Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak
Publication approval reference: C1198
- Community pharmacies
- Dispensing GP practices
29 September 2021
Thank you for your continued work to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help provide support to people who have been notified of the need to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service and the Dispensing Doctor Home Delivery Service will be commissioned from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 (inclusive) for anyone living in England who has been notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate. Upon receiving contact from NHS Test and Trace, the individual is provided with a unique NHS Test and Trace Account ID, which is an 8-character mix of letters and numbers.
This service is only available to people during their 10-day self-isolation period and who have provided their NHS Test and Trace Account ID when requesting the service. See Appendix 1.
Pharmacies and dispensing doctors across England will be required to ensure those people who have been notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate can receive their prescription medicines and appliances by home delivery during the ten-day self- isolation period, if they are unable to arrange for medicines to be picked up. See Appendix 2.
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; self-isolating 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 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 self-isolators that have provided their NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number when requesting the service are eligible to receive it. A record of the NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number must be made and retained as part of the contractor’s delivery record to ensure effective ongoing service provision, and for post-payment verification purposes – see service specification and guidance. Pharmacies and dispensing doctors should familiarise themselves with the details of the service before making a claim.
Community pharmacy contractors can claim payment for delivery of medicines to self-isolators 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
Self-isolators are people identified by NHS Test & Trace and they will be contacted via phone, text or email. This is for both COVID-19 positive cases and close contacts. Self-isolators can also be identified via the NHS app. However, due to the anonymous operation of the app, they are not registered on the Test and Trace database and will not receive a NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number. They may obtain a NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number through a ‘financial support’ button on the app, but only if they are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. App users who have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace through other channels, and who are not eligible for the support payment scheme, will not be able to obtain a NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number and they will not be able to access the free medicines delivery service at this stage.
People notified by NHS Test and Trace of a positive test result must complete their full 10-day isolation period. This isolation period starts immediately from when the symptoms started, or, if there were no symptoms, from when the test was taken. This means that if, for example, symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if no symptoms but the first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), the isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th.
Should COVID-19 symptoms develop within the initial 10-day isolation period after receiving an initial positive test (where no symptoms were being exhibited), or as a contact, and the advice given is to continue to isolate for a short period beyond the initial 10 days, self- isolating people will still be provided the medicines delivery service against their initial NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number. The maximum amount of time someone could be self-isolating is 20 days i.e. in the unlikely event they develop symptoms on the 10th day of their self -isolation period.
This is based on guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Each time someone enters the NHS Test and Trace system, they will receive a new NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number. Therefore, if someone has been identified as a contact, they will receive one through their first contact with Test and Trace, and then if they go on to test positive, they should receive another one.