HM Government, the NHS and representative organisations are working to provide as much guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic as possible for healthcare workers.
The global situation with COVID-19 is changing on a daily basis and as such the UK Government’s advice to the population and healthcare providers is being updated on a very regular basis.
Guidance for healthcare professionals
The key guidance for health professionals is available on the Public Health England (PHE) section of the GOV.UK website and the NHSE&I website:
NHSE&I has published guidance for primary care teams. This includes a specific document for community pharmacy teams, which takes the guidance already available on the GOV.UK website, but contextualises it for the community pharmacy environment:
COVID-19 standard operating procedure – Community pharmacy (revised 27th October 2020)
Supporting Health and Justice Services: On 4th April 2020, NHSE&I published a letter providing information for community pharmacies on supporting people to access medicines who have been released from prisons and other prescribed places of detention in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Services for people who use drugs or alcohol: On 19th May 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England published guidance for commissioners and service providers for those dependent on drugs or alcohol in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preparedness letters for community pharmacy
The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer has begun a series of regular communications about COVID-19 for the community pharmacy sector.
NHSE&I COVID-19 Primary Care bulletin
NHSE&I are also issuing a regular COVID-19 Primary Care bulletin.
NHSE&I Community Pharmacy Preparedness Webinars
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Keith Ridge and Director of Primary Care Strategy and NHS Contracts Ed Waller of NHSE&I are inviting community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to join them for regular webinars on COVID-19. These are all available to view on-demand after the event on the FuturesNHS Collaboration Platform (note, a login is required, but it is free to register).
Other useful guidance
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has a page which collates important information and updates for pharmacists, including contingency planning and FAQs.