Regs reminder (#8): Flexible provision of flu or coronavirus vaccinations

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?

During a pandemic or in anticipation of a pandemic, a pharmacy contractor may apply to NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) to provide from its pharmacy premises, a relevant immunisation service for a specified period within its core or supplementary hours and no other NHS pharmacy services.

There are two processes by which a contractor may limit the pharmaceutical services they provide to relevant immunisation services only: contractor-initiated notification form or NHS E&I initiated where they make an announcement that there are particular arrangements relating to the flexible provision of relevant immunisation services that they are prepared to agree to.

Where only a relevant immunisation service is provided, the pharmacy’s NHS website and Directory of Services profiles should be amended to show that the pharmacy is closed, to ensure that patient referrals, for example to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, are not made during this time. It is also suggested that a notice for patients and the public is displayed so it is visible from outside the pharmacy and indicates when the pharmacy is providing only a vaccination service.

Where can I get more support on this?

Further guidance will be provided by or through NHSE&I on this new requirement and the application process and forms. Additional guidance can also be read in the new NHS guidance.

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