Herefordshire & Worcestershire LPC

Pandemic Delivery Service

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NHS Links & Documents

NHS Guidance on Shielding

NHS Volunteer Responders

Pharmacy Letter (April)

Pharmacy Letter (June)

Service Specs (July Update)

NHSBSA Payment Information

PSNC Resources

Service Announcement

Pandemic Delivery Service Page

Digital Guide

Flowchart

SCR Shielded Patient Flag

Volunteer Referral Schemes

GoodSam App

Royal Voluntary Service

NHS Volunteer Responders Poster

Council Schemes

HW CCG Flow Chart

HW CCG Information

Herefordshire County Council

Worcestershire County Council

Patient Leaflet

HW Patient Leaflet

Legal Considerations

GPhC / RPS Joint Statement

NPA Policy on Volunteers

Training

Training for Delivery Drivers

RPS Volunteering Guidance

Other Useful Links

Pharmacy Magazine

July 2020 Update:

The national pandemic delivery service is ending on 31st July 2020. PSNC has published a patient leaflet to help community pharmacy teams communicate this change. You can download an editable copy HERE.  There’s a PDF copy as well where the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Volunteer service details are included.

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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.


Frequently Asked Questions and Additional Support


  • Which patients are eligible for this service?
  • How do I know if a patient falls into the ‘shielded’ category?
  • What does the delivery service entail?
  • What are the Terms of Service requirements?
  • What funding is available for the Terms of Service requirements?
  • How does the Pandemic Delivery Advanced Service work?
  • How much do pharmacies get paid for the Pandemic Delivery Advanced Service?
  • How can I help patients find volunteers?
  • What council schemes are available in Herefordshire?
  • What council schemes are available in Worcestershire?
  • When should I use volunteer delivery drivers?
  • What are the key considerations when using volunteers?
  • Will my NPA professional indemnity insurance cover volunteer delivery drivers?
  • What’s the GPhC/RPS stance on using volunteer delivery drivers?
  • More FAQs
Which patients are eligible for this service?

People falling into the extremely vulnerable (shielded) group – the eligible patients for the delivery service – are:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients;
  • People with specific cancers
    • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
    • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs;
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD;
  • People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell);
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection;
  • People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease; and
  • People who have been added to the list by their GP because of the very high risk (in line with the risk of those above) to them associated with COVID-19.

GPs have the ability to add or remove people to the list of extremely vulnerable patients as their clinical condition changes.

How do I know if a patient falls into the ‘shielded’ category?

NHS Digital and NHSE&I have worked to add a flag to the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) of these patients, so it can confirm that they are an eligible patient. This flag went live on 3rd April 2020. If a patient’s SCR is just being viewed to check for the presence of a shielded patient flag and it is not practical to seek the patient’s consent to view the record, the normal consent requirement does not need to be applied.

Find out more about the SCR shielded patient flag

What does the delivery service entail?

The Terms of Service for all pharmacy contractors, bar distance selling pharmacies (DSP), have been amended to require contractors to help shielded patients to receive their prescriptions, while they are self-isolating at home.

Additionally, an Advanced service, which contractors can provide if they wish to, is being commissioned by NHSE&I.

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.

What are the Terms of Service requirements?

Patients in the extremely vulnerable (shielded) group are being encouraged in the first instance to see if their medicines can be collected from the pharmacy and then delivered by family, friends or a carer (see section 2 for the wording in the letter patients have received from the NHS).

If the shielded patient cannot identify a family member, friend or carer to collect their prescription from the pharmacy, they have been advised to contact the pharmacy. The pharmacy must then:

  1. provide advice to the patient on how to identify a local volunteer to collect the prescription from the pharmacy on their behalf and then deliver it. This could be locally organised volunteer arrangements (e.g. organised by a local council) or volunteers from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme (see further details in sections 8 and 9); or
  2. where no volunteer is available, deliver the medicine as part of the Advanced service (see section 6); or
  3. where no volunteer is available, arrange for another pharmacy to deliver it on their behalf. The other pharmacy will be able to claim payment for the delivery under the Advanced service; or
  4. where no volunteer is available, arrange for the prescription to be dispensed and delivered by another pharmacy (by referring the patient to another pharmacy, including a distance selling pharmacy).

If a patient does not identify themselves as being shielded, but the prescription items make the pharmacy team think they are within that group of extremely vulnerable patients, e.g. the prescription is for an immunosuppressant drug, they should ask the patient if they have been asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks, via a letter from the NHS, their general practice or hospital consultant. If that is the case, and there is no family member, friend or carer that can collect and deliver the prescription, the above advice and support should be offered, where necessary.

What funding is available for the Terms of Service requirements?

Pharmacies (excluding Distance Selling Pharmacies, who are already contractually obliged to deliver dispensed items to their patients) will be paid an allowance to recognise the work involved in supporting the group of eligible patients with their deliveries. This payment will be made automatically by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

The payment is from additional funding being made available to respond to the pandemic, i.e. it is not part of the community pharmacy global sum.

The payment is aligned to the banding used for the Transition Payment, with pharmacies dispensing the average number of prescriptions each month receiving £500 per month.

Number of items per month from April 2020 Monthly payment from April 2020
0 – 100 £   –
101 – 2,500 £ 34
2,501 – 5,000 £ 396
5,001 – 12,500 £ 500
12,501 – 19,167 £ 542
19,168+ £ 563
How does the Pandemic Delivery Advanced Service work?

Where a contractor is able to make deliveries to patients in the extremely vulnerable (shielded) group, the Advanced service provides funding for each delivery of a prescription that a contractor makes under options b or c above.

Contractors can also outsource the deliveries via a secure delivery method, e.g. using a courier company, if they wish.

As Distance Selling Pharmacies are already contractually obliged to deliver dispensed items to their patients, this Advanced service is not open to them to provide.

The service commenced on 9th April 2020 and contractors can claim payments for deliveries to eligible patients from that date. The service will remain in place until the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided; in the first instance, it will run until 1st July 2020, but this will be kept under review as we are able to see how the pandemic progresses.

The service specification includes details on the eligible patient group (see also section 2) and sets out the requirements the contractor must comply with, including keeping records of the eligible patients to whom a delivery was made under this service and the date of the delivery.

How much do pharmacies get paid for the Pandemic Delivery Advanced Service?

Contractors will be able to claim, via the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal, a payment of £5 per delivery, plus an allowance for VAT, as part of the normal end of month process. The NHSBSA will provide further details to contractors on how to make the claim via MYS before the end of April 2020.

This payment is from additional funding being made available to respond to the pandemic, i.e. it is not part of the community pharmacy global sum.

How can I help patients find volunteers?

Where a shielded patient asks for help finding a volunteer to deliver their prescription, pharmacy teams must assist them under the new Terms of Service requirement.

Pharmacy teams may be able to refer the shielded patient to local volunteer schemes, many of which are being organised by or with the help of local councils and voluntary organisations. Your Local Pharmaceutical Committee may be able to provide you contact details for such local schemes.

Shielded patients who do not have friends, family or a support network in their community who can help them to get food and to deliver prescriptions can also register to receive support by completing a form at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or by calling the Government’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0288327.

Pharmacy teams are also able to request support for shielded patients and other isolated, vulnerable people, by submitting a request for support from the RVS/NHS Volunteer Responders via:

What council schemes are available in Herefordshire?

Herefordshire County Council Talk Community Service

Herefordshire County Council has recruited volunteers to support the shielded and vulnerable patients across the county. All of these individuals are known and trusted volunteers and many are DBS checked.

Individuals can make a request for help via the Talk Community form through the link below:

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/xfp/form/243

The phone number for patients, pharmacists or GPs to get support is: 01432 260027

What council schemes are available in Worcestershire?

Worcestershire County Council “Here to Help” service

The County Council has made its fleet available to support delivery across the county. All drivers are DBS checked.

Patients can make a request for help via the Here 2 Help Website.

www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help – patients should click the “I need help” tab in the middle of the page and complete the form. They will receive a response within 48 hours

Patients, pharmacists or GPs can also use the phone line, which is open from 08.00 to 20.00, seven days a week: 01905 768053

When should I use volunteer delivery drivers?

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 next question for suggested considerations regarding due diligence.

What are the key considerations when using volunteers?

Please ensure that you have conducted due diligence if you are going to use volunteers. Multiples should always consult their head office first.

The key considerations when using volunteers are (please note this list is not exhaustive):

1. Make sure volunteers are DBS checked
2. Confidentiality
3. Training
There is a training course available for delivery drivers which covers storage of medicines in transit, vehicle security, safe delivery and dealing with undelivered medicines) You can access this training free of charge through Buttercups.
4. Standard Operating Procedures
5. Insurance
6. Suitability of medicines to be delivered (a conversation with the responsible pharmacist will identify which medicines can be delivered by volunteers.)

Please note that you still must conduct your own due diligence for local organisations even if the organisation says that they are DBS checked.

Will my NPA professional indemnity insurance cover volunteer delivery drivers?

NPAI’s professional indemnity insurance will cover certain volunteers to deliver all classes of medicines and devices at the discretion of the responsible or superintendent pharmacist,
subject to the following conditions;

1. Volunteers must read and sign the pharmacy’s delivery SOP
2. Volunteers must provide a valid DBS certificate

If the above gate is passed:
3. Volunteers who are known to the patient only will be covered
4. Volunteers who are known to the pharmacy only will be covered
5. Volunteers who are known to the pharmacy and patient will be covered
6. Volunteers who are not known to either patient or the pharmacy, e.g. those that are
referred via an app or volunteer service, will only be covered if the responsible
pharmacist or superintendent pharmacist have fully satisfied themselves that the
volunteer is of good character. If they are not satisfied, the volunteer will not be
covered and we will look to rely on the indemnity provided by the Coronavirus Act
2020, in the event of a situation which gives rise to a claim.

https://www.npa.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/NPA-Interim-Policy-re-Volunteers.pdf

What’s the GPhC/RPS stance on using volunteer delivery drivers?

The RPS and GPhC would like to reassure pharmacy teams and pharmacy owners that we support the use of NHS volunteers as an option to get medicines to extremely vulnerable people when it’s not possible to use patient’s own representatives or pharmacy delivery services.  Pharmacy professionals acting in accordance with the standards and using NHS Volunteer Responders in good faith in line with the service specifications of the Pandemic Delivery Service will not be regarded as responsible for actions of other people outside of their control.

https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/news/joint-statement-rps-and-gphc-use-nhs-volunteers-deliver-medicines-england

More FAQs

Please see the relevant section for further FAQs on the following page:

https://psnc.org.uk/the-healthcare-landscape/covid19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions/


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