The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) on Friday (April 10) announced the details of the “extra funding” it has secured for community pharmacy pandemic delivery service.

PSNC had announced last week that it had reached an agreement with the NHS to help “shielded” patients receive their medicines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Community pharmacies in England are now contractually obliged to ensure that “a specific group of extremely vulnerable patients who are self-isolating at home, currently for 12 weeks” get their prescriptions delivered.

Contractors will be paid a monthly allowance aligned to the banding used for the Transition Payment, with a pharmacy dispensing the average number of prescriptions each month receiving £500 a month.

As part of what is now called an ‘advanced service,’ pharmacies will also be able to claim an additional sum of £5 per delivering + VAT, if a volunteer to deliver the medication cannot be found.

PSNC clarifies that these payments are not from the global sum of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework and will come “from additional funding being made available to response to the pandemic.”

The negotiator advises contractors to refer to the full “terms of service” set out here in its guidance on delivering prescriptions during the pandemic and on the use of volunteers.

Stating that PSNC still had “some concerns around the use of non-DBS checked volunteers,” Chief Executive Simon Dukes said: “These new arrangements, supported by the Prime Minister several weeks ago, will help to ensure that the most vulnerable patients in England can continue to receive the medicines they need, safely.

“We are pleased that the logistics involved for pharmacies in this have been recognised and that this service is supported by extra funding for the sector.”

Pharmacies are of course allowed to continue with any existing delivery services they may have in place, including charging for patients outside of the shielded group, but our advice is that these should be prioritised to those who need them most during this pandemic,” he added.

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