C-19 lateral flow device distribution service

At the end of March 2021, a new Advanced service – the NHS community pharmacy COVID-19 lateral flow device distribution service (or ‘Pharmacy Collect’ as it is described in communications to the public) – was added to the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework.

This service, which pharmacy contractors can choose to provide, as long as they meet the necessary requirements, aims to improve access to COVID-19 testing by making lateral flow device (LFD) test kits readily available at community pharmacies for asymptomatic people, to identify COVID-positive cases in the community and break the chain of transmission. The service is part of the Government’s offer of lateral flow testing to all people in England and it works alongside NHS Test and Trace’s other COVID-19 testing routes.

Changes to the service from 4th October 2021

As previously communicated to pharmacy contractors, amendments to the service have been agreed and an updated version of the service specification was issued to contractors on 9th September 2021 via NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams. The revised service specification is also available to download via the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Changes have been made to the service and the funding arrangements, which are detailed in the service specification.

PSNC will publish updated resources to support contractors with implementing the changes and providing the revised service.

Marketing materials

NHS Test and Trace has sent new marketing materials to contractors providing the service to enable them to proactively inform people who use the service of the changes. The marketing materials consist of A3 and A4 colour posters and A5 flyers.

From Monday 13th September 2021, where space permits, contractors are asked to display at least one the posters and to hand out the A5 flyers to citizens who are picking up a rapid COVID-19 tests in the run up to the change in the service.

These materials will be arriving by DX couriers this week (from 6th of September onwards).

Contractors who do not receive their materials by 15th September should contact PharmacyCollect@dhsc.gov.uk stating the pharmacy name, ODS code and address.

When the updated service requirements come into effect on 4th October 2021, contractors already providing the service must comply with the new requirements unless they decide to stop providing the service and give notice.

Although the specification indicates that contractors who decide to stop the service must provide their notice of intention to withdraw by 19th September 2021, NHSE&I and NHS Test and Trace have agreed that notice of withdrawal can be submitted up until 23:59 on 26th September 2021.

Next steps

Contractors should read the updated service specification as soon as possible to ensure they understand all the revised service requirements.

Please click here to visit PSNC for more info on the following:

  • Introduction
  • Description of the service
  • Preparing to provide the service
  • Promoting the service
  • Funding and claiming payment
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Resources