New pick-up methods and fee increase for England’s Pharmacy Collect service
People will be required to register for a 16-digit code to collect lateral flow device test kits from pharmacies in England from next month, while contractors will receive an increased service fee under a revised Pharmacy Collect service.
The current NHS community pharmacy COVID-19 lateral flow device distribution service – also known as Pharmacy Collect – is due to end on September 30, making way for a revised service for pharmacies in England from October 4.
In the updated service specification, NHS Test and Trace explains that from October 4, people will need to register for a 16-digit code from the government website or by ringing 119, which the pharmacy contractor “must” ask for and record before handing over the test kits.
“If the person collecting the tests does not wish to register, the pharmacy contractor should still provide them with the required test kits and record this as an anonymous collection,” NHS Test and Trace explained.
“For every transaction, including anonymous collections, the pharmacy contractor must record the following information:
• the 16-digit collect code (where provided)
• the LOT number for the test pack(s) handed out
• the number of test packs handed out
• the date of the collection.”
This information must then be entered into the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal by the end of the pharmacy’s working week, NHS Test and Trace added.
“NHS Test and Trace reserves the right to withhold further deliveries of test kits should weekly reporting not be satisfactorily undertaken,” it said.
New service fees
Under the current service provision, pharmacies receive a service fee of £1.50 plus an allowance for VAT per transaction. A maximum of two packs can be provided per transaction.
This increases to £1.70 plus an allowance for VAT per transaction when the patient has provided a 16-digit collect code and £1.20 plus VAT per transaction for “anonymous collections”.
“Monitoring of the number of anonymous collections will take place and any pharmacy contractor that is recording levels of anonymous collections which are significantly different to the local and national average will be approached by NHS Test and Trace to seek to understand the reasons for this,” NHS Test and Trace said.
Alliance Healthcare remains the sole supplier of lateral flow device test kits for the Pharmacy Collect service.
In July, Pharmacies participating in the service were told that Alliance Healthcare would be supplying Acon Flowflex tests instead of the Innova test kits once existing stock was depleted.
Pharmacies opting out
Around 97% of pharmacies in England currently offer the Pharmacy Collect service, NHS Test and Trace said, but those that opt not to provide the revised service must inform [email protected] no later than 23.59 on September 19.
Those pharmacies that choose to stop service provision after October 4 must give four weeks’ notice “to allow sufficient time for stock levels to be depleted”.
New marketing materials
“Pharmacy contractors may proactively inform customers of the service availability, including encouraging them to register for a collect code,” NHS Test and Trace said.
Pharmacies should receive new marketing materials explaining the changes to the service, and from Monday (September 13) are asked to display at least one poster and hand out flyers to those picking up test kits.
Earlier this month, a COVID-19 test kit distribution service launched across 420 pharmacies in Northern Ireland.