Free Covid testing kits now available at some pharmacies

Free Covid testing kits are available at the Love's Farm Pharmacy.

Free Covid testing kits are available at the Love's Farm Pharmacy. - Credit: LOVES FARM PHARMACY

Community pharmacy teams in Huntingdonshire are starting to offer free coronavirus test kits.

The Pharmacy Collect service will make lateral flow test kits available to people, who do not have symptoms. 

The consumer healthcare association, Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), 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. 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 to identify COVID-positive cases in the community and break the chain of transmission, avoiding the need for further lockdowns.

Anil Sharma, pharmacist at Alconbury Chemist and Loves Farm, in St Neots said:

“As a community pharmacist, I am really excited about starting the Pharmacy Collect service. Our pharmacy has been offering public health services for several years and my patients have been extremely positive about these.

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"There is so much that pharmacists and their teams can do to help our communities as the COVID restrictions are eased. Community pharmacies are the most accessible healthcare locations; we offer convenient access to medicines and a range of health services without the need for an appointment.

"This will be of particular value in this service, where we can really help those who may not be able to travel far to access these tests. Pharmacy hasn’t stopped during the pandemic: community pharmacies in England continue to have 600,000 informal healthcare consultations a week. This shows that patients value the convenience of being able to choose to get health services from their local pharmacy.”

INFO: The NHS Test and Trace Site Finder map can be used to locate participating pharmacies: (this will be updated on a weekly basis).