The pandemic delivery service has restarted again in England for tier 4 areas, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) has confirmed.

In a letter to contractors, NHSE&I said the service will run from 21 December 2020 until 18 January 2021.

‘Pharmacies and dispensing doctors across England will be required to ensure shielding patients in these areas can receive their prescription medicines and appliances until the date specified above,’ the letter said.

This comes as the Government put London and neighbouring areas in the South East and East of England under tightened ‘tier 4’ measures in response to the rapid spread of a new, potentially more transmissible, strain of Covid-19.

Clinically vulnerable people have been advised by the government to shield and to not visit pharmacies to collect medicines, under the new tier 4 measures.

According to the NHSE&I letter, the pandemic delivery service will apply in the following areas:

· London – all 32 London boroughs plus the City of London.

· South East – Kent and Medway; Buckinghamshire; Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire); Surrey (excluding Waverley); Hastings and Rother; Havant, Gosport and Portsmouth.

· East of England – Hertfordshire; Essex (excluding Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester); Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton; Peterborough.

‘Contractors located in tier 4 areas will receive the essential service payment for the days the service is active, as set out in Part VIA of the Drug Tariff,’ PSNC said in an update to contractors yesterday (21 December).

‘If a contractor (excluding Distance Selling Pharmacies) is asked to deliver a prescription to a clinically extremely vulnerable patient living in one of the above tier 4 areas, this can be undertaken during the above period, under the terms of the Advanced service and a claim for payment can be made via the Manage Your Service (MYS) platform. Claims should be submitted by the 5th day of the following month,’ the negotiator added.