Covid test kits

Good idea @Erica I didn’t think quickly enough in the face of a reluctant receptionist. Although I have to say I did think we were supposed to be digital not resorting to pen and paper.

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Went to the pharmacy yesterday - success and no hassle! I took the most recent letter from my Consultant to GP informing him of bloods/consultation etc. and asked if this was sufficient evidence. Friendly receptionist said, that’s fine and got me a box of Covid tests. Explained she can only give me one box, but if I want to call in again with the same letter she can give me another one! As you say, it could be even easier. Beverley

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I took all the required proof of eligibility to my local Boots Chemist branch, only to be told that I was accepted as qualifying but had to be showing Covid symptoms before I could be given a test Kit. Is this true?

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I had no symptoms of anything and received one box of tests. See above for my situation at a local chemists. I do not think this is true but perhaps each pharmacy is applying its own rules. Seems barmy if you have to have symptoms, pick up tests from somewhere, test and then contact the local provider for antivirals within a very short window. The whole point, I thought, was to have tests at home so that you can test in a timely manner to access the antivirals if appropriate. Perhaps Blood Cancer UK can take this up and clear the muddy waters that exist currently.

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Since sending my post I have read and printed the NHS England PDF shown in the post from DB on 23rd Dec.
It clearly states in the last paragraph of ‘section 1- Service background’ on page 3, that:-

“Tests need to be available to eligible patients to access in advance of developing symptoms”

I will be visiting the chemists again with a print of the PDF.

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Hi @MANS643 I was not told that I needed to be showing symptoms by my Boots chemists.
Please do let us know when you go in with your PDF
Take lots of care

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Further to my post above. I went into my GP linked pharmacy for a prescription. I asked the assistant if they’d signed up for the free lateral flow tests for immunocompromised people? She immediately asked if I wanted some. Naturally, given what happened to me earlier in the month I asked if I had to fill a form in and also that I’d didn’t have my letters with me. “No problem”, she said. “All the information I require is on the system for me.” A simple access system which I shall use in the future…….well until it all changes again!!

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How crazy is that! Surely you need a stock of LFT at home so you can test when you get the symptoms - otherwise you’re forced to go out, find a pharmacy, get the tests, go home and test having spread it around if you test positive!! Some of these people don’t seem to have any common sense . . .

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I was not aware of the change until I tried to order some tests online today as my current stock is due to expire. I rang several local pharmacies on the Government website list. None had free tests and had no idea if they would get any. I got the impression that many are not even planning to order any even though they are on the list. Eventually I have had to purchase some which the pharmacy will deliver but need to hand over cash to the driver. As someone who was tested for antibodies after my seventh Covid vaccine and still don’t have a single Covid antibody I still don’t go out to shops etc and my Consultant also says i have to remain cautious. It is an absolute disgrace….

Hi @Maureen54, sorry to hear this! Have you had a look at this link? Find a pharmacy - NHS If you put your postcode in and then click on the pharmacies → Test and Services → Screening and Tests Services,
you’ll be able to see if any of them offer this service (if so, it’ll say COVID-19 lateral flow tests (eligible NHS patients)

If no pharmacies in your area are offering this, please feel free to privately message me your town or postcode and I’ll let our Policy Team know, as they’re feeding back to NHS England where there are gaps in this service.

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Hi Alice

Yes I put my postcode in and a list came up including the pharmacy that I am registered with but like all those I phoned they did not have any free kits.

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Alice - don’t know how to privately message - bit of an old fogey!

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Don’t worry! I will send you a message :slight_smile:

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Hi @Alice_BloodCancerUK @Maureen54 etc.
I went to my local well known pharmacy in town today where I had been before and filled my form in and she asked for my proof of eligibility again and I was able to get my monthly supply of Covid test kits.
,’

Erica. Glad you were able to get a supply. My problem is that I don’t go to shops and local pharmacies (including my registered pharmacy who delivers my medication and has access to records)don’t have any free stocks so have had to buy and paid delivery driver who was good and stood well back whilst money and package put on the floor!

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What an absolute Rip-Off opportunity the government has handed to pharmacies by forcing household members of the most vulnerable to buy Spring Booster V
accine jabs from them, and how comprehensively they are milking it.
The original estimation of cost I read was £45, but my son has now got a quote of £75 from an independent pharmacy, whilst Boots are charging a few pence off £100!
“Lovely Jubbly” as Del Boy would have exclaimed.

Blood Cancer UK, Can you please try to bring this to the nation’s attention through the Media
ASAP.
Thank you.

I think Novavax is still planned to be £45 but apparently not available at the pharmacies offering it until after 22nd April at the earliest . My hubby is signed up for Pfizer jab , £75 (via a Pharmadoctor pharmacy which is a bit of a trek to get to as not many pharmacies in their network are offering it) (Pfizer is more expensive to produce and more storage issues for pharmacies which is why I assume it’s more expensive) . I believe Boots are doing the Pfizer jabs and probably more readily available as more U.K. coverage but yes definitely taking advantage , it’d be interesting to know how much profit they’ll make on each jab. As you say, all because this Govt (I use the term Govt consciously as the JCVI had their hands tied) has decided not to include household members of the immunocompromised community in Spring booster NHS group. Health inequity in plain sight. It’s shocking.

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Hi @MANS643 and @CaroleCW I will copy this to Blood Cancer UK for you @BloodCancerUK

The media silence is deafening!

The countries leaders? will be loving that, so how long before everyone has to pay? My guess - Autumn a strong possibility.