COVID-19 Community pharmacy & Care homes

Please find below resources for community pharmacies and care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Pharmacy

Publication                                         Content/description                                Date                      
Community pharmacy letter to support health and justice services

This letter announces that, while patients meeting the COVID-19 shielding criteria need to stay at home and away from community pharmacy and dispensing doctor premises, they must be offered a home delivery option for their prescription items unless a family member, friend, relative or volunteer can collect the medicines for them

10 April 2020
Public Health England - Recommendation on personal protective equipment (PPE)

Recommendation on PPE for ambulance staff, paramedics, other patient transport services and pharmacy staff

05 May 2020
NPA COVID-19: Guidance on dealing with patient-returned / unwanted medicines (England)

Community pharmacies routinely accept unwanted/out of date/waste medication for disposal from patients and households, as this is an NHS contractual requirement. This service has not been suspended during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

For patient safety reasons, it is important that patients and households remain able to return unwanted medicines to the pharmacy for disposal during the COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid potential risk of accidents, overdoses and misuse

05 May 2020
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee - Personal protective equipment, staff safety and security  

Provides information on the use of PPE to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes information on wider measures that can be used to protect staff and guidance on the personal safety of pharmacy staff

05 May 2020
Royal Pharmaceutical Society - Changing the intervals of instalments for controlled drugs during the pandemic  

Legislation has been amended, informed by the advice of the Advisory Council on  the Misuse of Drugs, to enable pharmacists to vary the frequency of the supply of Schedule 2 and 3 CD instalments, without the need for a further prescription.

13 May 2020
Service Specification for NHS Community Pharmacy Palliative Care Drugs Stockist Scheme 2019/20

The aim of the service is to provide easy access to Palliative Care Drugs by ensuring that there is an on-demand supply of palliative care drugs available from a network of community pharmacies spread geographically across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, in order to provide palliative care patients with good symptom control and ensure that their symptom control is maintained.

14 May 2020
NHSE/NHSI Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak letter

This letter confirms that the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service and the Dispensing Doctor Home Delivery Service will be commissioned from 2 July until 31 July 2020.

01 July 2020

Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak: service specifications and guidance

Service specifications and guidance relating to the NHSE/NHSI letter above. 01 July 2020
Vaccination plans for weeks of 8 March to 29 March 2021 Letter from the Director of Primary Care to community pharmacy COVID vaccination sites, which describes forthcoming vaccine supply for first doses, providing advanced notification of a substantial increase in the volume of vaccine available and the need to use it quickly to prevent wastage. Updated 3 March 2021


Care homes

Publicationnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Summary Date                      
SPS Summary of COVID-19 medicines guidance: Later life

This page summarises and signposts to medicine related guidance from professional and government bodies relating to coronavirus and later life disorders

26 June 2020
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure - Running a medicines re-use scheme in a care home or hospice setting

This Department of Health and Social Care standard operating procedure (SOP) supports timely access to essential prescribed medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic for patients who are being cared for in a care home or hospice setting.

23 April 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): reuse of medicines in a care home or hospice

Summary of The Department of Health and Social Care re-use scheme SOP key messages and locally agreed clarifications and recommendations.

It also includes the following appendices

  •  CD balance book
  •  Template re-use log
  •  Palliative Care Drug Stockist Pharmacies
14 May 2020
DCHS Care Home COVID Support Service

A multidisciplinary team consisting of registered staff including Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Pharmacy, Podiatry and Continence services will provide a virtual service for non-urgent needs to support the care home provider in the ongoing care of residents during the pandemic 

05 May 2020
Annex A - Other sources of supporting information Weblinks to sources of supporting information 05 May 2020
Annex B - Template log for care homes and hospices

With the COVID-19 pandemic there is a need to ensure as much flexibility as possible to ensure medicines are available to deliver care to patients that is safe and respectful. DHSC has developed this statement around the re-use of medicine specifically for COVID-19

05 May 2020
Annex C - Feedback form

This document captures evidenced feedback and lessons identified to report back for COVID-19

05 May 2020
Government guidance - Apply for coronavirus tests for a care home

How to apply and who can apply for coronavirus testing kits to test the residents and staff at a care home. This testing is currently only available in England.

14 May 2020
Specialist Pharmacy Services - Care Home Resource Hub

A new operational model to help pharmacy and medicines teams implement the NHS England and NHS Improvement guidance 'Primary Care and Community Health Support for Care Homes' is now available. It describes the medicines and pharmacy contribution to the work and sets out how teams should collaborate across the NHS system and provides practical advice and resources and a model of service to help local systems reduce the risk of harm during the COVID-19 period by ensuring that consistent medicines and pharmacy services meet the needs of care home residents and staff. It includes an implementation plan to activate the model of service at local level. The work is being led and coordinated in each area by a clinical lead appointed by each CCG.

19 May 2020
PrescQIPP - Changing MDS to original packs in care homes

To support community pharmacists during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic care homes may receive medicines for residents in their original packs rather than MDS. This briefing provides care homes with reassurance on the safety and benefits of using original packs for residents

21 May 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes

Government advice on how to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak

30 June 2020
East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) care home resources 

Through our Patient Safety Collaboratives, the AHSN Network have been working to provide useful information and resources for care homes to support their response to COVID-19.
Resources to highlight are: 

A national review of medication in care homes and a blog from one its authors, Tony Jamieson, on the background to the research. 

Free online video training for care home staff – a series of 14 short videos describing how to take measurements from residents correctly, spot the signs of deterioration, and prevent the spread of infection. 

07 July 2020