National Pharmacy Association (NPA) - News updates

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Eye Referral Form for Pharmacy First updated

  Minor eye conditions are often presented in pharmacies with many being able to improve with the patient receiving appropriate advice, or advice and treatment from the pharmacy team. Occasionally the condition requires further investigation by an optometrist, or if serious may indicate urgent access to emergency care.  In instances where non-emergency referral to an optometrist is required, the referral form in PCA(P)(2021)17 should now be used by the pharmacist. The form may also be provided in pharmacy by patients who have received the referral to pharmacy from their optometrist. The circular also provides information on the Pharmacy First service, and supports close working relationships between the pharmacy team and local optometrists Further reading: Read the circular at www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/pca/PCA2021(O)11.pdf   Please contact the Pharmacy Services team for further advice and support: Telephone: 01727891800 (Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 1pm) Email: pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk  …

COP26 Business Contingency Plan

  At least 30 000 attendees are expected to attend with a planned activist walk through the city on Sat 6th November potentially bringing up to 100 000 people into the city. Many roads are closed for the duration of the conference which with the influx of visitors, will affect businesses and health care services across Glasgow and possibly across Scotland. Scottish Government are advising to also expect unplanned events that could affect travel and business at short notice. If your pharmacy is near the SEC, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will have been working with you to support your preparation for the duration of the event, however nearby towns and other Scottish cities will also have an increased number of visitors. Distribution networks including from medicine wholesaler depots may have to amend delivery schedules or experience unplanned delays. Pharmacy staff could have travel difficulties in getting to work in Glasgow and other primary care services may be harder to access, increasing the flow of people to pharmacy for Pharmacy First and Unscheduled care.   Key points for pharmacy teams: In preparation for COP26: Check with your local NHS Board for any specific directions during the conference Confirm with your wholesalers any changes to schedules or increased order times Discuss travel plans with staff to identify any travel to work issue Plan communications to patients around medicine ordering and delivery expectations Ensure Pharmacy First PGDs and the PF Approved List are up to date for all pharmacists who work in the pharmacy Ensure training and information for Unscheduled care PGD for Urgent supply of repeat medicines and direct referral to out of hours services are up to date Refresh staff training on emergency supply of medicine regulations when supply is not covered by Unscheduled care npa.co.uk/information-and-guidance/emergency-supply-of-poms/…

NPA calls for a re-think on “disenfranchising” pharmacy representation vote

  The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) today called for a re-think. NPA chair, Andrew Lane, said: “There’s a clear case for changing the way pharmacy contractors are represented in England, especially in the light of emerging NHS structures at local level.  We need a system that works seamlessly from end to end – local to national. “However, if change is to be sustainable and legitimate, it must be widely supported across community pharmacy. The Review Steering Group has said that it is seeking to build a consensus for change, yet the Group’s proposed voting mechanism falls short of what is needed to guarantee a way forward that commands the support of the whole sector. “Under these proposals, a very small number of large pharmacy businesses could outvote thousands of independent contractors, effectively disenfranchising the independent sector. “The voices of independent contractors must be properly heard in this process, by getting the explicit consent of the independent sector through a fair vote”. The RSG plans to hold a single vote to approve (or not) the proposals for future contractor representation and support at both a national and local level. A two-thirds majority of all those casting a vote is required to approve the vote, with a ‘target voter turnout’ of 66% of the contractor base.…

Accessing the PPE portal and related information (updated 22/10/21)

Latest update: 22/10/2021: updated/new order limits for visors 15/10/2021: updated/new order limits for pharmacies 28/09/2021: updated order limits for pharmacies and removed ‘nitrile’ from gloves for all providers 29/4/2021: visors added to the order limits for pharmacies 13/4/2021: PPE scheme extended In this update, we cover: Claiming PPE costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic (updated information 30/12/2020) PPE portal (updated information 28/09/2021) PPE technical specifications Appropriate PPE for delivering NHS pharmacy services Further reading 1. Claiming PPE costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic Updated 30/12/2020 Pharmacy contractors will be eligible to claim for PPE purchased between 27 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 for the use of providing NHS services during the COVID-19 pandemic until 31 March 2021. Claiming is available for all bricks and mortar, distance selling pharmacies and dispensing appliance contractors Full details of the determination for the PPE reimbursement is available on the NHSBSA website: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/reimbursement-ppe-costs-incurred-within-community-pharmacy-and-dacs-during-covid-19-pandemic Claims mechanism Claims must be submitted via the NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS) portal;  Pharmacies with six or more branches have the option to make a single central claim. There are two types of claims pharmacies can make, if applicable: Type of claim Details Standard claims This is a set rate to cover standard PPE use from 27 February 2020 to 31 October 2020 A standard claim is set at a banded rate, which is based on your average monthly prescription volume over the period of the claim (a table is provided on the NHSBSA website) If you are unsure which band your pharmacy falls into, the NHSBSA will be emailing contractors around 8 January 2021 to confirm this Please note standard claims are not applicable to pharmacies that were open for less than 90% of the time period, or that changed ownership during this time Exceptional claims Can be used to cover any PPE purchased between: 27 February 2020 and 31 October 2020 in excess of the standard claim value and to be used up to 31 March 2021 and/or Any PPE purchased from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2020 and to be used up to 31 March 2021 Pharmacies that were open for less than 90% of the time period or changed ownership from 27 February 2020 to 31 October 2020 will need to claim their actual costs via the exceptional claim route Confirmation that documented evidence is available will be required for exceptional claims to demonstrate the value of combined standard and exceptional claims and must be available upon request PPE items PPE items that can be included in the claim include aprons, gloves, Type IIR masks and hand sanitiser Any PPE used as a substitute to unavailable items (such as visors) between 27 February 2020 and 30 June 2020 can be covered under the standard claim; however, if this does not cover the cost, an exceptional claim should be made PPE purchased from 1 January 2021 will not be reimbursable via the claim mechanism Please see section below on ordering PPE for free from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) PPE portal.…

NMS quarterly submission of data postponed

  The requirement to submit data summary for completed New Medicine Service (NMS) for July-September 2021 has been postponed for this quarter. In August 2021, it was announced that the requirement to submit data had been reinstated for quarter 2 (July-September 2021). However, the requirement has been postponed and pharmacy contractors will now not need to submit data until January 2022 for quarter 3 (Oct- Dec 2021). These changes were introduced to avoid complications for contractors when reporting their data due to the updated eligible NMS groups that commenced from 1 September 2021. The next quarter data submission will need to be completed within 10 working days from 31 December 2021 and pharmacy contractors are required to submit the information to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) on a quarterly basis going forward.   Key points for pharmacy teams Submission of NMS data to the NHSBSA can be done either by completing: The online form; only allows submission of data from a single pharmacy at a time The electronic reporting template; allows data from multiple pharmacy branches to be added to a single template Further information can be found on the NHSBSA website For any issues in the submission process, contact the NHSBSA via email on nmsmur@nhs.net Submission of data summary must be done within ten working days from the last day of each quarter for which the information relates to For example, last day of June, September, December and March If the pharmacy has not completed any NMS in a specific quarter, there is no requirement to submit a ‘nil-return’ for that quarter Provision of at least twenty NMS, is a Gateway criteria of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) for 2021/22 Pharmacy contractors should check the number of NMS provided since 1 April 2021 to ensure whether they meet the gateway criterion We will be issuing further guidance on the PQS 2021/22 in due course   Please contact the Pharmacy Services team for further advice and support: Telephone: 01727891800 (Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 1pm) Email: pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk  …

Stoptober 2021 campaign starts from 1 October 2021

  Stoptober campaign is back for the tenth year running, encouraging smokers to put their health first and attempt a quit in October. The campaign, which motivates smokers to quit smoking from 1 October to 30 October 2021 is based on research showing that a smoker who is able to stop smoking for 28 days is five times more likely to be able to quit smoking for good. A new nationwide survey of 2,000 current smokers, has found that 45% have been smoking more since the first lockdown began. In particular, data from the monthly UCL Smoking Toolkit Study indicates a large increase in smoking among the under-35s since the pandemic. Smoking still remains the leading cause of premature death. The disruptive impact of the pandemic on smoking patterns makes this year’s Stoptober mass quit attempt more important than ever. Stoptober 2021 offers a range of free quitting tools which include: NHS Quit Smoking app Facebook messenger bot Stoptober Facebook online communities Daily emails and SMS Online Personal Quit Plan, which includes expert support from Stop Smoking Services and stop smoking aids Please note, this is not a mandatory health campaign topic, but pharmacy teams can choose to get involved in the campaign if they so wish.…

NHS Pandemic Delivery Service for those self-isolating has been further extended

  NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) announced on 29 September 2021 that the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service will be commissioned from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 for anyone living in England who has been notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate. Community pharmacies, excluding distance selling pharmacies, can use this service to deliver prescription medicines and appliances to individuals during their ten day self-isolation period who provide their NHS Test and Trace account ID reference when requesting for the service; if alternative arrangements cannot be made. Pharmacy contractors can claim payment for the service under the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service on the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal. Claims must be made by the fifth of the month after the service was provided. Claims made after this time will not be accepted.   Key points for pharmacy teams: Where possible, a friend, relative, carer or volunteer should be asked to collect the medicines; the NHS Volunteer Responders Programme remains active and patients can contact them on 0808 196 3646 or pharmacies can make referrals via the referrers’ portal Individuals self-isolating as result of being notified by NHS Test and Trace will be able to get support from community pharmacies under the Pandemic Delivery Service provided all of the below requirements are met: Individual is in the ten day self-isolation period Individual provides their unique NHS Test and Trace account ID, which is an eight character mix of letters and numbers All community pharmacies will receive payment under the Essential Service element Ensure a record of the individual’s NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference number is made and retained as part of effective record keeping and post-payment verification purposes – see Service Specification and guidance for more details Claims for delivering prescribed items to eligible patients under the Advanced Service element of the NHS Pandemic Delivery Service must be made no later than the fifth day of the following month in which deliveries were made via the MYS platform   Further reading: NHSE&I “Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak”: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/preparedness-letters-for-community-pharmacy/…

Goodbye Ellis Whittam, hello WorkNest

By bringing Ellis Whittam, Law At Work and HRSP together under one name, WorkNest represents even greater expertise, can offer even more services, and is backed by even more powerful technology than ever before – enabling the NPA to further empower members, to manage all of their employment, safety and wellbeing challenges. Their new name, WorkNest, embodies our commitment to protecting members, nurturing them, and helping them to fly. This will enhance support to members, managing their risks across the compliance spectrum. The bespoke services offered will continue and importantly members can continue to access this valuable service will not change. They will continue to be responsive to members’ needs, developing strong outcomes and enable you to be compliant, confident and risk-aware. We know that change invites questions, so Worknest have pulled together a comprehensive FAQ that you can access here. It all starts on Monday 4th October.…

NPA update on fuel shortages Friday 1 October

  The picture is variable depending on where you are in the country. Currently there seem to be particular problems in parts of North London, amongst other places.   While deliveries to some pharmacies have been interrupted, this has not generally impacted on patients’ access to treatment up to this point.   A resilient medicines supply chain is obviously vital to the health of the nation, so it’s important this isn’t allowed to escalate into a widespread problem that impacts patient care. At this moment, we are not seeing signs of escalation.   Whenever supply problems have occurred, pharmacists have worked together, with each other and local GPs to get people the medicines they need, when and where they need them.   The NPA has spoken directly to the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) about the current situation with access to fuel at petrol forecourts. In our correspondence we asked the PRA to recognise community pharmacists and their teams as a critical part of the health care workforce.  We have pointed out that:   as well as  supplying essential medicines, pharmacies now also provide a range of critical NHS services such as vaccinations for COVID and ‘flu.   in addition to needing fuel to get to their places of work and maintain the supply of medicines to NHS patients, pharmacy staff also use vehicles to deliver vital medicines to housebound patients.   We have created a template letter [LINK] for pharmacy staff to show forecourt managers, in the event of a lack of fuel supply locally that could impact patient care.…

NHS Scotland Community Pharmacy Public Health Bridging Contraception Service

  The Directions of the Pharmaceutical Services (Public Health Service) (Scotland) have been amended to include supply of three months desogestrel 75mcg tablets. The aim of the service detailed in PCA (P) (2021) 12  is to reduce unplanned pregnancies, enabling time for women to contact their doctor to arrange long term contraception The three month supply of desogestrel can be made by the pharmacist as part of the Emergency Hormonal Contraception Service or in response to a request for contraception from women aged over 13 years and under 55 years at risk of pregnancy registered with a Scottish GP practice. One further three month supply can be provided in exceptional circumstances if another contraception supply has not been arranged. The patient group direction authorises the supply and the patient assessment form provided gathers patient history to identify PGD criteria. Consent will be requested to contact the women’s GP. Each NHS Health Board will require pharmacist return of the PGD for their area as usual. Payment is £30 per consultation, whether supply, no supply, or referral as detailed in NHS Circular PCA (P)(2021) 5 Training is available from NES.   Please contact the Pharmacy Services team for further advice and support: Telephone: 01727891800 (Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 1pm) Email: pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk  …