New lockdown Rules for Greater Manchester announced

New lockdown Rules for Greater Manchester announced

July 31, 2020

New Lockdown Rules!

The new local lockdown rules which ban separate households from meeting each other indoors came into force at midnight last night and includes all localities in Greater Manchester.

Government press release available here

The announcement was made at 9pm, Thursday 30 July. From the information currently available,  this does not suggest that this directly impacts community pharmacy but we will keep you updated.

Please ensure you sign up the GMLPC newsletter for the latest updates.

Action for contractors: Please ensure that your Pharmacy teams are aware of the new guidance.

Use of Facemasks by Pharmacy Staff

On the 24th July, Public Health England (PHE) updated its guidance on the wearing of facemasks in primary and community health care settings. In summary, the recommendation is that all pharmacy staff now wear facemasks, unless the pharmacy is COVID-19 secure, including all staff being able to maintain a social distance from one another.
Read the updated PHE guidance

The recommendation is for a Type l or Type ll face mask to be worn to prevent the spread of infection from the wearer. If Type IIR face masks are more readily available, and there are no supply issues for their use as personal protective equipment, then these can be used as an alternative to Type I or Type II masks.

Test and Trace Programme

An increase in cases in Greater Manchester  increases the likelihood that a member of your pharmacy team will contract COVID-19 and therefore the pharmacy be contacted by Test and Trace.

Since the launch of the Government’s NHS Test and Trace programme, a number of pharmacy teams across England have been asked to self-isolate in accordance with the service.

GMLPC suggest that contractors read the  PSNC Briefing 022/20: NHS Test and Trace – Key points for contractors as Q&As.  This briefing provides further information on the programme, gives advice on patient and staff contacts, and outlines the relevant mitigations that may help to avoid the need for whole pharmacy teams to self-isolate if one member tests positive for COVID-19.

GMHSCP has now published Test and Trace programme guidance for Community Pharmacy with input from the Community Pharmacy Provider Board. Please see here for the test and trace guidance for GM.

If your pharmacy is impacted by Test and Trace please inform GMLPC by emailing enquiries@gmlpc.org.uk

COVID-19 testing access

Information on how to access COVID-19 testing is available here.

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested is available here:

  1. This includes information on Who can be tested
  2. Arrange a test if you’re an essential worker
  3. The testing process

Contractors are reminded they should refer to the COVID19 Cover Letter for SOP Minimising nosocomial infections in the NHS, emailed to all pharmacies by NHSE&I on the 23rd June.

This included a SOP for Minimising Nosocomial Infections in the NHS on which slide 22 specified community pharmacy actions to be taken if a member of staff tests positive for coronavirus – Please ensure you inform the pharmacy commissioning team in NHS England. The letter can be found here

Review your social distancing and infection control procedures

Action: Contractors may wish to review their social distancing and infection control procedures.

We can all get used to living and working in a “new normal” situation and people’s consciousness of the need to maintain social distances at all times may reduce and consequently new or additional measures at each pharmacy may need to be taken to ensure distancing is maintained wherever possible on an ongoing basis.

Download PSNC’s risk assessment template from our PPE and staff safety page

Regularly reviewing processes can increase the safety for staff and patients, and reduce the risks of the pharmacy team being asked to self-isolate as part of test and trace.   When undertaking the review pharmacy teams should consider the risks to and from all staff, including locums and delivery drivers.

Action: Please also ensure you display a poster to ensure members of the public wear a face mask when entering the premises to ensure the wellbeing and safety of your teams.

Further guidance and links to the poster have been made available here.

COVID-19: Need Help or Support? Get in Touch with Us

GMLPC are here to support you, providing advice and information on COVID-19, as well as pushing to make sure your work is properly recognised and fully supported throughout this pandemic.

GMLPC resources for COVID-19 including links to national and local resources are available here.

If you want help or support, or would like to share any information / positive stories, please email enquiries@gmlpc.org.uk

Information in this update is correct at the time of sending. This is a changing situation with evolving guidance and information.

Up-to-date information and advice is available from PSNC at: https://psnc.org.uk/the-healthcare-landscape/covid19/

We will keep you updated on any further developments




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