Pharmacy Collect: UKHSA update on LFD stock (5th Jan)
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Stock availability and distribution
The unprecedented public demand for Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits via the Pharmacy Collect service continues.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) are continuing to deliver stock to Alliance Healthcare for onward delivery to pharmacies. PSNC has been in regular contact with the UKHSA about the supply issues and we have the following update for pharmacy teams.
By the end of this week (8th January 2022), the UKHSA will have distributed over 8 million tests to Alliance Healthcare (representing c.1,142,800 individual packs of 7 tests and just over 19,000 cartons). The UKHSA has indicated that Alliance Healthcare are delivering 86% of their orders within 24 hours of the pharmacy order, with almost half of that on the same day.
For the remainder of January the UKHSA is planning to distribute 10.5 million tests per week (c. 1.5 million individual packs of 7 tests and just over 25,000 cartons) via Alliance Healthcare, replenishing Alliance Healthcare depots as test kits are distributed to pharmacies.
A plan to switch on a Parcel Force delivery contingency is currently being finalised by UKHSA. This will help support the supply of a further 3.5 million test kits (c. 500k individual packs of 7 tests and just over 8,400 cartons).
The stock being received by Alliance Healthcare will be one of the following products, so contractors should continue to check availability of each product and order whichever is in stock at the time:
Product: DHSC INNOVA COVID-19 test kits PIP: 8943037 (54 packs of 7 tests per carton)
Product: DHSC FLOWFLEX COV test kits PIP: 8033680 (56 packs of 7 tests per carton)
Product: DHSC ORIENT GENE test kits PIP: 8943995 (59 packs of 7 tests per carton)
Product: DHSC SURESCREEN TEST KITS PIP: 8945040 (56 packs of 7 tests per carton)
There may be periods when the products appear out of stock, before more replenishment stock is received from the UKHSA; in that circumstance contractors are encouraged to check back later in the day to see if more stock has become available to order.
Local Authority collection sites
Community pharmacy contractors are reminded that they can signpost any citizen to local authority collection sites if they have run out of stock whilst they are awaiting stock replenishment. Local Authority collection sites can be found at Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests – NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk) with additional mobile sites and pop up test sites being displayed on individual local council websites.
Commenting on the current situation, Zoe Long, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at PSNC, said:
“Pharmacies are continuing to face near-constant demand for lateral flow tests which they are still often unable to meet. This is putting significant pressure on pharmacy teams, and we are also really concerned about continuing reports of verbal abuse, especially where members of the public are not aware that having a code does not guarantee that supply is available.
“The UKHSA are doing all that they can to assure supplies, but so far, and with further policy changes emphasising the importance of lateral flow tests announced today, this will not have felt like enough to many pharmacy teams.
“We do hope that these further steps to increase supply will start to have a positive impact soon, but in the meantime, we will continue to raise concerns with the UKHSA on an ongoing basis.
“PSNC and the other national pharmacy organisations have also been doing a huge amount of work with the national media to try to reset patient expectations on this topic and to emphasise the critical work that pharmacies are doing.”
Reminder: Official ‘Out of Stock’ poster
The UKHSA have issued a poster which pharmacies can print off and display when they are out of stock of test kits.
Editable and A3 versions of the posters are available to download from the Campaigns Resources Centre.
Contractors are also reminded that NHS England and NHS Improvement recently issued materials to be used in all primary care locations to encourage people to show respect to staff.