The Guidelines for Pharmacy team has produced the following directory of COVID-19 information and guidance for community pharmacy. This page will be updated as and when relevant guidance/information is made available.

coronavirus

Key COVID-19 guidance for community pharmacy

The General Pharmaceutical Council has signed a joint statement, alongside the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, and Pharmacy Forum NI, on emphasising social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has published guidance on COVID-19 for pharmacists and the pharmacy workforce, including frequently asked questions and additional resources.

Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) has published guidance on the management of drugs requiring monitoring during COVID-19. The guidance aims to help clinicians manage patients who are currently on a medicine that requires monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS England and Improvement

The NHS website has all the relevant guidance on assessment, diagnosis, management of suspected and confirmed coronavirus, discharge, isolation, and travel advice for patients.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced a standard operating procedure (SOP) for community pharmacists. The SOP covers information for patients arriving on site and advice for pharmacists if a patient presents with symptoms of COVID-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have released a document addressing the home delivery of prescription medicines during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, and NHS Improvement have published a standard operating procedure on how to run a safe and effective medicines reuse scheme in a care home or hospice during the coronavirus outbreak.

NHS England has published clinical guidance for healthcare professionals on maintaining immunisation programmes during COVID-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have published after-care needs of inpatients recovering from COVID-19, which aims to meet the immediate and longer-term care needs of patients discharged following an acute episode of COVID-19.

NICE

NICE has published a clinical knowledge summary (CKS) on coronavirus, which covers management of suspected coronavirus infection, advice for vulnerable groups, and where reliable clinical information can be found.

NICE has developed a series of rapid guidelines on the active management of COVID-19 infection, as well as links to other resources such as providing services during the pandemic.

PHE

Public Health England (PHE) has produced guidance for people advised to self isolate, as well as guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing).

There is guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19.

All updates to PHE guidance for COVID-19 are found on the MHRA central alerting system (CAS).

The MHRA has launched a dedicated Yellow Card reporting site for healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to report easily:

  • suspected side effects associated with any medicine used in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
  • incidents involving medical devices used in relation to COVID-19, including adverse incidents with equipment, diagnostic testing kits and software/apps.

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has produced an overview of the Pandemic Delivery Service, which aims to provide information for pharmacy contractors and their teams on new contractual responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, related to supporting extremely vulnerable patients self-isolating at home to obtain their medicines.

The PSNC has published a digital guide to the Pandemic Delivery Service for community pharmacy contractors. The 30-minute video features Alastair Buxton, PSNC’s Director of NHS Services, covering a number of key issues such as how to identify eligible patients and the use of volunteers, as well as outlining the funding available and how to claim payment.

The PSNC has worked with the National Pharmacy Association, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group to produce joint guidance on dealing with unwanted medicines that have been returned to community pharmacies in England.

Information for specific groups

The following is a list of links providing additional information for specific groups. This will be updated regularly as new information is published.

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Allergy

The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has published modifications for allergy services during COVID-19 pandemic, which provides suggestions for changes to service provision:

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Cardiovascular

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers

The Primary Care Cardiovascular Society has developed some specific advice about COVID-19 for patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

The British Cardiovascular Society together with the British Society for Heart Failure released a joint statement with regards to treatment with ACEi or ARB in relation to COVID-19. The statement speaks of discussions in both in the press and on social media that the possibility that treatment with ACEi or ARB could predispose individuals to adverse outcomes should they become infected with COVID-19.

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Care of the elderly

The British Geriatrics Society has compiled a list of current official UK/global advice and publications relating to older people’s healthcare during COVID-19.

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Diabetes

Guidance on practical recommendations for the management of diabetes in patients with COVID-19. This paper aims to provide insight into potential mechanistic links between the COVID-19 and diabetes and presents practical management recommendations.

Diabetes UK has produced COVID-19 guidance for people living with diabetes and their families, with emphasis on social distancing measures.

The Primary Care Diabetes Society has published a COVID-19 fact sheet for healthcare professionals to consider when caring for people with diabetes, including links to guidance and general advice for managing diabetes during intercurrent illness.

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Musculoskeletal and joints

The Royal Osteoporosis Society has created a COVID-19 resource hub, which aims to support healthcare professionals in safely and effectively managing osteoporosis patients through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Renal

The Renal Association has published a position statement on COVID-19 and ACE inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker use.

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Respiratory

Asthma UK has published health advice concerning COVID-19 for people with asthma.

The British Thoracic Society has published information to support the respiratory community during the COVID-19 outbreak, including community respiratory services, COPD and COVID-19 for HCPs, advice for HCPs treating patients with asthma, and obstructive sleep apnoea.

The Global Initiative for Asthma has published answers to frequently asked questions on the management of asthma during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease recognises that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are among the worst affected by COVID-19, and is working with the World Health Organization to try to minimise the impact of the infection. GOLD has produced a brief list of guidance for patients with COPD.

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Sexual health

British HIV Association has produced guidance for the management of adults with HIV on antiretroviral treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Terrence Higgins Trust has produced information on COVID-19, guidance for people living with HIV, and answers to frequently asked questions.

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Skin and wound care

International Psoriasis Council has published a statement on the COVID-19 outbreak.

British Association of Dermatologists has published a statement on dry skin and frequent handwashing to reduce COVID-19 risk.

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Women’s health

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has produced a guide for patients to help them stay informed about contraception and abortion services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further FSRH guidance on COVID-19:

The Primary Care Women’s Health Forum has published a PCS COVID-19 Community Contraception Guide, covering oral contraception: repeat or new starter, and long acting reversible contraception: Depo DMPA, implant, copper IUD, and IUS.

Further Information

COVID-19 testing is available for essential workers who are self-isolating

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has produced guidance on ethical, professional decision-making in the COVID-19 pandemic.