Government announces plans for changes to Shielding

Government announces plans for changes to Shielding

June 22, 2020

This evening, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced the Government’s plans to ease guidance for the 2.2 million people who have been shielding since the start of the pandemic.

From Monday 6th July 2020, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to six people outdoors and they can also form a ‘support bubble’ with another household. The Government shielding support package will remain in place until the end of July, when people will no longer be advised to shield. From Saturday 1st August 2020, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, but support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils.

The announcement noted that an NHS Medicine Delivery Service is available from community pharmacies, which ensures the delivery of medicines to shielded patients where family, friends or volunteers cannot collect them. We expect that NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) will write to pharmacy contractors in the next few days to confirm that the provisions for the pandemic delivery service (the Terms of Service requirements and the Advanced service) will remain in place until 31st July 2020.

PSNC will issue further information to contractors via our usual communications channels once NHSE&I issue their communications on the extension of the service. We will also consider what additional resources are required by contractors to assist them with provision of the service until the end of July and the need for the end of the NHS-funded service to be carefully communicated to shielded patients.


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