COVID-19: This week’s updates for community pharmacies (1)

COVID-19: This week’s updates for community pharmacies (1)

July 19, 2021

Latest news, information and guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) for primary care teams.

1. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 14th July round-up for primary care

As we near the end of phase 1 and 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, thank you to all community pharmacies and GP practices who have been involved in the delivery of over 67 million COVID-19 vaccinations. You have all been a vital part of this historic programme and we are very grateful to everyone involved.

Today we have published details for the next steps for phase 3 of the programme from the Autumn.

If you are already part of the vaccination programme or are interested in taking part from September 2021, please join us for a webinar to go through the detail tomorrow, 15 July at 6.30pm. Please register by 15 July at 4.30pm. As well as GP practices and community pharmacy contractors, the webinar is open to CCGs, ICSs and regional teams. Please note that this is separate to the regular GP webinar which will be taking place at 5pm tomorrow where you will hear a general update on the vaccination programme.

REMINDER: COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a updated – 8 week interval between doses
Public Health England recent update to the Green Book is in line with JCVI guidance and recommends an interval of 8 to 12 weeks between doses of all the available COVID-19 vaccines. This consistent interval should be used for all two dose vaccines to avoid confusion and simplify booking, and will help to ensure a good balance between achieving rapid and long-lasting protection. Please continue to administer the second dose of the vaccine no less than 8 weeks from the first dose. Our letter of 6 July provides more information.


2. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 16th July round-up for primary care

Following the Government’s announcement on Monday that the legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops, public transport and other enclosed public spaces will end on 19 July, we wanted to clarify the position for primary care.

Public Health England’s infection prevention control (IPC) guidelines remains in place for all staff and patients in hospitals as well as GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure that everyone is protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment. IPC face covering resources for NHS settings are available to download from Public Health England’s campaign resource centre.

The NHS will continue to support staff in ensuring that the guidance is followed in all healthcare settings.

Phase 3 service specifications published for general practices and community pharmacies
On 14 July 2021 we published several documents for general practice and community pharmacies to introduce the next phase and outlining the process to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination programme from the Autumn. GP practices and community pharmacy contractors must indicate their interest to participate by 5pm on 28 July 2021.

A webinar was held yesterday evening to work through the process and answer your questions. The webinar recording and slides are now available on FutureNHS.

Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF) screening questionnaire
Over 6,917 pharmacies had completed the 2021/22 Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF) screening questionnaire by 14 July 2021. Community pharmacy contractors are reminded that the mandatory screening questionnaire must be completed via the NHSBSA MYS portal by Saturday 24 July 2021.

NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service Technical Toolkit published
A new NHS CPCS Technical Toolkit, which outlines the requirements IT system suppliers must meet in order to deliver an appropriate solution for NHS CPCS providers (i.e. community pharmacies), has been developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS Business Services Authority (BSA), together with IT system suppliers and wider community pharmacy stakeholders.

The toolkit will support the requirement for pharmacies providing the NHS CPCS to purchase and fund IT solutions which support the safe and quality delivery of the service once existing IT system funding arrangements come to an end after 30 September 2021.

A supplier showcase is scheduled, providing pharmacies with the opportunity to meet IT suppliers. The event will run from 7pm – 8.30pm on 22 July 2021, held via Microsoft Teams – a formal invitation and link to this event will be shared with colleagues shortly. For further information contact

NHS Discharge Medicines Service – learning resources available from the Transfer of Care Around Medicines (TCAM) Rollout
The NHS Discharge Medicines Service has been established to ensure better communication of changes to a patient’s medication when they leave hospital and to reduce incidences of avoidable harm caused by medicines. By referring patients to community pharmacy on discharge with information about medication changes made in hospital, community pharmacy can support patients to improve outcomes, prevent harm and reduce readmissions.

To support NHS Trusts with setting up referral processes into the Discharge Medicines Service, Wessex AHSN have published a series of learning resources for NHS Trusts which includes a report and video.

GP and Pharmacy PPE engagement panels
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is recruiting panel members for GP and Pharmacy PPE engagement panels to gather feedback on the quality and quantity of PPE provided to meet service needs. The purpose of the panels is to provide end-user customers the opportunity to discuss their (COVID) PPE provision experiences to improve the service of the DHSC PPE cell. The meeting will take place for one hour every month.

If you would like to express an interest in joining, please email with your name, role and panel preference.


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