Re-instatement of the Community Pharmacy Palliative Care On-call service until 10pm and Supply of urgent palliative care medicines from HSC Trust pharmacies after 10p from Monday 9th November

You will be aware that during the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic additional measures were put in place to enhance access to palliative care medicines.

The purpose of this letter is to advise you that the on-call services, provided by both community pharmacies and HSC Trust pharmacies will be re-established from Monday 9th November. Rota arrangements will be in place initially for 4 weeks, with the need reviewed on a weekly basis thereafter.

(i) Community Pharmacy Palliative Care On-call service

The out-of-hours on-call rota will be provided by a number of pharmacies, who provide palliative care services, enabling urgent prescriptions to be dispensed up to 10pm. HSCB will share details of the rota arrangements, on a weekly basis, with OOH services, COVID centres, and those community pharmacies providing Sunday rota.

The protocol for how OOH and COVID centres should use the service can be accessed at: http://www.hscbusiness.hscni.net/services/3168.htm

All of these pharmacies stock the regional palliative care medicines list which is available at: http://www.hscbusiness.hscni.net/services/2481.htm , together with the details of all pharmacies providing palliative care services.

This arrangement will be outside of the greater Belfast area where there is already an established Belfast on-call pharmacy arrangement which will continue as before.

(ii) Supply of urgent palliative care medicines from HSC Trust pharmacies

After 10pm, Trust on-call pharmacy services in the Western, Northern, Southern and South Eastern areas (outside of Belfast on-call geography) can be contacted to dispense HS21 prescriptions for urgent palliative care medicines only. Full details of the service are available at http://www.hscbusiness.hscni.net/services/3168.htm

Please ensure that all relevant staff are made aware of these arrangements and are familiar with the protocols for accessing the service.

It should be noted that:

 The GP OOH/COVID centre is responsible for delivering any urgently required prescriptions to the community pharmacy or Trust premises for dispensing.

 Prescriptions should NOT be presented by e.g. the patient, carer, household contact or care home staff but instead by a representative of the GP OOH/ COVID centre.

If you have any further queries please contact a Pharmacy Adviser in

your local HSCB office.