Covid-19 LFD Testing

The Lateral flow device tests supply service for patients potentially eligible for COVID-19 treatments (LFD service) was commissioned from 6th November 2023. The service is expanding from 1st April 2024 following the updated NICE guidelines. To access the updated letter to contractors, please click here.

It is a walk-in service where patients or their representatives can collect one box of 5 LFD tests from a participating community pharmacy on confirmation that the patient is part of the potentially eligible for COVID-19 treatments cohort.

The full list of eligible patients aged 12 years and over that are at risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and therefore potentially eligible for COVID-19 treatments can be found in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance Supporting information on risk factors for progression to severe COVID-19.

The pharmacy owner must confirm the patient’s eligibility for a supply of LFD tests. This could be by:

  • Seeing the patient’s NHS letter which confirms eligibility;
  • Having a discussion with the patient or their representative about the patient’s medical history, confirming they have a qualifying condition. The pharmacist or pharmacy technician may wish to review the National Care Records Service (NCRS) and then use their clinical judgement; or
  • Referring to the pharmacy’s clinical records for the service, where the pharmacy has previously seen and made a record of having seen a copy of the patient’s NHS letter confirming eligibility.

Eligible patients should only receive one box of 5 LFD tests per consultation.

Where possible, pharmacy owners should additionally seek to ensure that they are providing tests to eligible patients at appropriate intervals and requests do not exceed what is deemed reasonably required for an eligible patient, e.g. they are not supplying multiple boxes of tests over a short period.

Community pharmacies should order LFD tests through their usual wholesalers.

Key Information

LFDTs Operational Note (pdf) (updated March 2024)

CPE LFD Supply Service

NHSE Service Specification