Chemist + Druggist is part of Informa PLC


This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By

UsernamePublicRestriction

Hepatitis C service delayed by COVID-19 to launch on September 1

A community pharmacy hepatitis C service will launch in September after it was postponed due to COVID-19, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has announced.

The service – which was originally scheduled to launch in April but was postponed due to the pandemic – will start on September 1.

It will be open to any pharmacy that meets the service specifications, although it will be “of most interest to contractors that provide a locally commissioned needle and syringe programme service”, PSNC said in a statement published yesterday (August 27).

Part of the national programme to eliminate hepatitis C "as a major public health threat" by 2025, the service is initially expected to run until the end of March 2022.

Pharmacies signing up to offer the service will receive a payment of £36 per point-of-care testing (POCT) performed on an eligible person who injects drugs (PWIDs), “plus the cost of the POCT”, according to the service specifications published by NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) yesterday.

“Payments for this service include provision for expenses incurred by community pharmacies in providing this service”, such as “training, purchasing of POCTs and disposal of clinical waste”, NHSE&I outlined in the specifications.

Who is it for?

The service is for PWIDs over 18 “who are not engaged in community drug and alcohol treatment services”. They can be offered a Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody test from a community pharmacy providing the service.

“Eligible PWIDs should receive the test as soon as possible after they have consented, to reduce the possibilities of loss to follow-up and potential for further infection of other individuals”, according to the service specifications.

Following a positive test results, patients will be referred for further testing and treatment, the service specification outlined. 

Requirements for pharmacies

Pharmacies wishing to offer this service can register their interest through the NHS Business Services Authority Manage Your Service (MYS) platform.

Contractors need to ensure that their pharmacy meets certain requirements before they start offering the service, including having a suitable consultation room in which to undertake the POCTs and making sure “staff are appropriately trained and made aware of the risks associated with the handling and disposal of clinical waste”.

When offering the service during the COVID-19 pandemic, the trained pharmacist or pharmacy technician performing the test must wear a fluid-resistant (type IIR) surgical mask.

The service must be available during the pharmacy’s contracted opening hours, NHSE&I said in the service specifications.

Commenting on the launch of the service, PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said that “community pharmacy is the healthcare provider with the best access” to the group of people who, as a result of injecting drugs, are most at risk of contracting hepatitis C.

“The commissioning of this service underlines the importance of the access to healthcare that is provided through the community pharmacy network,” he added.

Will your pharmacy offer this new service?

Related Content

Topics



Pharmacy Dispenser/ Technician
Bethnal Green North, London
Salary: Up to £30,000

Apply Now
UsernamePublicRestriction

Register

CD006692

Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts

Cancel