The new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service will make coronavirus test kits – known as lateral flow devices (LFD) – readily available to people without symptoms free of charge from local NHS pharmacies.
90% of the population live within a 20 minute walk of a local pharmacy, making them convenient collection points for these test kits. NHS Test and Trace research found that people prefer to access testing close to home, with pharmacists being trusted by their local communities. The consumer healthcare association, Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), also found that since the start of the pandemic, almost one in three people are now more likely to visit a pharmacy for advice before seeking help elsewhere.
Anyone can request a box of test kits from the pharmacy counter for regular testing at home or elsewhere.
The test distribution service from pharmacies, along with other locations, sits under NHS Test and Trace, and forms part of the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap plan. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Easter Monday that everyone in England would be given access to two free coronavirus tests a week. It is hoped that widening the offer of tests will help identify COVID-positive cases in the community which will break the chain of transmission and avoid the need for further lockdowns.