Updated COVID-19 SOP: volunteers liability clarified and opening hours flexibility removed

On the 11th August 2020 NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has issued an updated Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for community pharmacies in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first update since March, NHSE&I has removed the flexible opening provision that allowed pharmacies to close their doors to the public for up to 2.5 hours a day and clarified the indemnity/liability position of volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).

The updated SOP also includes information on high-risk patients – including shielding patients – detailing when and where a delivery service to shielded patients will be commissioned.

Other amendments bring the SOP in line with the latest information and guidance already available to contractors on, for example, staff risk assessments, social distancing and the use of PPE and face coverings, and cleaning and decontamination of the pharmacy.

The updated SOP is a key source of information and guidance for contractors and consolidates information and guidance already available, as well as providing new advice.

Read the SOP