PHE pulls guidance advising against Covid testing in pharmacies

Latest

PHE pulls guidance advising against Covid testing in pharmacies

In Latest

Public Health England has withdrawn its guidance on Covid-19 testing that explicitly advised against providing such services within a community pharmacy.

New guidance on point-of-care (PoC) tests for the diagnosis of Covid-19 was issued by PHE on February 1. It sets out new requirements that apply to everyone providing a testing service, but it is unclear how this will apply to outlets such as pharmacies that might want to sell PoC test kits.

The new guidance says: “The 2020 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Testing Requirements and Standards) (England) Regulations require all private coronavirus test providers to be engaged with the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS), and to have achieved UKAS accreditation for coronavirus testing, no later than June 2021. Also, coronavirus testing is now exempted as a regulated activity under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.”

The National Pharmacy Association says it is “seeking further clarity on PHE’s new position so that the full implications can be properly understood. We hope to be in a position to issue advice to members in the next few days. We are also contacting GPhC about revising its position, which is based on PHE’s now-defunct advice and currently excludes community pharmacies from providing this form of testing.”

The NPA says it has no plans to offer an in-pharmacy testing service for members at present, but a further announcement on testing can be expected next week.

“Previous PHE guidance had explicitly advised against point-of-care covid testing in pharmacies. We are pleased that following meetings between the NPA and PHE this earlier guidance has now been withdrawn,” the NPA added.

Lateral flow device antigen (LFD Ag) tests, which use a colour change on a test strip (similar to a pregnancy test) to directly detect non-nucleic acid antigens of coronavirus, are now in widespread use.

By November last year, four LFD Ag tests had been shown to detect coronavirus in over 70 per cent of infections and, critically, these tests detected almost all cases (over 95 per cent) with high viral loads.

LFD antibody tests have also been developed. These indicate whether a person has had a Covid infection in the past, but they cannot diagnose a current infection. An evaluation process to determine the accuracy of such tests is being set up.

Record my learning outcomes

Latest

Inspiring stories related to health, fitness and the pursuit of wellbeing

Share:

More like this

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Face coverings to be compulsory in pharmacies in England

Members of the public are to be told that from July 24 they will need to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets in England or face a fine.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Sale of GP surgery operator sparks concern over NHS privatisation

AT Medics acquisition makes US-owned Operose largest GP surgery operator in UK.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

NHS calls on more pharmacies to provide Covid jabs

More community pharmacies are needed to head up Covid-19 vaccination sites in a number of specified locations, NHS England has said. 

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Scotland tightening drug-driving laws

Scotland’s road safety laws are being strengthened further by the introduction of drug driving limits.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Pharmacy must reflect to prevent another Gosport, say bodies

Pharmacy bodies have collaborated on a learning resource on the events at Gosport, which saw at least 450 patients die.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

DHSC announce first wave of October concessions

The Department of Health yesterday announced the first list of price concessions for October.

1 Min Article

Recommended Learning

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Understanding the impact of dry skin conditions

Learn about the emotional impact of dry and eczema-prone skin, and confidently recommend products for skin treatment and maintenance.

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Managing hay fever: help meet your customers' needs

This module will improve your hay fever knowledge, helping you to understand its impact on sufferers and recommend the right products to ease symptoms

15 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Build your confidence in advising customers with erection problems so you can help make a real difference to their lives 

2 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Understanding constipation treatments

Discover the key benefits of different types of laxatives, and the right questions to ask customers to ensure you know which to recommend

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Confident pet health conversations

Learn 3 key steps to having more confident conversations with customers about pet health products.

3 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

How to advise on head lice

Despite them being so common, many people still don't know how to get rid of head lice. This training will arm you with the facts so that you can help customers choose the best treatments and answer their questions with confidence.

15 Min Module