The NHS Covid-19 lateral flow device distribution service has been added to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) from Monday (March 29), the PSNC has said in an update.
This service, which pharmacy contractors can choose to provide, aims to improve access to asymptomatic Covid-19 testing by making lateral flow device (LFD) test kits readily available in community pharmacies.
The service is part of the NHS Test and Trace offering to the public and people will self-administer the tests away from the pharmacy, for example, at home.
“NHS Test and Trace research into routine mass testing shows participants prefer to access testing in the community, pharmacists are trusted by their local communities and unfamiliar new points of access are less well trusted; these findings have led to a government decision to commission a distribution service from community pharmacies,” the Pharmacy Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said in its update.
In NHS Test and Trace marketing and communications aimed at the public. The service will be referred to as Pharmacy Collect and it will allow asymptomatic people to collect LFD test kits, free of charge, from community pharmacies, so they can undertake regular testing as part of the government’s Covid-19 roadmap plan.
Pharmacy is not involved in the generation of test results, supporting the reporting of results or the next steps for the person taking the test.
Commenting on the new service, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC said: “This new service is designed to be easy for contractors to implement and provide, with the day-to-day transactions being managed by the pharmacy’s counter team. PSNC and the Government hope that the majority of pharmacies in England will eventually sign up to provide the service, ensuring easy access to LFD test kits for the population.
“PSNC wanted contractors to have better advance notice of the service, but that has not been possible for Government to achieve. Contractors wishing to provide the service, can do so once they have had time to undertake the necessary preparations.
“PSNC believes this service will be another demonstration of how community pharmacy has constantly stepped forward to support patients, the public and the nation during the pandemic.
“Distributing test kits is a great way for the accessibility of community pharmacies and the relationships their teams have with the local community to be used to help the nation’s Covid-19 recovery effort, including supporting less well served groups of the population.”