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Wales: Pharmacy COVID test kit distribution service to launch in July

Pharmacies in Wales will start distributing COVID-19 lateral flow testing kits from early July, C+D has learned.

Following negotiations between the Welsh government and Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW), asymptomatic patients will be able to collect COVID-19 lateral flow device test kits from their local pharmacy from next month.

At present, patients can collect the test kits in person from some local test services or order them online via the GOV.UK website.

A positive response from pharmacies in Wales

Pharmacies’ response to the service has been overwhelmingly positive, a CPW spokesperson said. 

“All community pharmacy contractors had been invited to submit expressions of interest in offering [the service], to allow patients to collect lateral flow testing kits from their premises,” the spokesperson told C+D.

More than 90% of Welsh pharmacies “have agreed to participate in the scheme”, the spokesperson specified.

“This Wales-based service will go live in July and is another example of the willingness of the network to play a strong and frontline role in dealing with the pandemic,” they added.

More details to follow

The Welsh government confirmed to C+D that the “new service will start in early July”.

When asked by C+D for a copy of the service specification, the government said it will announce the details of the service “shortly”.

Pharmacies in England and Scotland have been offering COVID-19 rapid test kits since March and early June respectively.

As of April this year, some pharmacists in Wales lamented that patients mistakenly thought they could collect lateral flow testing kits from them.

“I don’t think it’s been clear in the media that it’s an English service,” Nathan Raymond, director of Mendus Pharmacy in Pembroke, south-west Wales, told C+D at the time.

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