Following the prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement earlier this week regarding the rollback of Covid-19 restrictions in England from Thursday (February 24), the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have issued guidance for NHS service providers, including community pharmacy contractors.
The key points for community pharmacy are:
- For Covid positive pharmacy staff: Healthcare staff who have tested positive for Covid-19 should avoid attending work until they have had two negative LFD test results taken 24 hours apart.
- Testing for patients and staff: NHSE&I will share specific detail about various testing protocols for patients and staff in the coming weeks. Current testing protocols should continue in the meantime. Healthcare staff should continue to access the LFD tests via the GOV.UK online ordering system or through the Pharmacy Collect service.
- Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC): There are no immediate changes to IPC requirements, which includes wearing a face mask in healthcare settings.
Besides, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has asked NHSE&I to provide revised materials, such as posters, for use in pharmacies to highlight the ongoing requirement to wear face coverings in healthcare settings.