The Secretary of State, Matt Hancock today has suggested the creation of “immunity passports“ for the COVID-19 pandemic to get the UK populace back to work. It is thought that there are many people who have contracted COVID-19 unknowingly (as the disease can be asymptomatic) and now have some protection from antibodies generated by their immune system. The government believes that patients who can prove some immunity to COVID-19 via the new “COVID antibody tests” would be prime candidates to get back to work. In theory, all the government would need to do is set up test centres across the UK, test patients, issue immunity passports and hopefully, the economy will get back on track.
In reality, it is a difficult plan to execute as the majority of GP surgeries have closed their doors to patients. This proposal has been created to show that the only other viable option in primary healthcare are community pharmacists. This proposal also shows how an immunity certification service could be rolled out within the week on every high street in the country.
What would a pharmacy COVID immunity certification service look like?
Our initial designs are as follows…
The patient COVID Certificate pathway:
- The patient would type COVID Immunity Certificate into Google and find covidcertify.me or be directed via NHS 111.
- Either resource would direct the patient to their nearest pharmacy which is certified to perform the COVID Immunity service.
- At the pharmacy, ID is confirmed and the test is given to the patient. The test can be performed within the pharmacy consultation room (every pharmacy in the UK now has one), this can either be done by the patient by themselves or with the aid of the pharmacist.
- Once the test is completed the patient’s details will be added to hubnet.io (or prepopulated if they booked online via covidcertify.me) and if positive a certificate will be printed which would look something like this.
Anyone who would like to check the validity of the passport can scan the QR code or visit the URL at the bottom of the form. This would take them to a specific covidcertify.me page which would look like the following…
This should be sufficient for businesses to accept that specific personnel have immunity and therefore can ask them to safely return back to work.
The pharmacist COVID Certificate pathway:
- The pharmacist receives an email from hubnet.io detailing the new service and registers a new account or logs in to their existing account.
- They are shown a video of a coal face pharmacist working within their pharmacy performing the test on patients. This will be overlayed with a tutorial teaching the pharmacist-user how to do the test. Many pharmacists already know how to perform POCT however they may need a refresher.
- Once they have watched the video, they will be asked to take a short 10 question MCQ confirming their understanding.
- The pharmacist gets three tries and will need to score 70% or above to be issued a certificate.
- Once the certificate has been issued, the patient test packs will be sent directly to the pharmacy from a central depot.
- Do pharmacies have the capacity to offer such a service seeing as some pharmacies have seen an increase of 50% of their workload? Could this be covered by “provisionally licensed” 2,000 pre regs in the country? Could this be covered by the provision 3,000 returning to practice pharmacists in the country?
- Fraud could be an issue. If pharmacists were simply told to supply the immunity tests for home-based testing and self-certification, there is no third-party validation of the result… Could the pharmacist not perform or witness the test themselves.
The technology listed above already exists within the hubnet.io, however, it will need to be skinned and formatted to suit this purpose, this would take around 7 days. In addition, we can add our clinical governance module to ensure the pharmacists follow clinical standard operating procedures and document and errors or issues which may occur.