How our prescriptions are changing during coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means we’re changing the way we do some prescriptions.
The important thing is not to worry. If you currently get a prescription from us, you'll still be able to get your medicine.
During this period, we will keep sending your prescriptions to your usual pharmacy.
But to keep you safe, we have made a few changes. This page explains what’s different, but if you have any more questions, just speak to your key worker or get in touch with your local service.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms
If you or anyone in your household has had any symptoms of COVID-19, you will need to self-isolate. See the NHS advice on self-isolation. Your local service will still be able to offer you a telephone or virtual appointment, and you can nominate a friend or relative to collect your prescription for you.
If you don't have any naloxone, or your naloxone has expired
Speak to your key worker or someone else at your local service. They will be happy to give you a new supply.
If you haven’t had naloxone before, you’ll be given some training on how to use it. This should only take about ten minutes, and can be done online or over the phone.
If you already take your medicine home
You’ll normally be given one or two weeks supply, depending on your circumstances.
If you’re homeless, you might need to collect your medicines from the pharmacy more often. Speak to your key worker or local service to find out more.
If you’ve been taking your medicine home for the first time during lockdown, your service might review your circumstances when restrictions in your area have been relaxed.
This doesn’t mean you’ll automatically go back to supervised consumption. Your service will work with you to find the best way forwards.
Where possible, we will do virtual or telephone appointments, but you may need to come into your local service if:
- telephone or virtual appointments are difficult for you
- you are ready for detox
- you need a drug screening test
- we are concerned for your wellbeing
If you currently do supervised consumption
You may be given your medicine to take home.
It's important to store your medicine safely
Your worker will talk to you about your storage options before you get your first take-home dose.
They will ask about your options for storing medicines safely at home, like lockable cupboards or containers, and offer other suggestions and advice.
If you're currently detoxing or reducing your dose
We are now able to support and encourage your detox, depending on your situation and the kind of support available.
Speak to your local service for more advice.
If you're a new client
You’ll need to visit your service in person for an assessment before you can get a prescription.
Remember that you’ll need to wear a face covering when attending your assessment, unless you are exempt from wearing one.
If you don’t have a face covering, don’t worry: we can help you arrange something. Just let the team know before you come in.
At first, you’ll also need to take your medicine under supervision at your local pharmacy. The prescriber will regularly review this arrangement, and you may be given take-home doses later.
If you can't leave your home because you're self-isolating
Then please call your service to let us know, and we can pass the information to your pharmacy.
You can nominate someone, like a friend or relative, to collect a one or two-week supply of your medicine for you.
This person must have a signed note from you, saying that you agree to let them collect your medicine. This doesn’t have to be printed: you can write it by hand.
Remember that they will need to wear a face covering when visiting the pharmacy, unless they are exempt from wearing one.
If there's a local lockdown in your area
As the coronavirus situation continues, there may be local lockdown restrictions in parts of the UK.
We know that restrictions might vary from place to place, and might change at short notice. We will adapt our services accordingly to support you and your needs.
If there’s a local lockdown in your area, don’t worry: you will still be able to get your medicine.
But we might need to make changes at short notice. This could include:
- having telephone appointments rather than face-to-face ones
- moving you from supervised to take-home consumption
- putting a planned detox on hold
We are here for you whatever stage of the journey you are at. Virtual appointments, groups and our webchat service mean you will always be supported, whether or not you can see someone face-to-face.