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THE government is reviewing its ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service, which provides Covid-19 lateral flow tests to patients through community pharmacies in England.

Majority of pharmacies in England took part in the service that was launched on March 29, 2021.

The service that was due to expire in June-end got extended until July 31.

Within its first three weeks of launch, 90 per cent of pharmacies registered with the service, enabling them to order boxes of lateral flow tests at no cost. The boxes were then supplied to patients free of charge, with pharmacies paid £1.50 per transaction of up to four boxes.

Currently, NHS Test and Trace, the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) to review ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service.

All parties have agreed to some changes that would be introduced later in the summer and are working on the practical details to introduce the changes, which will soon be communicated to community pharmacy contractors.

The review is intended to update specifications of the service based on experience of the rollout, user engagement and wider changes in government and NHS Test and Trace policy on Covid-19 testing.

The service will remain commissioned with old specifications until August 29, after which the changes will be introduced, the government said.

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