This page contains the relevant links on the COVID-19 – Coronavirus.
FAQ for Pre-registration Pharmacy Trainees and Tutors – information from Health Education England (HEE).
The following page contains frequently asked questions for trainees in relation to the impacts of COVID-19 on training.
Cumbria County Council (CCC) Deliveries – New Procedure
24th April 2020
We have simplified the procedure when you want to request a prescription delivery by Cumbria County Council. Instead of phoning individual Transport Managers, you now just have to phone the Hub: 0800 783 1966.
To reflect this change, and other developments like the National Delivery Service, the associated delivery paperwork has been updated. See links below:
We have been working with the County Council for a few weeks now, and they have been a great help, filling in the gaps when a pharmacy either doesn’t have its own delivery service or its capacity has been exceeded. We recommend using the CCC service as a 2nd choice over your own service, as it is more reliable and ‘quality assured’ than the NHS Volunteers scheme.
Finally, we really don’t want their drivers stuck in a pharmacy queue, so please do your best to ensure that a driver is seen to promptly. The drivers will all be getting your bypass mobile phone numbers to ensure that they can make contact quickly with pharmacies when they need to.
DELIVERIES; IMPORTANT REVISION TO CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL (CCC) SERVICE
8th April 2020
We have been in discussion with Cumbria County Council about their delivery service, and are pleased to report that it has been agreed that their drivers will now deliver prescriptions containing Controlled Drugs. The delivery service information has been revised, with some additional proof of prescription recipient ID requirements. We still cannot obtain signatures on the back of scripts, so have simply stated that the driver should obtain the NAME, D.O.B. and RELATIONSHIP TO PATIENT of the recipient.
We have provided a new Delivery Sheet in the revised delivery service information pack for your use to incorporate these additional requirements.
A reminder: if you need to access the CCC delivery service, the pharmacy needs to phone the appropriate TRANSPORT MANAGER to request it. Here are there details:
|South Lakeland:||Jack Tebbs||(email@example.com)||07789 924660|
|Carlisle:||Ann Barlow TBC||(firstname.lastname@example.org)||07388 961 075|
|West:||Kev Francis||(email@example.com)||07388 961075 and|
|Harry Collins||(Harry.Collins@cumbria.gov.uk)||0746 4526322|
|Eden:||Andrew Johnson||(firstname.lastname@example.org)||07827 663153|
|Barrow:||Tony Murphy||(email@example.com)||0778 5667065|
Cumbria County Council delivery service.
1st April 2020
Please find the required information on the use of the delivery service HERE.
This option must be reserved for cases of genuine need, where a vulnerable – usually shielded individual does not have family members or friends who can collect medication on their behalf. Although the service is aimed at supporting shielded individuals, you may request help to deliver prescriptions to other vulnerable people on a case by case basis.
COVID 19 Update
Pharmacy Update 18th March 2020
This message is for all Pharmacies across Cumbria Community Pharmacy Cumbria are well aware of the fantastic work that pharmacy teams are doing in these unprecedented times.
Some of you may feel overwhelmed with anxiety and stress trying to deal with the pharmacy and your own personal situation; we hope that the following information will at least provide some guidance in dealing with the issues that you may be encountering either already, or soon.
Community Pharmacy Cumbria Committee
1. Business Continuity
Ensure that you have reviewed your Business Continuity Plan. Consider planning for staff shortages of up to 50% given the recent government guidance on social distancing strategy. Also consider your cleaning protocols to ensure all surfaces touched by patients and staff are frequently cleaned.
Other practical ideas that you may wish to consider under different scenarios within your continuity plan include the following.
- Limit numbers entering the pharmacy.
- Encourage contactless payments instead of cash.
- Distance patients from counter areas and each other. Eg implement a metre separation.
- Clean down pharmacy routinely, in particular areas of high contact. Eg. Benches, door handle, till.
- Implement distancing measures such as offering to sign prescriptions instead of handing over pens and paper to patients except where legally necessary (cd collections). Reduce the handling of goods, perhaps using paper bags to hand over products safely.
- If shortages of staff become extreme consider locking door and serving at the door way.
- Consider rationing of medication if shortages escalate. (This can apply to sales of medicines and owing of NHS prescriptions)
- Establish lines of communications with colleagues in other pharmacies locally, and with locums. Working cooperatively may become essential to maintain patient care.
- Use PPE where necessary
2) Pharmacy Cleaning
Do you have a deep clean plan? We have confirmed with the CCG that the deep cleaning process is the same as the one which you would follow for any other body spillages within your pharmacy.
3) Pharmacy Closures
In the event of closure you must inform NHS England and should let local surgeries know. A copy of the closure form can be downloaded
–Unexpected-Pharmacy-Closure-Template NHSE North and South Cumbria
To help us understand the local picture we would appreciate it if you copy us in when informing NHS England of any closure. Please also copy Community Cumbria in.
This reporting may change as we move forward. PSNC are developing a form to be completed on Pharmoutcomes and will be sent to all the relevant agencies.
Returning Undispensed Prescriptions
In event of closure, please consider returning any undispensed prescriptions back to the spine so that other pharmacies can pull them through if needed.
4) Prescription Deliveries
You should have a Standard Operating Procedure for delivery drivers in the normal course of operation; please ensure that there are clear instructions included for drivers delivering to self-isolating patients so that your staff are not put at risk.
5) Supervised Consumption
Policy being developed with Unity and Community Pharmacy Cumbria
Bypass Phone Numbers
To help facilitate communication, if pharmacies have an alternative phone number that can be used in case of emergency, can you please forward this number to Unity. They may also be able to give you their bypass number for emergency use.
At this time we would ask you to consider working closely with your local pharmacies to potentially share stock, staff and delivery drivers if this becomes necessary for patient care and pharmacy operational requirements. We urge you to speak to your neighbouring pharmacies now and establish channels of communication and cooperation.
Please let us know if you need help facilitating cooperative working- firstname.lastname@example.org
7) Combating Drug Shortages
We have has become aware of GPs instituting an increase in the duration of prescriptions to “help patients access medication”.
This approach is contrary to the advice that GPs are being given by NHS England, and we have communicated with local GP leadership to ask
Any increase in periods of treatment during the COVID 19 pandemic WILL create stock shortages that don’t exist at present and deny patients important medication.
If you have any explains of this happening please contact us – email@example.com
The NPA and CCA have issued an open letter to patients, asking them to act in the interests of the whole community by helping pharmacies to maintain vital services.
The letter highlights steps to maintain the supply chain in order to prevent shortages and asks patients to:
- Act responsibly by not entering a pharmacy if you have symptoms of infection, such as a cough or fever.
- Please ask friends or family who are symptom-free to collect essential medicines for you.
- Only buy the medicines and supplies that you need right now to treat you and your family.
- Follow any instructions from our pharmacists and pharmacy teams.
- Treat our pharmacy teams in the way that you would wish to be treated yourself.
- Keep up to date with the latest online advice from the NHS.
A copy of the Public Letter
8) NHS Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Please ensure you keep an eye on the NHS England website to ensure you use the latest SOP provided. This was originally released in February, however, it has been updated recently.
You can access the SOP via this link. (Updated 22/02/2020)
The Local NHS England team have now prepared a useful list for North Cumbria – contact list.
Note South Cumbria information to follow.
9) PERMSS (Pharmacy Emergency Repeat Medication Supply Service)
The LPC has written to NHS England, asking for the reinstatement of PERMSS due to the current strain on NHS 111. Waiting times are now very lengthy, and as a consequence patients are simply attending pharmacies for urgent medication requests, escalating our workload still further.
If they agree to turn this service back on we will be in touch – A speedy sign up may be needed!
10) Repeat RX Ordering – Local Processes
GP surgeries are increasingly going into lock down – restricting patient access and handling patients remotely. We are trying to obtain generic practice emails so that you can order prescriptions this way. Alternatively, you may need to post through the locked door in a sealed envelope. There does not seem to be a standard approach so you will need to understand your local surgeries’ procedures.
We are in discussions with North Cumbria and Morecambe Bay CCG to try and obtain the generic email addresses.
The NHS / Dept of Health will be communicating and cascading information to pharmacies via their practice NHS Email addresses. Please make sure you are checking your inbox on a regular basis so you are aware of changes or actions required.
PSNC have appointed an officer with a sole focus on Covid-19 support. Please keep an eye on the PSNC Covid webpage for new information. It is also prudent to ensure that you sign up to receive the PSNC newsletter which provides regular updates.
We understand that Simon Dukes (PSNC Chief Executive) is in discussion with government around help that is needed for pharmacies. We welcome this and hope that it results in positive action to support the community pharmacy network; a network that is now under great pressure, but extremely vital for the health of patients. You can read more about this by clicking here.
Thanks for all your efforts, keep up the great work!
The links below are constantly being updated with the latest Information:
Other useful Guidance
The key guidance for health professionals is available on the Public Health England (PHE) section of the GOV.UK website: