new Covid-19 variant Omicron, pharmacy contractors are expected to face robust demand for Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits.

To meet the increased demand, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has advised contractors to review stock levels and place additional orders to ensure supply over the next few months.

In most cases, contractors have been receiving their orders for test kits within 24 hours, but the service level agreement (SLA) associated with delivery of test kits from Alliance Healthcare can take up to three working days for deliveries.

Being a busy period due to Christmas and New Year, pharmacy teams and Alliance Healthcare are expected to experience increased demand for medicines and other products, PSNC said.

As part of contingency planning, the UK Health Security Agency will use Parcel Force to support any increase in deliveries that cannot be supported by Alliance Healthcare.

Pharmacy teams can order one carton of test kits each between Monday and Saturday.

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