COVID-19: This week's updates for community pharmacies

Latest news, information and guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and other bodies for primary care teams (30th April)


Please read the following important updates by clicking the individual accordion boxes below:

NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates

COVID-19: 26th April COVID-19 special update for primary care

The ambition to vaccinate all adults against COVID-19 by the middle of July continues apace and could not have been achieved without the monumental efforts of everyone across primary care.

From today, 44 year olds will be invited to book their vaccination through the national booking service (online at or by calling 119). People will be contacted by text today and receive a letter later this week. Please commence inviting this age group from today to your local vaccination site.

We would like to thank all the PCNs who are continuing with the vaccination programme and we appreciate how much pressure general practice is under, particularly as life begins to return to some semblance of normality and across general practice we now need to deal with pent-up demand. We would like to thank all of you for the work you are doing to support your communities’ health and wellbeing.

We are extremely grateful to all the community pharmacies who have also stepped up to support the vaccination programme ensuring that everyone across the country has access to the vaccination. 

The priority for all delivery models is to ensure that there is sufficient capacity for those who need to book or re-book a 2nd dose appointment, as well as reserving sufficient supply to be able to deliver on the NHS commitment to an ‘evergreen’ offer of vaccination for anyone in cohorts 1-9 who has yet to come forward. Further details can be found in this operational update sent on Friday 23 April 2021.

A decision on inviting 40-43 year olds to book will be made very shortly. This phased approach is being taken in line with available supply.

The Government has launched a new marketing campaign today aimed at encouraging eligible cohorts to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination. All sites may therefore want to consider any contingency plans they might need to put in place around additional capacity or support, in case this results in an uplift in bookings. Vaccination should not be offered to anyone outside of eligible cohorts.

Do remember that support is available for all primary care staff through our Looking After You Too coaching support.

COVID-19: 27th April round-up for primary care

New photographs show the people behind the national vaccination effort
As we mark the start of World Immunisation Week 2021 (#VaccinesWork), a series of unseen photographs capturing the size and scale of the UK-wide vaccination programme have been published by the government. The new photo montage comes as over 45 million jabs in total have been administered across the UK in over 2,800 vaccination sites. This comes as a new campaign begins urging under-50s to get the jab. Download promotional materials and view the new advert which launched last night.

Dr Nisha Jayatilleke, National Speciality Advisor for Immunisations has shared the importance of people attending their routine immunisation and COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Thank you for all GPs and your teams continue to do to keep your population healthy and safe from dangerous illnesses.

The vaccination programme has been a monumental team effort and we thank you all once again for your hard work and dedication to protect those in your communities against COVID-19. Yesterday we announced the rollout of the vaccine for 44 year olds and today we are pleased to say that we can begin moving down the cohorts to 42-43 year olds.

COVID-19: 29th April round-up for primary care

Covid-19 vaccination programme: updated protocols and PGDs
AsThe list of COVID-19 vaccination programme patient group directions (PGDs) has been updated online.

UNICEF ‘Give the world a shot’ vaccination campaign
The NHS has agreed to work with Unicef on its Vaccinaid campaign (part of the international COVAX initiative) to support the administration of COVID-19 vaccines globally. As part of this, packs of campaign materials and cover letters from Dr Nikki Kanani have been sent to every vaccination site in England. It remains for site leads to decide if and how to display these materials within their site.

Using NHS Volunteer Responders to deliver budesonide inhalers to COVID-19 patients
Inhaled budesonide is now being prescribed for some COVID-19 positive patients. As patients will be self-isolating they may need the item delivered to their home. Community pharmacy teams can arrange delivery by an NHS Volunteer Responder by following the process here. They should register for the service using their email account.

Coronavirus - Got Symptoms? Do not enter this building poster
The ‘Do not enter this building’ if you have symptoms of coronavirus poster has been updated and is available to download. This poster is for use at entrances to NHS facilities including hospitals, GP practices, pharmacies and vaccination centres to provide information about the symptoms of coronavirus and to direct patients that have symptoms or a positive test result in the last 10 days not to enter the building.

Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Distribution Service – online survey participation
NHS Test and Trace are keen to hear feedback from community pharmacies delivering this service via a short online survey. The purpose of the survey is to understand your views and experience in order to consider any service improvements which could be beneficial for community pharmacies and the communities that they serve.

We are collecting information for analysis purposes only and individual data will be anonymised. Pharmacies taking part are asked to fill in the survey by clicking here.

Video consultations – resources for use with patients
This quick guide and this animation are available to support your patients using video consultations. These resources are relevant to any video consultation technology and any clinical setting.

The animation can also be accessed in Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Italian, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian and Urdu, as well as in British Sign Language. The quick guide is available to download on our website in the same languages.

Health and wellbeing – challenge the wild pilot
As part of our ongoing programme to support our NHS people, we are please to share an exciting opportunity for colleagues working across primary care, critical care or the ambulance service to take part in a wellbeing pilot with Challenge The Wild, a company specialising in providing adventurous challenges, outdoor experiences and stunning hikes. We are offering 100 colleagues the opportunity to spend a day outside, walking through the countryside on a professionally facilitated wellbeing walk, in order to evaluate the benefits that getting outdoors can have on your health and wellbeing.

There will be 10 wellbeing walks taking place in five locations across England - North West, North East, South West, South East and the Midlands. These walks will be led by qualified professionals including a veteran GP and ICU nurse, who are also trained mountain instructors. The day will include:

  • A low-level walk through inspiring countryside
  • Discover Lakes and Waterfalls
  • Explore nature in woods and forests
  • Mindfulness workshops
  • Confidence and relationship building exercises

Find out more and sign up here.

COVID-19: 30th April COVID-19 special update for primary care

Ahead of any media activity, yesterday we contacted all Local Vaccination Sites to inform them that we will start to contact people aged 40 and 41 (cohort 10) by text from today, to book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments through the National Booking Service ( or by calling 119), with letters following next week.

PCN Local Vaccination Services can now also contact this cohort of patients to come forward for their first vaccination. This is another fantastic step forward in the vaccination programme.

The phased approach is being taken in line with supply as set out in the operational note issued on 23 April 2021. Please also continue with the approach set out to vaccinate cohorts 1-9 including following the detailed process that is in place for people aged 29 and under who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, and/ or who have contraindications, and/ or are pregnant, to enable them to access the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

For LVS PCN sites this is either by accessing excess Pfizer supply from 2nd dose clinics or requesting additional supply.

Please note that cohort 11 is not yet open. We will communicate about this in due course.

Thank you for all you are doing.

PSNC COVID-19 daily updates - all the latest contractual, operational and practical information

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PSNC are publishing daily COVID-19 updates by email to all those that have authorised this news stream feed.

Please find below links for this week's updates which cover the following topics:

  • Applications to join RPS Expert Advisory Groups closing soon
  • April price concessions - 2nd & final update
  • Contractor Update; Negotiations begin on CPCF arrangements for 2021/22
  • Correct submission of forms and items paid at the old charge rate
  • CPCS free training: have you booked?
  • Data Security and Protection Toolkit: PSNC guidance documents now available
  • First mandated health campaign of 2021/22: COVID-19 vaccination
  • Latest FAQs
  • May 2021 Drug Tariff
  • MHRA drug safety update
  • New SSP issued for Estradot 75mcg patches
  • Payment timetable update
  • Share your views with NHS Test & Trace on the COVID-19 distribution service
  • SSPs currently in effect
  • Statutory requirement to report test results from LFDs reminder

PSNC COVID-19 daily updates: