Updated advice – COVID-19 testing for pharmacy staff

Pharmacy contractors will be aware from recent media reports of the challenges the NHS Test and Trace service is currently facing, with increased demand being seen for COVID-19 tests for symptomatic individuals. PSNC has also received reports from contractors that pharmacy staff members with COVID-19 symptoms have been unable to access testing.

Community pharmacists and their staff are classed as essential workers who are prioritised for testing and employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or members of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

They can do this by uploading the names and contact details of self-isolating essential workers to the secure employer referral portal. Referred essential workers will then receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household members at a testing site.

To get a login to the employer referral portal, pharmacy contractors should email portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk with the following information:

  • organisation name
  • nature of the organisation’s business
  • region
  • names (where possible) and email addresses of the 2 users who will load essential worker contact details

Once employer details have been verified, two login credentials will be provided for the employer referral portal.

GOV.UK guidance on getting tested for COVID-19