Regs reminder (#7): Pandemic Treatment Protocol

Ahead of the 2021/22 contract monitoring process, community pharmacy contractors are reminded of recent changes to the pharmacy Terms of Service. This article is part of a series of reminders.

On 20th October 2020 new NHS regulations were laid to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for pharmacy contractors. PSNC issued a series of 14 Regs explainer articles in November 2020 to help contractors and their teams to understand the new requirements.

Whilst deadlines for compliance with the changes have now passed, the end of 2020 was a particularly busy time for pharmacies, so contractors are advised to review our reminders in preparation for completing the 2021/22 Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF) survey, which will include questions on some aspects of the new Terms of Service.

What is required?

In the case of Pandemic Treatment Protocols, there are additional relevant NHS regulations (The National Health Service (Charges and Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021) which introduce a Pandemic Treatment PGD:  a PGD that relates to the supply of a prescription only medicine for the prevention or treatment of a disease that is, or is anticipated to be imminently, pandemic.

Contractors are entitled to supply a Prescription Only Medicine (POM) to a person in accordance with a Pandemic Treatment Protocol (PTP) or Pandemic Treatment Patient Group Direction (PTPGD), if and when one is issued. Medicines must be supplied with a dispensing label.

PTPGD: Subject to the requirements of a PT PGD approved by NHS England and NHS Improvement, where the contractor:

  • having made appropriate checks, and regard to what is reasonable and appropriate, that a person is entitled to be supplied with a medicine in accordance with a PTPGD, and
  • subject to the usual requirements of a PGD,

the contractor must supply the medicines with reasonable promptness.

Certain record keeping requirements will apply as this information is likely to be necessary for contractors to claim a fee and any reimbursement for a supply.

A PTP may not be used for a supply of a Schedule 2, 3, or part 4(1) Controlled Drugs.

Contractors will also have to provide home delivery options where there is a relevant announcement by the Secretary of State.

Where can I get more support on this?

Further information on PTPs can be found on our Pandemic Treatment Protocol page and specific PSNC guidance will be provided on each PTP issued.

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