Covid-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Distribution

Pharmacy Collect – Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Distribution: Essential Information for Contractors

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 will work alongside existing NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 testing routes.

Read the PSNC news story announcing the new service

Background to the service

COVID-19 lateral flow antigen tests allow the detection of people with high levels of the COVID-19 virus, making them effective in identifying individuals who are most likely to transmit the virus, including those not showing symptoms.

With up to a third of infected individuals not displaying symptoms, broadening asymptomatic testing is an essential part of the nation’s fight against COVID-19. Increased use of lateral flow devices (LFD) can help identify more people who are highly likely to spread the virus, and therefore break the chain of transmission.

NHS Test and Trace research into routine mass testing shows participants prefer to access testing in the community, pharmacists are trusted by their local communities and unfamiliar new points of access are less well trusted; these findings have led to a Government decision to commission a distribution service from community pharmacies.

In NHS Test and Trace marketing and communications aimed at the public, the service will be referred to as Pharmacy Collect and it allows asymptomatic people to collect LFD test kits, free of charge, from community pharmacies, so they can undertake regular testing as part of the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap plan. The most common circumstances that will prompt a person to undertake regular tests are:

  1. They are a child at school or are in a bubble with school children;
  2. They work at a school or are in a bubble with school staff;
  3. They have to leave the house for work;
  4. Their local council has advised them to test; or
  5. Their GP or another healthcare professional has advised them to test.

People can also request tests for regular use for other reasons and the Prime Minister Prime highlighted that everyone in England is to be given access to two free coronavirus tests a week, when he addressed the nation on Easter Monday.

People self-administer the tests away from the pharmacy, e.g. at home.

The pharmacy is consequently not involved in the generation of test results, supporting the reporting of results or the next steps for the person taking the test.

The service will be reviewed at the end of June 2021. This will allow the service specification to be updated in light of possible insight from user engagement and the experience of contractors providing the service.

Sign up by 23:59 on 18th April 2021

Community pharmacy contractors are encouraged to sign up for the NHS community pharmacy COVID-19 lateral flow device distribution service (Pharmacy Collect), as soon as possible via MYS portal.

Contractors who sign up to provide the service by 23:59 on 18th April 2021 will receive £450 + VAT in up-front payments for the service, in addition to the £1.50 service fee for each transaction undertaken. Further information on the funding for this service can be found below;

Learn more about Pharmacy Collect


The funding for the service comes from outside the pharmacy Global Sum and it is made up of the following elements:

  1. An early sign-up fee of £200 + VAT, for any contractors who sign up to provide the service by 23:59 on 18th April 2021.
  2. A one-off set-up fee of £250 + VAT, which covers set-up costs including creating a standard operating procedure for the service and training staff who will be involved in providing the service, and storage costs for the test kits ordered from wholesalers.
  3. A service fee of £1.50 + VAT per transaction.

That means contractors signing up to provide the service by 23:59 on 18th April 2021 will receive £450 + VAT in up-front payments for the service, in addition to the service fee for each transaction undertaken.

Preparatory actions for contractors

Should contractors wish to provide the service, they must complete the following preparatory actions detailed below;

  1. Download the service specification
  2. Download a summary of the service
  3. Download the implementation checklist
  4.  Download a template Standard Operating Procedure for the service (to personalise for your pharmacy)
  5. Download a team briefing sheet for the service
  6. Refer to the FAQs page on the PSNC website 

Resources for service delivery

  1. Refer to the NHS Test and Trace map of sites where test kits can be collected
  2. Order test kit stock free of charge here. Please note: there is an initial weekly order limit of 12 cartons (two cartons per day, assuming a six-day working week)
  3. Keep a record of any stock received using the following documents: PDF /Microsoft Word
  4. Supply test kits to patients upon request, pharmacy teams must ask the person collecting a number of questions, further details can be found here
  5. Download a document containing the key information (to use when briefing people collecting test kits)
  6. Download a data capture sheet to record multiple supplies to people accessing the service:  PDF / Microsoft Word
  7. Download a data capture template to capture data on individual supplies to people accessing the service:  PDF  / Microsoft Word

Promotional Materials

Contractors who have signed up to provide the service will receive a pack containing 1 x A3 colour poster, 2 x A4 colour posters and a leaflet about the campaign by courier service, which will need to be signed for on arrival. The first batch of packs will be delivered on 8th April 2021 and packs will continue to be sent out as contractors sign-up to deliver the service.

Additional posters including 13 translated documents can be downloaded below. Further materials including digital screens and a social media post are available on Public Health England’s campaign resource centre

Pharmacy Collect – Posters 06.04.21 

Pharmacy Collect – Translation Posters 06.04.21