Welcome to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID Medicine Delivery Unit (CMDU) Service.

We provide community-based treatment in the form of antiviral medication or neutralising monoclonal antibodies for vulnerable patients who contract COVID-19.

Non-hospitalised patients are eligible if:

  • They have a Lateral Flow or PCR positive covid test result
  • They are symptomatic AND the onset of symptoms of COVID-19 was within the last 5 to 7 days.
  • AND they are a member of a highest risk group (see the commissioning policy for more details).

Patients are not eligible if they meet any of:

  • Require hospitalisation or a new need for supplemental oxygen.
  • Known hypersensitivity reaction to the active substance or any of the excipients

We treat adults aged 18 or older. Vulnerable Persons aged under 18 will need a discussion with their pediatric consultant specialist.

We also need to know if a patient is pregnant as this will determine choice of treatment.

We only accept referrals from patients registered with a GP practice in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICB area.

Clinicians are able to refer a patient into the service by downloading and filling out this form.

Referrals are only accepted via the form above.

If you need to speak to someone, please phone Partnering Health Limited (PHL) on 03300 587080 from 9am to 4pm, seven days a week.

What is the COVID Medicine Delivery Unit (CMDU)?
The CMDU provides antiviral treatments to vulnerable patients who test positive for COVID-19. The way people access the service is changing from Tuesday 27 June, 2023.

How was the service being delivered?
Between December 2021 and June 2023, a national digital system was in place that helped identify the highest risk patients who had reported a positive COVID-19 test. This enabled automatic referrals to CMDUs, who would then contact patients to arrange an assessment for treatments.

How can I now access these services?
From Tuesday 27 June, 2023, the CMDU will be funded and delivered locally. Patients across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be able to self refer to the CMDU. It is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm and people can either:

Patients will then be contacted within 24 hours of referral and assessed for treatment and given a treatment plan.

Why is the service changing?
CMDUs were set up in December 2021 under interim arrangements as a response to the pandemic and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has given its final recommendations that some of these treatments are now funded locally as part of routine NHS services.

Local NHS organisations, called Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), can now set up COVID-19 treatments services in a way that works for their areas.

This means eligible patients will no longer be automatically referred to the CMDU, if they test positive for COVID-19, and instead you must self-refer.

What health conditions make you eligible for COVID-19 treatments with the CMDU?
A summary of the eligible health conditions is provided at www.nhs.uk/CoronavirusTreatments, with more detail provided in the Government’s updated Independent Advisory Group report.

If you have one of these health conditions, or receiving other eligible medicines, you may have received a letter or email from the NHS. This letter does not guarantee treatment as doctors will need to assess you to make sure the treatment is right for you.

If you think you may be eligible for COVID-19 treatments, but haven’t received a letter, you can contact your specialist clinician to discuss whether you are in one of the highest risk groups.

I was previously classed as clinically extremely vulnerable – why am I not eligible for treatments?
The list of health conditions that make someone potentially eligible for COVID-19 treatments has been agreed by the UK Chief Medical Officers.

It's based on advice from an independent advisory group of health experts commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

This list is different to the list of health conditions that previously identified people as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ or those that were advised to shield. It is also different to the list of health conditions that make someone eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

Why have I received a letter or email about COVID-19 treatments?
Health experts have looked at the health conditions which put people at the highest risk from coronavirus.

Some patients in this highest risk group were informed by a letter or email that they may be eligible to receive these treatments, should they test positive for COVID-19.

If you have received a letter from NHS England about COVID-19 treatments, it means your medical records show that you have, or previously had, one or more of those health conditions, which means that these new treatments might be suitable for you if a test confirms you have COVID-19.

A letter/email that was issued to patients in June 2023 outlined some changes to the way people will access COVID-19 treatments from Tuesday 27 June 2023.

You can find out how the NHS has used your information to identify and contact you about this treatment at www.digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus/treatments/transparency-notice.

How can I access this information in another language or alternative format?
Easy read and other language versions of the letter that went out to patients are available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/treatments.

Braille can also be posted to potentially eligible patients on request.

What should I do if I think I might be eligible for treatment but have not received a letter or email from the NHS about these treatments?
If you think you may be eligible for COVID-19 treatments, but haven’t received a letter, you can contact your specialist clinician to discuss whether you are in one of the highest risk groups.

If a specialist clinician advises you have one of the health conditions which makes you potentially eligible, then you should follow the advice on the website to order lateral flow tests to keep at home.

I received a letter/email/SMS saying that I might be suitable treatments, but following my positive test and referral to the CMDU, I was told I wasn’t eligible
Not all patients who are identified using NHS databases will be suitable for treatment.

The decision to offer treatment is made by an NHS clinician who will need to assess whether treatment would be beneficial to that patient.

If this happened to you and you were not offered treatment, it may be due to any of the following:

  • Your symptoms were already improving by the time you were assessed for suitability for treatment
  • Your medical record may be out of date. For example, you currently no longer have the condition that previously made you eligible for treatment.
  • Your medical record may contain incorrect clinical codes that do not accurately reflect your health status.
  • The digital identification process was designed to identify as many patients as possible who may be eligible for treatment. Sometimes this means capturing individuals that meet some, but not all of the eligible criteria for COVID-19 treatments.

It doesn’t look like I am in the highest risk patient group. Is there another way I can access coronavirus treatments?
If you are not in the highest risk group, you may be eligible to join the PANORAMIC study. The PANORAMIC study is open to individuals living anywhere in the UK who meet the following criteria:

  • Have received a positive test for COVID-19.
  • Feel unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 that started in the last five days.
  • Are aged 50+, or 18-49 years old with an underlying medical condition that can increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Participants in the study will be randomly selected to either be in a group who receives a course of oral antiviral treatment, or a group that doesn't. Two different groups are needed so the study team can see any difference in the health of those who received the antiviral treatment compared to those who didn’t. All participants will still be able to access any other NHS care that they would normally expect to receive.

Further information on eligibility for the national study can be found on the PANORAMIC website: www.panoramictrial.org.

What are these treatments?
There are currently two types of treatments available for patients - neutralising monoclonal antibodies and antivirals. The NHS will advise which treatment, if any, is suitable for you.  

If you are given an antiviral treatment, they normally come as capsules that you swallow, and they can be taken at home. This will be sent to a pharmacy near you, it may be helpful if you have someone who can collect the medications for you.

If a neutralising monoclonal antibody treatment is right for you, it will usually be given to you through a drip in your arm (infusion) in your home. Treatment takes approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards to check you feel OK.   

How do I access treatments if I am away from home e.g. on holiday?
If you're away from home and need to access an assessment for COVID-19 treatments, you can contact any GP surgery nearby.

Find a GP surgery near you

You can receive emergency treatment from a GP surgery for up to 14 days – for example, if you fall ill while on holiday in the UK.

You can also phone NHS 111.

Will I still receive lateral flow tests?
From 27 June 2023, patients will no longer be automatically sent lateral flow tests. However, eligible patients can still order them free of charge.

If you think you may have one of the health conditions which means you might be eligible for COVID-19 treatments and you do not have any lateral flow tests, then you should follow the advice on the NHS.uk website to order lateral flow tests to keep at home.

Do I need to report my test result? I was previously told I have to but have now heard that I don’t need to.
From 27 June, you will no longer have to report your COVID-19 test result in order to access an assessment for treatment. Instead you will be able to self-refer into the service.

However, we would still encourage you report your test result where possible at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling 119. This will ensure your test result is visible to the NHS, which may support referral and assessment.

Can I use tests bought from a shop? I was previously told I couldn’t, but have now heard that I can.
Up until 27 June, we recommend that you use free tests ordered from GOV.UK or 119 so that you can report the result, and the NHS can contact you about treatment.

You can use tests purchased from a pharmacy or shop, but you won’t be able to report the result from the test. If you get a positive result from a test you’ve paid for, you need to contact the CMDU. 

It is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm and people can either:

From 27 June, you will need to self-refer to the CMDU regardless of whether it is a test you have bought from a shop or a free test from GOV.UK/119.

Patients who are under 18, who are deemed clinically eligible and test positive for COVID-19, should be discussed directly with secondary care and the paediatric on-call consultant at the hospital local to the patient.

The paediatric team will triage, assess and support with treatment if required.

Specialist advice for clinicians is available via the paediatric infectious diseases team at University Hospital Southampton (UHS), overseen by Dr Sanjay Patel.

Find out more about the eligibility criteria.

Please encourage patients who are able to self refer via:

Clinicians are able to refer a patient into the service by downloading and filling out this form.

This poster provides more information about referring into the service.

For clinicians working in primary care this referral form is also available on Ardens. Please see communications, community referrals and ‘covid antivirals / CMDU’. This referral form will auto-populate from SystmOne or EMIS clinical systems.

Any queries or concerns please contact Partnering Health Limited (PHL) on phl.cmdu@nhs.net or via telephone 03300 587080.

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