Pandemic Delivery Service: funding changes and addition of self-isolators

Pandemic Delivery Service: funding changes and addition of self-isolators

March 16, 2021

This evening (16th March 2021), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have announced an extension to the group of patients entitled to assistance with the delivery of prescriptions, as part of the Pandemic Delivery Service. Additionally, following a request from PSNC, increased funding for the Essential service responsibilities has been agreed to reflect the larger number of patients now covered by the service.

Deliveries for self-isolating people

From Tuesday 16th March 2021, people who have been notified of the need to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace will be able to seek support from community pharmacies under the Pandemic Delivery Service. This is part of a package of measures which the Government is putting in place to support people to self-isolate effectively and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This means all pharmacies (excluding distance selling pharmacies) will be required to ensure those people who have been notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate can receive their prescription medicines and appliances by home delivery during the ten-day self-isolation period, if they are unable to arrange for medicines to be picked up.

This service is only available to people during their ten-day* self-isolation period and who can provide their NHS Test and Trace Account ID when requesting the service (people are provided a unique NHS Test and Trace Account ID, which is an 8-character mix of letters and numbers, when they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace). A record of the NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number must be made and retained as part of the contractor’s delivery record.

This service will be commissioned until 23:59 on 30th June 2021.

This change to the service eligibility criteria has no impact on the existing eligibility of clinically extremely vulnerable patients to receive support with deliveries; support for this group of patients continues until 23:59 on 31st March 2021.

Read the NHSE&I announcement and additional guidance

NHSE&I guidance on the community pharmacy Essential service element and the Advanced service specification

Further detail on the service requirements can be found here

Increased funding for the Essential service

The above changes to the service requirements will increase the number of people eligible to receive the service and the amount of workload that falls to pharmacy contractors to support them with getting their prescriptions delivered.

Late last month, the number of patients identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 was also increased by around 1.6 million, as a result of the use of a new, data-driven risk assessment, using the QCovid® model, developed by the University of Oxford.

PSNC has discussed these increases in the number of patients covered by the Pandemic Delivery Service with the Department of Health and Social Care and has agreed increased funding for the Essential service requirements.

The increase to the daily payment is based on the current agreed funding, recalculated to reflect the growth in the number of people covered by the obligation to provide support with deliveries. The increased funding for the first half of March 2021 is further augmented in the second half, to reflect the addition of self-isolating patients to the eligible group.

Prescription items within the month Original daily payment (paid in February 2021) Daily payment – Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) patients only (1st-15th March 2021) Daily payment – Self-isolating and CEV patients (16th-31st March 2021)
0-100 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00
101-2500 £1.21 £2.07 £2.24
2501-5000 £14.14 £24.24 £26.26
5001-12500 £17.86 £30.62 £33.17
12501-19167 £19.36 £33.19 £35.96
19168+ £20.11 £34.47 £37.34

The separate Advanced service fee which can be claimed when a contractor delivers a prescription to an eligible patient remains unchanged.

* Should COVID-19 symptoms develop within the initial 10-day isolation period after receiving an initial positive test (where no symptoms were being exhibited), or as a contact, and the advice given is to continue to isolate for a short period beyond the initial 10 days, self-isolating people will still be provided the medicines delivery service against their initial reference number.

The maximum amount of time someone could be self-isolating is 20 days, i.e. in the unlikely event they develop symptoms on the 10th day of their self-isolation period. This is based on guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

Each time someone enters the NHS Test and Trace system, they will receive a new unique contact tracing reference number. Therefore, if someone has been identified as a contact, they will receive one through their first contact with Test and Trace, and then if they go on to test positive, they should receive another one.


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