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

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

October 12, 2020

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

1. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 6th October round-up for primary care

There have been questions around how healthcare workers use the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace App while at work. NHS Test and Trace App guidance has been circulated to you which should help alleviate any concerns or questions your staff may have. In summary, the guidance says:

  • healthcare workers are encouraged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help the fight against coronavirus
  • healthcare workers should use the ‘pause’ contact-tracing function on the app when they are in healthcare buildings including hospitals and GP surgeries
  • healthcare workers are still able to use some of the app’s functionality while the app contact-tracing feature is paused, should they wish i.e. checking into canteens.

Please distribute the full guidance to your staff. Further questions on how healthcare workers can use the NHS COVID-19 app are answered on the NHS Test and Trace website.

2. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 8th October round-up for primary care

Emerging evidence suggests that an estimated 10% of people who contract COVID-19 cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill – a phenomenon described by some as ‘Long Covid’. Many of you will have already seen patients displaying some of the symptoms: breathlessness, chronic fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and stress linked to Long Covid. Therefore, yesterday we announced a raft of measures being put in place to help affected patients. These will include development of new guidance to support clinicians, including GPs and allied health professionals, as well as investing £10million to help develop multidisciplinary diagnostic services. More services will also be added to Your Covid Recovery from the end of this month. A ‘Long Covid Taskforce’ will be established to oversee these and further developments and we will keep you updated of progress.

New government PPE strategy published
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published its strategy for providing personal protective equipment (PPE), detailing preparations for a second wave of COVID-19 alongside usual seasonal pressures. DHSC have stated that four-month stockpiles of each PPE category will be in place from November, to provide a continuous flow to health and social care workers treating COVID-19 patients. It will continue to buy centrally through to the end of March with further detail about post-March arrangements expected in due course.

Update on bipolar drug Priadel
The Competition and Markets Authority has announced an investigation into whether Essential Pharma ‘abused a dominant market position’ in relation to its supply of lithium-based treatments for bipolar disorder. Following the opening of the investigation Essential Pharma have said they will continue to supply the drug Priadel, removing the previous immediate threat to patients. The investigation comes after public criticism of the company by NHS England Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens. Further guidance on Priadel following the previous CAS alert is expected from DHSC shortly.

3. PPE Portal – accessing with your correct original NHSmail address

Update: Pharmacies are reminded that in order to register on the NHS PPE Portal to receive your FREE PPE stock, you must ensure to use your full, original NHSmail address that your pharmacy was first issued with at registration or log-in.

Currently only a small percentage of pharmacies have registered with the PPE portal – LLR LPC encourages ALL remaining pharmacies to now do so to enable access to FREE supplies of PPE going forward.

Important note: The new, shortened versions of your NHSmail address do not let you register/login to the portal.

Sent: 08 October 2020 09:03
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Registration for PPE portalDear Colleague,Information received from the NHS England and Improvement National team has highlighted that your practice(s) is/are yet to register for the PPE portal.As the portal is now available to provide all Covid related PPE, free of charge to primary care, we would encourage all contractors that are yet to register on the portal to do so.

  1. Contractors should have received an email inviting them to register on the portal from the PPE Dedicated Supply Channel (please note this email address does not accept incoming emails):
    • Providers are asked to check their mailboxes and junk mail folders for this email. Depending on the provider group this may include their NHS mail account or the email address that they have registered with NHS BSA as these databases were used to obtain contact email addresses. If a contractor cannot find this email or is having any difficulties in registering they should contact the portal customer service team on 0800 876 6802.
  2. Providers are encouraged to register promptly, to ensure that they can order their full supply of Covid related PPE from a central inventory. Order limits have been set according to patient activity levels but if any provider feels their limit is incorrect; then they can contact the portal customer service team on 0800 876 6802.

We thank you for your ongoing support, commitment and engagement at this time.

Kind regards

Primary Care Support

NHS England and NHS Improvement – Midlands

web: and

Birch House |Southwell Road West | Rainworth |Nottinghamshire |NG21 0HJ

4. PSNC COVID-19 daily updates – all the latest contractual, operational and practical information

PSNC is working with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and NHS Improvement to provide as much support and guidance as possible to help community pharmacy teams contribute to some of the many challenges that could arise in an epidemic situation.

PSNC logo.png

PSNC are now publishing daily COVID-19 updates by email to all those that have authorised this news stream feed.

Please find below links for last week’s updates which cover the following topics:

  • EPS Phase 4 rolled out to 90% of GP practices
  • Flu vac campaign materials on their way to pharmacies
  • Latest FAQs
  • NHS COVID-19 app should be paused by healthcare workers when at work
  • NHS Test and Trace: Advice for community pharmacy
  • NHS Test and Trace discrepancies warning from industry leaders on dangers to pharmacy business
  • PHE publish leaflet on flu vac supplies
  • PQS Part 2 Aspiration payment deadline reminder
  • PQS PCN Domains additional guidance published
  • PQS hub of information on PSNC website
  • Priadel withdrawal paused while CMA investigate supply, plus further update
  • PSNC member highlights quota issues in pharmacy press
  • Self care approach to empower patients and support NHS needs embedding
  • SSP06 for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules has now expired
  • Tolteridone 1mg tablets price concession re-determination

PSNC COVID-19 daily updates:


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