COVID-19 Coronavirus 2020
Updated COVID-19 SOP: volunteers liability clarified and opening hours flexibility removed
On the 11th August 2020 NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has issued an updated Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for community pharmacies in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first update since March, NHSE&I has removed the flexible opening provision that allowed pharmacies to close their doors to the public for up to 2.5 hours a day and clarified the indemnity/liability position of volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).
The updated SOP also includes information on high-risk patients – including shielding patients – detailing when and where a delivery service to shielded patients will be commissioned.
Other amendments bring the SOP in line with the latest information and guidance already available to contractors on, for example, staff risk assessments, social distancing and the use of PPE and face coverings, and cleaning and decontamination of the pharmacy.
The updated SOP is a key source of information and guidance for contractors and consolidates information and guidance already available, as well as providing new advice.
PPE portal: now live for Community Pharmacy
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that community pharmacies can now order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the online portal in an emergency.
The PPE portal had previously only been open to social care and general practice providers to order and receive critical coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE supplies. Community pharmacies are now being added to the system and contractors will receive an email invitation to their shared NHSmail inbox to register. The emails will be sent in a phased approach to manage the smooth registration of pharmacies by the portal’s logistics team.
For information on testing of staff see here
Risk Assessment Reviewed
All pharmacies have already put in place arrangements to support social distancing and to reduce the risk of spread of infections, but as the progress of the pandemic continues, it is clear that we will all need to maintain social distancing and COVID-19 related infection control processes for many months to come.
As the pandemic continues and we all get used to living and working in a “new normal” situation, people’s consciousness of the need to maintain social distances at all times may reduce and consequently new or additional measures at each pharmacy may need to be taken to ensure distancing is maintained on an ongoing basis.
PSNC has published a risk assessment template will help pharmacy teams to identify further potential changes which could be made to their pharmacy environment or procedures during the pandemic to increase the safety of staff and patients.
National Pharmacy Association
Financial support for your business
The NPA has produce some useful summaries and links that highlight the business support that is available to community pharmacies during Covid-19
Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) COVID-19 Ethical Guide Document
The RPS has published guidance on ethical, professional decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic. The document is intended for utilisation by all sectors of the profession and by staff in both strategic roles and those in roles closer to patients
- Devon LPC MDS briefing (November 2019)
- COVID-19-BC-guidance-MCA-patients-revised (1) (002)
- MCA – FAQs
Medicines Returned by Patients
The GPhC website has coronavirus specific advice which can be accessed here: https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/contact-us/coronavirus-latest-updates.
This includes a statement about the GPhC’s function during the pandemic, an ethical decision-making framework to support pharmacists and pharmacy teams and Q&A section.
Updated public information posters (June 17, 2020)
A zero tolerance poster for use in pharmacies can be found here.
As the information is constantly updating please see links below to PSNC for all information about COVID-19 and action plans for pharmacies.
This contains all the latest PSNC news and information on COVID-19 including
If COVID-19 is causing you a medicine shortage or price increase, please report to PSNC in the usual way as above.
This is the updated link to the standard operating procedures specifically for community pharmacy teams.
Please use this link to the current poster you should be displaying at entry points to your pharmacy and COVID-19 banners to display
- Latest Chief Pharmaceutical Officers Letter 19-03-2020 – latest update from NHSE (weekly)