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Written by AlisonFreemantle on Friday 3rd November 2023
For patients potentially eligible for COVID-19 treatments
The NHS offers COVID-19 treatment to those who are at risk of becoming seriously ill. Prior to the introduction of this service, lateral flow tests were available to these patients via GOV.UK or by calling NHS 119.
From 6th November 2023 eligible patients will need to collect LFD tests from community pharmacies
The full service requirements are detailed in the service specification.
Pharmacies wanting to provide this service should register on MYS.
The full list of eligible patients aged 12 years and over can be found in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance Supporting information on risk factors for progression to severe COVID-19.
Pharmacies must confirm the patient’s eligibility to the best of their knowledge (see below comments from CPE). This could be by:
Eligible patients should only receive one box of 5 LFD tests per consultation.
Paperwork for the Service:
You might also want to print out the eligible patient groups list:
Comments on eligible assessment from CPE:
The need to assess the eligibility of patients is akin to the approach pharmacy teams have used for several years in relation to the flu vaccination service, where sometimes the patient’s eligibility is not black and white and a clinical judgement needs to be made. The expectation of NHSE regarding this service is that in the absence of a letter from the NHS, the pharmacist or pharmacy technician is reasonably satisfied that the patient is in a qualifying group through conversation and questioning of the patient/patient’s representative, with any available supporting evidence, e.g. from the PMR, NCRS etc.
As advised in the service spec, the pharmacy must keep clinical records for the service, which would include noting whether they have seen an NHS letter or whether a discussion with the patient was followed by a clinical judgement being made by the pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
Any Post Payment Verification (PPV) activity will start in a light touch manner, initially focused on any pharmacies that have claimed significantly more service provisions than the average.