Delivery Service for Covid-19 New Advanced NHS Service

Which Patients are Shielded?

Please note that shielded patients and extremely vulnerable patients are the same thing. There is a list of which patients fall into the category


New NHS Delivery Service

An NHS Home Delivery Service has been commissioned from both community pharmacies and dispensing doctors. The service went live from Thursday 9 April 2020 ​​​​​​​and will run during the pandemic, initially it has been commissioned until Wednesday 1 July 2020; it may be extended beyond this date following a review. NHSE&I published the service specifications and detailed guidance on Friday 10 April 2020 and PSNC have extensive resources on their website with information about the service.

This service is designed to support shielded patients only in England to access their prescribed medicines and appliances while they are self-isolating at home during the pandemic period.

More details are in this letter

Distance-selling pharmacies (DSPs) are excluded from this service. The Essential Service and Advanced Delivery Service are not applicable to DSPs, because they are already contractually required to delivery prescription items to patients. They are however able to deliver prescriptions on another pharmacy’s behalf where that pharmacy has exhausted all other options for delivering the prescription.


What is the process for patients?

As per the terms of the delivery service, patients who meet the ‘shielding’ criteria are to be encouraged in the first instance to see if their medicines can be collected from the pharmacy and delivered to them by family, friends, or a carer.

In the second instance the patient should be encouraged to seek help form the NHS volunteer service or the local councils volunteer services (information below).

Where this is not possible the patient’s pharmacy team will arrange delivery. The pharmacy will be paid £5 per delivery – please note this payment will ONLY be paid for delivering to shielded patients.  To check if your patient is in the category you can check the patient’s SCR. You do not need to obtain consent if you are just checking whether the patient is flagged as a shielded patient.

To help you and your staff decide who is eligible for a delivery and to track deliveries for payment you may like to download a useful tick box sheet that has been developed locally.

New delivery service with easy tick sheet


Pharmacies wishing to use volunteers they have personally recruited

Pharmacies could have their own volunteers as delivery drivers rather than use pharmacy staff. Using volunteers to deliver medicines to patients will reduce the amount of contact the pharmacy team is having with patients e.g. one volunteer delivering to 10 patients.

Caution: if you work for a multiple please contact your Line Manager/ Area Manager / Head Office find out about your company’s position on using volunteers before you go any further.

Please ensure that you have conducted due diligence if you are going to use volunteers.

Things to consider (please note this list is not exhaustive);

  • Check that they are DBS checked
  • Confidentiality
  • Training – There is free, Covid-related training available from Buttercups for delivery drivers which covers storage of medicines in transit, vehicle security, safe delivery and dealing with undelivered medicines Click here for training
  • SOPs
  • Insurance
  • Suitability of medicines to be delivered – a conversation with the responsible pharmacist will identify which medicines can be delivered.

You should be aware of the GPhC and RPS guidance


Local Organisations 

Local organisations may have volunteers who are willing to help with your deliveries. (Please note that you must still conduct your own due diligence, even if the organisation listed says that they are DBS checked)

Caution: if you work for a multiple please contact your Line Manager/ Area Manager / Head Office find out about your company’s position on using volunteers before you go any further.


Signposting anyone in need (including those in the shielded category)

All patients at highest clinical risk who are shielding are asked to register to the Government Support ( website. This service provides access to food and medications whilst at home if needed.

To access this, patients must be flagged as highest clinical risk (shielding) by the central process, their GP or a hospital specialist.

Please note, there may be a short delay between the flag being applied and support arriving.

NHS Volunteer Responders: you can submit a live referral for an individual that needs support or an NHS service that requires volunteers providing they meet the referring criteria at or on 0808 196 3382.

Volunteers can provide: (1) Check in and chat support – short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation (note, this is not mental health advice); (2) Community support – collection of shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home; (3) Patient Transport – transport to take patients home who are medically fit for discharge.

Health at home – is a webpage that gives them an overview of NHS services that are available, such as how to order repeat prescriptions online and get them delivered (

Public Health England have provided some guidance on looking after mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local councils are working with voluntary sector organisations and local communities to support residents in the response to COVID-19. You can signpost them to, where they can locate their council and associated website where they can find all this information.  There is also a useful summary document which you can download.

Info and Contacts on Volunteers for Staffordshire and Stoke


Stoke on Trent patients

Stoke-on-Trent Covid-19 Support Network

Please Call:  0800 561 5610

This service will operate 7 days a week 9:00am to 5:00pm

Staffordshire patients

Please call 0300 111 8050