In order to ensure that extremely vulnerable (shielded) patients can continue to receive their medicines safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, changes have been made to the pharmacy Terms of Service and a new Advanced Service was launched by NHSE&I on April 9th, 2020.
The amended Terms of Service require all pharmacy contractors (except distance selling pharmacies) to help shielded patients receive their prescriptions.
In addition, a new advanced service, the Pandemic Delivery Service, was launched, which offers funding for any deliveries that contractors make to shielded patients.
The combined Terms of Service requirements and the Advanced service only apply to the shielded group of patients during the pandemic. The service is not to be used for any other patients.
Using volunteer drivers to deliver prescriptions
Please note if you work for a company, check with your head office your company’s position on using volunteers before using them.
Please remember the first option is to ask the patient if they have someone who can collect for them.
Pharmacies should consider using volunteers to deliver medicines to patients as this will reduce the amount of contact the pharmacy team is having with patients e.g. one volunteer delivering to 10 patients means you are only seeing one person instead of ten thus reducing the risk of infection. This should also help reduce phone calls asking about deliveries.
Please ensure that you have conducted due diligence if you are going to use volunteers. See FAQs below for suggested considerations and list of local schemes available.