COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device Distribution Advanced Service (England)


From the end of March 2021 the 'NHS community pharmacy COVID-19 lateral flow device (LFD) distribution service'  has been added to the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework as a new Advanced Service. Improving public access to COVID-19 antigen testing and identification of COVID-positive cases in the community, to break the chain of transmission. Working alongside existing NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 testing routes.

Contractors wishing to provide this service must complete a registration declaration through the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Manage Your Service (MYS) portal 

Overview of service 

Once registered to provide the service, The pharmacy can order the LFD test kits, free of charge, from participating wholesalers. 

Within the NHS Test and Trace communications, the service will be referred to as Pharmacy Collect, advising asymptomatic people to collect LFD test kits, free of charge, from community pharmacies, to enable them to undertake regular testing as part of the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap plan.

Although people can request tests for regular use for other reasons - the most common circumstances that will prompt a person to undertake regular tests are:

  • Child is at school / Work at a school / In a bubble with school children or staff
  • Leave the house for work
  • Local council has advised them to test
  • GP or another healthcare professional has advised them to test

People self-administer the tests and report results away from the pharmacy, e.g. at home. - The pharmacy is not involved in this process or the next steps for the person taking the test.

Changes were made to the service which came in to affect on the 4th October 2021, to increase the traceability of test kits and to continue to assist NHS Test and Trace with efforts to identify COVID-positive cases in the community and break the chain of transmission.

The changes that came in to effect include:

  • Reduction in the number of test kits that can be provided per transaction from four to two.
  • The requirement for members of the public to register for a collect code via or 119 prior to making a collection from a pharmacy.
  • If a customer does not wish to register for a collect code, the supply can still be made as an anonymous collection.
  • Changes to the information captured and reported.
  • A preference for daily entry of data to support NHS Test and Trace, with a minimum requirement to enter data each week.
  • Additional guidance on stock control and quality control of test kits.
  • A reduction in the minimum recommended age for a person to collect LFD test kits to 16 years.
  • Changes to the funding arrangements of the service.

For more detailed information see Service Specification below.


Is made up of the following elements (+vat) - payments will be separately itemised on the FP34 Schedule of Payments. :

  1. £250 one-off set-up fee: covering set-up costs(creation of SOP / staff training staff / storage costs for the test kits). 
  2. £1.70 service fee per transaction using a collect code, or
  3. £1.20 service fee per transaction using the anonymous collection route.

Resources to support set-up and delivery of the service  

Service Specification 

Implementation Checklist 

Questions to ask people when collecting the kits

COVID-19 LFD Distribution Service SOP 

Utilise the below text on your social platforms to drive awareness in your local community.

Simply copy and past to use. You can adapt to personalise for your audience.

As part of the NHS track and trace programme, anyone in England who is symptom free can access a free pack of Coronavirus Lateral Flow Tests.

Call in to get your free test.

#covid19 #covid #coronavirus #pandemic #track&trace

Additional resources are also available on the PSNC C-19 lateral flow device distribution service page. Including templates to record details of: 

  • Test kit stock received 
  • Test kits handed out