Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak
Publication approval reference: 001559 / C1023
- Community pharmacies
- Dispensing GP practices
5 January 2021
The government has published details of a national lockdown advising people across the country to stay at home. There is additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to coronavirus. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time spent outside the home. They are strongly advised not to go to a pharmacy, or to collect medicines from a dispensing doctor, because the risk of exposure to the virus is significantly higher at this time. In the first instance, CEV people should ask if any friends, family or volunteers can collect medicines on their behalf.
If friends and family are not able to collect medicines for CEV people, and it is not possible to arrange a volunteer, then CEV patients will be eligible for free medicines delivery.
Following the Government’s announcement of the national lockdown, the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service and the Dispensing Doctor Home Delivery Service will be commissioned from 5 January 2021 to 21 February 2021 (inclusive) for all CEV patients living in England.
This announcement supersedes the announcements made on the 21, 26 and 31 December 2020 for the Medicines Delivery Service for the Tier 4 areas as identified in the accompanying lists of post codes.
Consequently, both pharmacies and dispensing doctors across England will be required to ensure those on the Shielded Patient List across the country can receive their prescription medicines and appliances until the date specified above.
It remains the case that where possible a friend, relative, carer or volunteer should be asked to collect medicines. The NHS Volunteer Responders Programme remains active and all previously shielding and/or otherwise vulnerable patients can access this support by calling 0808 196 3646. Please pass this number on to your patients who could benefit from this support. Further details on the NHS Volunteer Responders Programme can be found here.
Guidance on the community pharmacy essential service element, the pharmacy advanced service specification, and the service specification for the Dispensing Doctor Home Delivery Service can be found here.
All community pharmacies and dispensing doctors in England will receive the essential/mandatory service payments.
Any pharmacy or dispensing doctor making a delivery to a patient in line with the service specification for the advanced service for community pharmacy or the service specification for the Dispensing Doctor Home Delivery Service respectively – can claim a fee for delivery during the period for which the service is commissioned.
Only patients on the government’s shielded list are eligible for this service. Appropriate checks should be made on the Summary Care Record to ensure that the patient is eligible for this service. Pharmacies and dispensing doctors should familiarise themselves with the details of the service before making a claim. Evidence of delivery to shielding patients should be retained for post-payment verification purposes.
Community pharmacy contractors can claim payment for delivery of medicines to CEV patients under the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service on the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal.
Contractors must submit their claims for payment via the MYS platform by the fifth of the month after the service was provided. Claims for this service will not be accepted after the fifth of the following month. Payment for the essential service will be made automatically.
Dispensing doctors can claim payment for delivery of medicines under the Pandemic Delivery Service using this form. Contractors must submit their claims for payment by the fifth of the following month. Claims for this service will not be accepted after the fifth of the month after the service was provided. Payment for the mandatory element of the Pandemic Delivery Service will be made automatically.
Ali Sparke | Interim Director of Primary Care COVID response | NHS England and NHS Improvement