Further opportunity for community pharmacy to contribute to the COVID-19 vaccination programme – extended in specific areas



Publication approval reference: C1241

To: Community Pharmacy Contractors and Local Pharmaceutical Committees

CC: ICS Leaders, Directors of Public Health and Primary Care, Pharmacy Contract Managers

12 April 2021

Dear Community Pharmacy Contractors and Local Pharmaceutical Committees

The COVID-19 vaccination service will soon be moving into a new phase. We are planning for different preferences and needs as pandemic restrictions are lifted and venues resume their previous uses, and for continuing access where current PCN sites have chosen to opt out of extending their COVID-19 enhanced service to focus on a return to business-as-usual primary care activities.

The last call for expressions of interest from community pharmacies in February 2021 identified contractors that could meet identified population need and those that could vaccinate 400 patients per week or more. As we enter the next phase of the vaccination programme we have once again assessed where we think we may need more provision from local vaccination services, including some areas where we did not receive suitable expressions of interest in February. We are therefore extending the February designation process in very specific areas of the country.

The list of priority locations is published at https://cv19pharmacyeoi.necsu.nhs.uk/. We will only be accepting expressions of interest for these locations. While we’ve taken care to include only areas where there is a realistic opportunity to use a pharmacy-led site, inclusion does not guarantee that a pharmacy-led site will be set up in that area. We are working on a mixed model of COVID-19 vaccination provision and services may be commissioned from a pharmacy contractor or other new or existing provider.

Should any additional priority locations be identified, or extensions to deadlines become necessary, these will be communicated through the relevant Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) and published on the website at https://cv19pharmacyeoi.necsu.nhs.uk/.

We have prepared some frequently asked questions to support your expression of interest.

Additional questions can be directed to england.pccovidvaccine@nhs.net

Next steps

  1. If you wish to apply to provide the COVID-19 vaccination Local Enhanced Service (LES) then you should complete the designation form at https://cv19pharmacyeoi.necsu.nhs.uk/ and submit this to your NHS England and NHS Improvement regional team by midnight Sunday 18 April 2021. You should only do this if you are confident you can meet the requirements of the service as set out in the LES.
  2. NHS England and NHS Improvement will undertake a designation and assessment process to provide a priority list which will be used to make commissioning decisions. Regional teams will consult LPCs on proposed commissioning arrangements. You will receive confirmation of receipt but will not be contacted further unless the NHS England and NHS Improvement regional team want to discuss your proposal further. Contractors whose regions are interested in commissioning an LVS from their site(s) will be informed of the outcome as commissioning decisions are made during April and May.
  3. We expect that the first sites identified as part of this process will start operating their pharmacy-led Local Vaccination Service during May 2021 or as vaccine supply and system-need permits.

We offer our sincerest thanks in anticipation of your support.

Yours sincerely

Dr Emily Lawson | NHS Chief Commercial Officer and SRO Vaccine Deployment

Ed Waller | Director of Primary Care

Dr Keith Ridge CBE | Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England