March 19th update: Following a change in the case definition, to remove the link to travel history or contact with confirmed cases, community pharmacies are now advised to display anew Public Health England (PHE) poster. The new poster is available from the PHE campaign resources hub. The posters below will now have to be replaced.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the posters for display have been updated. Community pharmacies are now advised to display the following TWO PHE posters so they are visible to people seeking to enter the premises:
These posters can be downloaded from the PHE campaign resources hub. The previously displayed entry posters should be removed.
NHSE&I have stated that their aim is for all future update letters to the professions will be published on a Friday from now onwards. They will be published on the NHSE&I COVID-19 primary care page, which provides links to all the key documents and resources for primary care teams.
As previously highlighted, free of charge packs of PPE will be distributed direct to pharmacies from the PHE stockpile later this week or earlier next week; the packs will contain 50 masks, 200 aprons and 100 pairs of gloves. The PPE is only for use in the pharmacy as advised in the NHSE&I SOP – PPE only needs to be used 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 (in this case the PPE is to protect the worker from the cleaning products being used).
As a consequence of this, the need for community pharmacies to have to use PPE, at this time, is low; the guidance on PPE use will be kept under review as the pandemic progresses.
Wherever possible, a patient presenting in the pharmacy with possible COVID-19 infection should be immediately told to return home and then access NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 (calling being a secondary option to online access) in order that the pharmacy does not have the increased risk of dealing with an isolated patient in the consultation room and the subsequent need for decontamination.
All these resources and information are also available to access from the LPC’s dedicated COVID-19 page HERE.