This article was written on the 13/04/2020 and will be updated frequently.
Most community pharmacies already offer prescription delivery service to some or all of their patients, either as a free of charge or paid for service.
At the present time, government restrictions means most people must stay at home, as part of the efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus, but people can leave their homes for healthcare reasons, such as visiting a pharmacy.
As a consequence, pharmacies have seen a significant increase in the number of people requesting prescription deliveries. Pharmacy teams are trying to manage these demands, but it is increasingly necessary to prioritise resources, so deliveries are focused on the most vulnerable patients, particularly older patients and those with multiple morbidities.
Patients with priority for prescriptions delivery service
As part of the national response to COVID-19, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have commissioned a Delivery Service from community pharmacies to support a specific group of extremely vulnerable patients self-isolating at home.
This group of people, who are at very high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 infection, were asked to stay at home for a period of 12 weeks before the general “lockdown” commenced. These patients are generally those whose immune system is suppressed and initially around 800,000 were identified by the NHS from health records, but potentially up to 1.4-1.5m people will eventually fall within the group.
The term used to describe this self-isolation at home is “shielding” and most people identified for shielding will, by now, have received a letter from the NHS, their general practice or hospital consultant.
People who fall under the extremely vulnerable (shielded) group are:
- Solid organ transplant recipients;
- People with specific cancers
- People suffering from cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs;
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD;
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency also known as SCID, homozygous sickle cell);
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection;
- People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease; and
- People who have been added to the list by their GP because of the very high risk (in line with the risk of those above) to them associated with COVID-19.
GPs have the ability to add or remove people to the list of extremely vulnerable patients as their clinical condition changes.
NHS Digital and NHSE&I have worked to add a flag to the NHS Summary Care Record (SCR) of these patients, so it can confirm that they are eligible patients. This flag went live on 3rd April 2020.
What we at Prime Health Pharmacy can do
This new service started on the 9/4/2020 and will remain in place until the COVID -19 pandemic has subsided or up until the 1/07/2020 and will be reviewed as the pandemic progresses.
As a Distance Selling Pharmacy (online Pharmacy/Chemist), delivering to our patients is already included in our contract with the NHS. This service will continue absolute free of charge. Our team of dedicated staff are working round the clock to ensure you get your medication and other supplies promptly.
We are available to deliver prescription to all patients;
- Shielded patients.
- Non-shielded Patients.
- Over 70 years old Patients
- Patients with underline conditions who are not yet on the government list and want to stay home avoiding going out.
- Patients without any underline conditions who want to stay home and be safe.
- We would also like to add to no one is EXCLUDED from our delivery service.
If your regular pharmacy cannot deliver your prescription on time, you are struggling to find an NHS volunteer to deliver your prescription, you do not have anyone else to pick up your medications, you just want to stay home to be safe or for whatever reason, we at Prime Health pharmacy are happy to help and can deliver your prescription to our doorstep.
With the new social distancing guideline of 2m, it means you would have to queue up at your local pharmacy to get your medication. With us, there is no need for that which means you can make use of your time to get your basic essentials or take care of yourself and your family.
We guarantee prompt dispatch of your medication once we received it electronically from your GP.
Ring us on 01133453194 or register on our website.
STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, PROTECT THE NHS.
Prime Health Pharmacy Team.