Statement: testing and tracing services across Great Britain

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said:

“New services to trace people who have been in close contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus, and to ask them to self-isolate, are being introduced across Great Britain.  

"We know there are ongoing discussions in England, Scotland and Wales about the potential implications if all pharmacy staff in a team were asked by contact tracers to self-isolate for 14 days.

"We would encourage all pharmacy owners to review their business continuity plans and risk assessments after considering these implications and identify any further mitigating actions they could take to reduce the risk of whole pharmacy teams having to self-isolate.

"Pharmacy owners should also make sure their teams are familiar with relevant advice and guidance from governments and the NHS in each country and from the professional leadership bodies within pharmacy; the RPS has issued guidance which we support.  We would expect pharmacy owners to support members of their teams to follow relevant guidance, including on reducing risks of transmission, and to comply with any directions from the testing and tracing services within their country. 

"All members of the pharmacy team have a professional responsibility to self-isolate if asked to do so by the contact tracing team, so they can protect themselves, their colleagues and patients and the public.”

Further information and guidance

Royal Pharmaceutical Society: Guidance on protecting your team in the pharmacy

Public Health England guidance: COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee: NHS Test and Trace: update for community pharmacy

Community Pharmacy Scotland: Test and Protect- Sharing Good Practice
Scottish Government: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect

Welsh Government: Test, trace, protect: coronavirus