As the second national lockdown ends, so does the pandemic delivery service

As the second national lockdown ends, so does the pandemic delivery service

December 7, 2020

Colleagues working in health and social care across Surrey and Sussex are reminded that the Pandemic Delivery Service stopped on Thursday 3 December 2020. This follows the end of the national lockdown on 2 December 2020, when clinically extremely vulnerable patients were no longer advised to shield themselves.

Future reactivation of the service

The service will be reactivated if shielding is re-started in any local areas; the service only applied to shielded patients and despite requests to commission a wider service, e.g. for patients self-isolating at home, the Government has decided not to commission such a service.

Current Government guidance says they may advise more restrictive formal shielding measures for the clinically extremely vulnerable in the worst affected Tier 3 areas, based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer. This will only apply to some Tier 3 areas and the Government will write to patients to inform them if they are advised to shield.

A decision to reintroduce shielding in a specific Tier 3 area will trigger NHS England & NHS Improvement to issue a notice to re-commence the service for the shielded patients in the affected area. If this occurs pharmacy bodies will alert pharmacies through our usual communications channels.


Requests for home deliveries of prescribed medicines

Guidance is available for those collecting a prescription for someone else. Download from the link below

Many patients request home deliveries.

In the first instance, pharmacy staff will probably want to explain to all patients that they have seen a massive increase in workload due to the pandemic, that they are extremely stretched and they will urge patients to identify a family member, friend or carer who can collect the prescription from the pharmacy and deliver it to them.

A poster to help explain this to patients, has been developed for pharmacy staff to use; see the National Pharmacy Association website and here is guidance for those collecting a prescription for someone else

Community pharmacies continue to be able to charge patients for the delivery of prescriptions if they wish, except for deliveries of some specified appliances


More information




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