The Pandemic Delivery Service will continue to apply through the month of August in some local outbreak areas across England, the NHS said today.

The secretary of state for health made the decision due to the emergence of a recent spate of local outbreaks in various areas across England.

A letter today (Jul 31) from Dr Jill Loader, deputy director, Pharmacy Commissioning, said that the service is being commissioned from August 1 to 31 for shielded patients who live in local outbreak areas such as Leicester, Blackburn with Darwen and Luton. The letter has details of postcodes of specific areas.

Community pharmacies have been asked to ensure shielded patients in these areas can receive their prescription medicines and appliances until 31st August 2020.

The service is initially being commissioned for one month. Further announcements may be made depending on Government advice and decisions, the letter added.

Although the requirements apply to all contractors in England, they only relate to shielded patients living in the three local outbreak areas. Therefore, it is very unlikely that contractors, other than those located in and close to the three areas, will need to provide support with delivery of prescriptions to those shielded patients.

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committe has agreed that contractors located in the three local outbreak areas will continue to receive the ‘essential service’ payment in August 2020, but the payment will cease, as previously planned, for all other contractors.

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