To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made on the role of distance-selling pharmacies in ensuring patient access to repeat prescriptions is not disrupted during and after the covid-19 pandemic, including when the shielding programme ends.
The Department has made no such assessment. All pharmacies, including distance-selling pharmacies have a duty to patients to dispense prescriptions promptly regardless of whether they are part of the shielded population.
NHS England and NHS Improvement are encouraging general practitioners to issue patients with prescriptions via electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD), where clinically appropriate, to facilitate easier patient access to their repeat prescriptions
NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioned a Medicine Delivery Service from both community pharmacies and dispensing doctors to ensure delivery of medicines to shielded patients during the duration of the programme which comes to an end on 31 July. NHS Volunteer Responders will continue to be available to support people including with medication delivery, beyond 31 July.