Coronavirus – Current advice for pharmacies

Please familiarise yourself with all of the following documents and information to support you in responding to COVID-19 outbreak. For advising your patients, helping avert misinformation and reinforce preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting and/or spreading viruses, as well as taking safety precautions in your pharmacy for yourself, your pharmacy staff and delivery drivers.

UPDATE: 31st March – Latest guidance letter from NHSE&I for COVID-19 – click here to read

Actions for Community Pharmacy:

Please familiarise yourselves with all of the following documentation and take action in your pharmacy immediately to reflect guidance.

Please keep checking for updates as this guidance may change as often as daily with the current changing situation

1) Display the LATEST POSTERS in your pharmacy windows immediately, following the change in case definition Click here for the posters

2) Second Letter from Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Dr Keith Ridge, regarding COVID-19, 19th March 2020 click here to view

3) UPDATE: NHS England and Improvement Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for COVID-19- Updated 22nd March 2020 Click here to view

4) Medicines delivery service & 111 Online CPCS referrals – given the new guidance that at risk groups should stay inside, known as ‘shielding’. The government have offered support for pharmacies to delivery prescriptions to these patient. Read through the current information on this on the PSNC website, more is expected when details are confirmed.

5) Latest case definition for potential COVID-19 infection (No longer includes travel advice)

6) Government Coronavirus Action Plan – 3rd March 2020click here to view

7) Briefing from NHS England and Improvement for Primary Care providers (published 18th February 2020) for action in your pharmacy – click here to view

8) Guidance for pre-registration pharmacies and trainee technicians from Health Education England and the Statutory Education Bodies Scotland and Wales. Click here to view

9) Guidance for investigation and initial clinical management of possible cases (Update: 18th March 2020) – click here to view current advice

In addition, a number of Public Information resources are available from PHE at the Campaign Resource Centre for use in your pharmacy: Click here to view available resources

Personal Protective Equipment use in pharmacy:

PPE packs will be sent to pharmacies mid-march, free of charge.

These will consist of 50 Masks, 200 aprons and 100 pairs of gloves.

These are ONLY for use if you are entering a room in an emergency, where an infected/possibly infected patient is isolated and when decontaminating a room where such a patient has been present for protection against cleaning chemicals.

In addition, please see this advice for delivery drivers during the COVID-19 outbreak

Additional considerations for Community Pharmacies, in light of COVID-19:

Community pharmacy staff are key workers

Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Even though we do not have a specific mention.

Pharmacies are advised to check their Business Contingency Plan in case they need to make changes in light of the current situation. A Free Coronavirus (COVID-19) Quick Reference Guide is available from Custom Guide, you may find these materials useful – click here to view.

Resilience Guidance for Opening hours and pharmacy closures:

Resilience Guidance – Part 1a: Opening Hours

Resilience Guidance – Part 1b: Opening Hours (shorter version)

Resilience Guidance – Part 2: Responsible Pharmacist

Resilience Guidance – Part 3: Emergency Closure

Emergency Closure Form (Word version)

Furthermore, PSNC have a hub page with guidance on Business Contingency Planning – click here to view.

We recommend all pharmacy staff keep up to date with the latest advice & guidance for professionals on the GOV.UK website: Click here for the collection page

Available CPD

CPD for Primary Health Care Professionals is also available. Espresso CPD: Guidance on novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV from Mims learning is available here (0.25 CPD hours)

PHE Advice on Rapid tests for home use

Some manufacturers are selling products for the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in community settings such as pharmacies, or for home use. Currently, Public Health England does NOT advise the use of these products

Click here for the full PHE guidance

GPhC Statement: How we will continue to regulate in light of novel coronavirus (Covid-19)

GPhC have published a joint statement on how they will will continue to regulate in light of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Click here to view the statement.

BMJ info-graphic for COVID-19 in Primary Care on what to do with a suspected case of COVID-19

Translations of NHS Advice

Doctors of the World UK have translated the NHS advice on how to safe during this period and to protect yourself and others from Covid-19 into multiple languages and are still adding to it and working to keep it updated as advice changes.

They are available on the google drive they have created here: https://t.co/flDzFRVNwf?amp=1

Illustration from Weiman Kow

An illustration from artist Weiman Kow on how the Coronavirus spreads, and advice on preventative measures. This illustration provides easy to understand guidance and information for all.

Please see the following PDF for the full version of all comics in one document, and the link to the original post where this and versions in other languages are available.

Original Facebook post available here

Q&A How to protect yourself when travelling during the coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak. – YouTube

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  1. Pingback: Friday Letter 13/03/2020 – North East London Pharmaceutical Committee (NEL LPC)

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