Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential increased pressures that community pharmacies will experience as primary care providers focus on the covid-19 vaccination booster programme.
The impact has been discussed with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. As a result, it has been agreed that all community pharmacies will benefit from contractual easements, to reduce pressure and to increase capacity. The deadline for meeting the requirements of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme will be extended and the requirements to complete the Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire for 2021/2022 and both a national and local multidisciplinary clinical audits have been waived.
Community pharmacy led vaccination sites will be able to amend their opening hours to focus on the vaccination service. To support patients during these closures, vaccination sites will be able to deliver urgent medication to patients who need their medicines while the pharmacy is closed. Also, as with other vaccination sites, community pharmacy vaccination sites are eligible for increased fees for any booster they administer before the end of January.