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.

Read the SOP (Updated October 2020)


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.

Learn more about using the PPE portal

Emergency PPE Request Form – Community Pharmacy

Nosocomial infections System letter (June 2020)

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.

Social Distancing and Infection Control Risk Review Template for community pharmacies (v2 15th June 2020) (PDF)

Social Distancing and Infection Control Risk Review Template for community pharmacies (v2 15th June 2020) (Microsoft Word)

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

Financial Measures Available to Community Pharmacy during COVID-19

HMRC Helpline for deferral of payments

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

RPS COVID19 Ethical guide document WEB – April 2020


Medicines Returned by Patients

The GPhC website has coronavirus specific advice which can be accessed here:

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)

Public Health England (PHE) has updated the set of Coronavirus (COVID-19) posters for use in pharmacies. These include an updated poster to advise on maintaining a 2m distance from others, a poster that should be displayed so it is visible to people seeking to enter the premises, and a poster pharmacies can use if they are working behind closed doors for part of the day: COVID-19: Updated public information posters

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.

PSNC COVID – 19 Main Site

This contains all the latest PSNC news and information on COVID-19 including

PSNC Report medicine shortages or pricing issues

If COVID-19 is causing you a medicine shortage or price increase, please report to PSNC in the usual way as above.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure – Community Pharmacy v2 published 22 March 2020

This is the updated link to the standard operating procedures specifically for community pharmacy teams.

PHE campaign resources hub

Please use this link to the current poster you should be displaying at entry points to your pharmacy and COVID-19 banners to display

Useful Documents