COVID Somerset LPC Information Hub

This HUB focuses on the local Somerset system-based factors, decisions, and support available, that will impact on your COVID operational reality.

Your LPC will add critical local instructions and regular updates.

Please read it regularly and reflect on how you can use the information in practice. Contact the LPC at: if you need any help or further information.

Section last updated: 19th January 2021

PSNC’s COVID-19 hub contains links to information, guidance and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic for community pharmacy contractors and their teams.

The information and guidance in this hub will be updated on a regular basis.

Latest update: Preparations for a potential COVID-19 vaccination programme

COVID-19 vaccinations update : PSNC Main site

Somerset Test Request Arrangements Guidance/Rapid Testing Information

  1. Joint message from Community Pharmacy Somerset and Somerset CCG Testing Service [Information]
  • We have worked together with Somerset CCG our local NHS Trusts and laboratories to make NHS testing capacity available for staff, who are not only sick, but are business critical, where there is insufficient cover for their post, or a wider impact or closure could possibly follow.
  • There are 50 appointments daily for critical testing across a Somerset total workforce of approximately 50,000 staff, so we cannot stress enough that this additional testing is only for urgent cases.


Try and book a test via the National booking system.


The following staff can be supported with an escalated rapid testing process ONLY if they are unable to obtain a test via the national system:

  • Pharmacists practicing in Somerset pharmacies with COVID like symptoms (this is to avoid delay in obtaining an antigen test during symptomatic phase, where pharmacist absence could disrupt the open-operation of a pharmacy).
  • Any Somerset based community pharmacy staff member when in a live test and trace situation which might cause wider isolation of the pharmacy team and result in closure of that pharmacy (again to avoid delay in obtaining an antigen test during symptomatic phase, where there could be an absolute closure, disrupting the operation of the pharmacy.
  • When you have identified a staff member in one of the two situations defined above with COVID like symptoms AND their role is business critical, complete all the sections of a Risk Assessment and Triage form COVID-19 Testing for Somerset System Health, Care and Education Employees Staff referral form 23.9.20
  • Then email a completed copy of the form to:  and
  • Michael and Yvonne will monitor your requests in a timely manner, personally review to ensure any request for rapid testing meets the criteria for suitability, and pass onto the Testing Office for booking.
  • The Somerset Testing Team will then contact the staff member directly to arrange an appointment.
  • It is the staff member’s responsibility to attend the appointment in a timely manner, remembering their proof of identity. Further instructions will be provided by the testing team once the staff member has been accepted for a test.
  • Once the swab has been processed, the staff member will receive the results back directly, usually within 24 hours. This will be via text if the result is negative, or via a phone call if the result is positive.
  • If you have any questions about this process, please email:

–     You should also follow your own organisation’s policy for informing your line manager, area manager and/or superintendent.

Accessing free PPE [Information] Accessing free PPE [Information]  The PPE portal is the primary source for FREE COVID-19 PPE (including flu vaccination requirements) for eligible health and social care providers – this includes community pharmacy.  Most of our 102 pharmacies in Somerset have now registered for this, but we are concerned that some pharmacies are still purchasing their own supplies of PPE, please take advantage of this support offering immediately if you are not already doing so.  Register and access the portal using your CQC/MHRA/NHSE/NHS BSA registered email.  Guidance on what PPE items you can order (including order limits) is also available.  Call the customer service team on 0800 876 6802 if you have any questions about using the PPE portal. The team is available from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week.  See attached PPE Update (October 2020) letter from Somerset CCG for further details including a flow chart of the PPE order process to follow.  PSNC have useful information about accessing the portal, what can be ordered and delivery time here.
7. Somerset County Council and the NHS in Somerset latest coronavirus updates [Information]
 Latest information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Somerset County Council and the NHS in Somerset can be found here.

Palliative care for COVID-19 patients  We have been working closely with the Somerset System End-Of-Life and Palliative Care teams to create an additional support process for provision of meds for COVID End of Life Care. We have already written out to share the guidance pack with you, please ensure the stock is not on-hand and the patient leaflets are printed and ready to provide with dispensed prescriptions should they land.

The use of oral medication for symptom control COVID FINAL inc DT 3.4.20 CD

Symptom Observation Chart Updated 15.11.19

Carer administration of sublingual lorazepam CL draft v1 COVID19

Carer administration of scopoderm patch

Carer administration of rectal suppositories

COVID-19: Guidance on dealing with patient-returned/unwanted medicines (England) The NPA and PSNC, Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group (CPPSG) and the RPS have jointly produced Guidance for community pharmacies in England on dealing with patient-returned/unwanted medicines.  Please email if you are asked to do anything different with returns by any local stakeholders from within your PCN.



Media resource hub to help pharmacies tell their NHS frontline stories  NPA and PSNC have jointly created a media resource hub, to make it simpler for pharmacy teams and LPCs to tell their NHS frontline stories, to newspapers and via social media. Resources include an online reporting form, social media and newspaper templates, a template email to your local MP and ‘pharmacy heroes’ placard. Please get behind the campaign and use as much of these materials as you can.

Somerset LPC Social Media Support for our Pharmacies  The LPC is actively campaigning on your behalf via social media and other channels. Please retweet and share these messages to support your LPC and colleagues to drive the local messaging. We have provided resources you can use for your own social media posts here.