An NHS funded medication delivery service has been announced in Northern Ireland. The new core community pharmacy service started on 1st September 2020.
The aim of this service is to ensure that eligible patients during the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have a family member, friend or carer or volunteer who can collect and deliver their prescription medicines on their behalf, can have their medicines delivered in a manner which keeps both them and pharmacy staff safe from COVID-19.
In recognition of this additional workload £3m has been made available for the provision of this service for the remainder of the 2020 financial year.
This is part of the additional £13.25m which has been committed to support the delivery of the Community Pharmacy Services Commissioning Plan for 20/21.
A third of the £3m investment will be divided equally amongst all contractors in Northern Ireland with the remaining two thirds to be allocated on prescribing volume, based on 2019 and 2020 dispensing.
Joe Brogan, Assistant Director of Integrated Care, Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management commented:
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues it is important to ensure that all patients can continue to receive their medicines in a safe and timely manner.
“I wrote to you on 11th August to advise that The Community Sector Volunteer Service would be stood down from 31st August. The purpose of my letter this week is to provide further details of the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service which is being commissioned by HSCB from 1st September 2020. The service is being commissioned as a Core service under the Community Pharmacy Contract Framework and is, therefore, one that all pharmacies are expected and encouraged to provide.
“I would like to thank you for completing the recent community pharmacy survey which has been very useful in the planning of services. In relation to the delivery of medicines, the results of the survey, from the 503 respondents to date, indicate that there has been an increase in the number of pharmacies providing a delivery service, increasing from 78% prior to the pandemic to currently over 95%. The majority of those pharmacies who are not currently providing a delivery service have indicated their willingness to provide a commissioned service. The number of deliveries being provided has also increased significantly across the network.”
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