National Pharmacy Association (NPA) - News updates

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Changes to single-use plastic carrier bag charges

  In 2015, the Government introduced the single-use carrier bag (SUCB) charge in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of SUCBs and encourage the public to reuse bags. To further reduce the impact, changes are being implemented from 21 May 2021. Previously, all retailers, including pharmacies employing 250 full-time employees or more in total (including those who are not in a retail role), were required to charge 5p for each SUCB supplied. From 21 May 2021, the minimum price of a SUCB is set to increase from 5p to 10p and will be extended to all retailers in England, including pharmacies. Read full details here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carrier-bag-charges-retailers-responsibilities   Key points for pharmacy teams: From 21 May 2021, all pharmacies in England will be required to charge customers for each SUCB supplied Pharmacies are not required to charge for a SUCB if it is only being used for supplying medicines in accordance with a prescription issued by an appropriate prescriber Paper bags are exempt from charges If a SUCB is being used for over-the-counter sales of pharmacy medicines, general sales list (GSL) medicines or other items in the pharmacy, then a charge is payable for a SUCB The minimum charge for each SUCB supplied is 10p For those pharmacies employing 250 full-time employees or more, all record keeping , reporting and submission requirements still apply Pharmacies with less than 250 full-time employees are not required to keep and submit records Full details on record keeping and reporting can be found here  NPA Support The NPA has updated the Single-use Carrier Bag Charges: guidance (England) and also produced a poster for you to display to help explain these changes to customers.…

Delivery of budesonide inhalers to COVID-19 patients

  A Central Alerting System (CAS) alert was issued on 12 April 2021 detailing the off-label therapeutic use of inhaled budesonide in adults aged 50 years and over with COVID-19. This treatment is not currently recommended as a standard of care, however it can be considered (off-label) on a case-by-case basis for symptomatic COVID-19 positive patients, with onset of COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days, confirmed positive by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and are either aged 65 and over, or 50 and over with one or more co-morbidities. Please read CAS alert (reference CEM/CMO/2021/011) and the NPA update for full details. As patients will be self-isolating in line with the current Government stay at home guidance, the item may need to be delivered to their home. Key points for pharmacy teams Patients will need to arrange for a representative to collect the inhaler as first port of call If patients are unable to arrange a representative, pharmacy teams can request delivery of the inhaler by the NHS Volunteer Responders service Pharmacies can register for the service using their nhs.net email account Individuals self-isolating as a result of being notified by NHS Test and Trace will be able to get support from community pharmacies under the Pandemic Delivery Service, provided certain requirements are met; read the NPA update for full details Professional indemnity insurance Will my professional indemnity insurance cover volunteers to deliver medication to the elderly and other patients who are self-isolating and cannot get to the pharmacy or obtain medication otherwise?…

SSP issued for Competact® tablets 15mg/850mg (SSP011) (updated 5/5/2021)

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) following a significant ongoing disruption to the supply of Competact® tablets 15mg/850mg (SSP011). Community pharmacies in England, Wales and Scotland are expected to implement SSP011 with immediate effect. SSP011 came into effect on Wednesday 24 March 2021 SSP011 was scheduled to expire on Wednesday 7 May 2021; however, this has now been extended and therefore, it is scheduled to expire on Wednesday 14 May 2021; please note, this can be amended or revoked at any time Under the SSP011, when presented with a prescription for Competact® tablets 15mg/850mg or the generic pioglitazone 15mg/metformin 850mg tablets, pharmacists can instead supply one pioglitazone tablet 15mg and one metformin  tablet 850mg for each Competact® tablet 15mg/850mg prescribed   Recommended actions and advice for pharmacy teams: Ensure that all staff, including locums, who will be involved in dispensing an item in accordance with an SSP are trained and competent to do so Ensure that an SSP standard operating procedure (SOP) is in place and other relevant SOPs are updated, read, understood, signed and implemented by all members of the pharmacy team involved in service delivery Ensure the current version of the SSP is used before supplying the alternative item Ensure that the pharmacy team know where they can find new SSPs and/or changes to an existing SSP Ensure that the pharmacy has access to an NHSmail account so that it can receive notification when an SSP is issued   Professional indemnity insurance NPA professional indemnity insurance will cover NPA members, customers (and the pharmacists they employ/engage) when supplying medicines/appliances under the relevant enabling legislation and the Serious Shortages Protocols (SSPs) which apply.…

Data Security and Protection Toolkit 2020/21 deadline extended and new guidance released

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (the Toolkit), an online self-assessment to make the pharmacy information governance declaration, has been extended from the usual cut-off date of 31 March 2021 to 30 June 2021. However, pharmacy contractors are advised to complete the Toolkit as soon as possible. The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has also published new guidance to assist pharmacies in completion of the Toolkit. There are some key differences in the Toolkit this year: New mandatory questions Improvements on how the questions have been phrased Simplification or combined previous year’s question following recommendations Display of answers submitted the previous year’s allowing pharmacies to check if information is still correct or require amendments Improvement on Headquarters (HQ) batch submission feature to enable pharmacy contractors with three or more pharmacies to complete a single submission for all their premises It is recommend to check the list of pharmacies associated with the HQ code is accurate; in case of any issues these can be rectified as soon as possible Completing the Toolkit The following resources provide guidance on how to complete the Toolkit: PSNC guidance documents including the Toolkit with question by question guidance, frequently asked questions, data security hub, templates and training resources: https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/data-security-and-protection-toolkit-psnc-guidance-now-available/…

SSP issued for Estradot® patches 75mcg (SSP012)

  The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) following a significant ongoing disruption to the supply of Estradot® patches 75mcg (SSP012). Community pharmacies in England and Wales are expected to implement SSP012 with immediate effect. SSP012 came into effect on Thursday 29 April 2021 SSP012 is scheduled to expire on Friday 4 June 2021; however, this can be amended or revoked at any time Under the SSP012, when presented with a prescription for Estradot® patches 75mcg pharmacists can instead supply one Evorel® patch 75mcg or one Estraderm MX® patch 75mcg for each for Estradot® patches 75mcg prescribed Recommended actions and advice for pharmacy teams: Ensure that all staff, including locums, who will be involved in dispensing an item in accordance with an SSP are trained and competent to do so Ensure that an SSP standard operating procedure (SOP) is in place and other relevant SOPs are updated, read, understood, signed and implemented by all members of the pharmacy team involved in service delivery Ensure the currentversion of the SSP is used before supplying the alternative item Ensure that the pharmacy team know where they can find new SSPs and/or changes to an existing SSP Ensure that the pharmacy has access to an NHSmail account so that it can receive notification when an SSP is issued Professional indemnity insurance NPA professional indemnity insurance will cover NPA members, customers (and the pharmacists they employ/engage) when supplying medicines/appliances under the relevant enabling legislation and the Serious Shortages Protocols (SSPs) which apply.…

COVID-19 vaccination mandated health campaign for 2021/22 announced

  NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have announced all pharmacy contractors will be asked to participate in a COVID-19 vaccination campaign, which forms the first mandated health campaign for 2021/22. Each year, it is a requirement under the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) for pharmacy contractors to participate in six public health campaigns that have been determined to help support public health priorities. The COVID-19 vaccination campaign will focus on providing information to the public about the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging them to take the vaccine when it is offered to them. Key points for pharmacy teams: Campaign materials will arrive in pharmacies from mid-May The campaign material pack will include: A briefing sheet for the pharmacy team An information leaflet to use with patients which includes FAQs Posters A window sticker Further information on the campaign materials will be published in due course. For any questions regarding the campaign, please email ENGLAND.CommunityPharmacy@nhs.net Further reading: PSNC: https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/first-mandated-health-campaign-of-2021-22-covid-19-vac/ PSNC Public Health (Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles) : https://psnc.org.uk/services-commissioning/essential-services/public-health/ 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  …

Superintendent update: End of month update (April 2021) (England)

  Dear NPA Member, In this update… 1. Claiming payments and deadline reminders Summary table of key payments to be claimed and key deadlines Other important reminders and deadlines Claiming for the NHS Pandemic Delivery Service (Advanced Service) Claiming for Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) – GP referral pathway engagement and set-up 2. Key hot topics/updates, new NPA guidance, resources and training NHS flu service 2021/22 – UPDATED INFORMATION IR35 National and international health campaigns list 3. COVID-19 COVID-19: JCVI issues new advice on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women COVID-19: Updated advice on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and blood clots COVID-19: NHS Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device Distribution Advanced Service (Pharmacy Collect) COVID-19: Fasting during Ramadan – advice for your customers/patients and staff COVID-19: Therapeutic Alert: inhaled budesonide for adults with COVID-19 COVID-19: Free PPE scheme extended COVID-19: ‘Every action counts’ Toolkit and resources COVID-19: Stay up-to-date 4. Patient safety and alerts Reporting patient safety incidents including the Professional duty of candour – launch of updated NPA incident reporting SOP and near miss log NPA medication safety update (MSO report) Quarter 4 2020 (England) Introduction of the new Steroid Emergency Card to support early recognition and treatment of adrenal crisis in adults Skin reactions to the Dexcom G6 sensor adhesive COVID-19: Yellow Card reporting Central Alerting System (CAS) alerts issued recently MHRA Drug Safety Update COVID-19: RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) 5.…

Mayor of London in awe of community pharmacy

The comments were made during a In Conversation with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London event organised by the Asian Media Group and Eastern Eye newspaper on Thursday (29 April). NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette asked the Mayor, “Would the Mayor like to take this opportunity to thank the capital’s 1800 community pharmacy teams for staying open throughout the pandemic, thereby keeping the wheels on the NHS and maintaining access to advice, medicines and vaccines?” Mr Khan responded that he was “in awe and grateful for our pharmacy teams across London” and described them as “unsung heroes.” “I’ve been to pharmacies in many occasions over the last few weeks and months, not least receiving my flu jab. I have asthma so I go to a pharmacy regularly. Many people couldn’t go see their GP, they couldn’t get an appointment they didn’t have the confidence to use technology. The human beings that were available, that were the experts, were pharmacists. “I’m so in awe and grateful of pharmacies across our city. Many of them are small independent family businesses and they have shown the public how brilliant they are.” Jignesh Patel, from Rohpharm pharmacy in Newham, asked the Mayor about pharmacy funding. The Mayor responded that there is a strong economic case for investment in pharmacies and that London needs a strong network of pharmacies to help handle the next pandemic, when it comes.…

May bank holidays reminder

At present, community pharmacies have not been mandated by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) to remain open during the upcoming May bank holidays. Community pharmacies can remain closed on Monday 3 May 2021 and Monday 31 May 2021, unless directed by NHSE&I to open their pharmacies. Pharmacies are also reminded to check, in advance, any Controlled Drugs (CDs) prescriptions received to ensure they are clinically suitable and legally valid. Key points for pharmacy teams: Review your NHS 111 Directory of Services (DoS) profile and NHS website profile (step-by step guide) ahead of the May bank holidays to ensure your pharmacy’s opening hours are accurate Pharmacies should ensure there is sufficient stock of medicines to cover all prescriptions over the bank holiday period Staff should check, in advance, any CD prescriptions received to ensure they are clinically suitable and legally valid to dispense: The item (in the case of instalment prescriptions for CDs, this would be the first instalment) must be supplied within 28 days of the appropriate date on the prescription as stated in The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2006. For instalment prescriptions: the remainder of the instalments are required to be dispensed in accordance with the prescriber’s instructions The appropriate date is the later of the dates on which the prescription was signed (issue date) or the date indicated on the prescription as to when it should be dispensed, as stated in the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 Ensure instalment prescriptions includes the approved Home Office (HO) wording to take into account when the pharmacy may be closed, for example, over weekends/bank holidays to prevent any disruption to patients’ treatment When presented with an instalment prescription with this wording, it may be advisable to clarify with the prescriber and document details of the discussion where necessary, when the instalment is to be dispensed on a day other than the day immediately prior to closure to ensure that patient care is not compromised If a pharmacist decides to supply against a prescription that uses unapproved wording, the HO will not safeguard the pharmacist from legal ramifications when making the supply.…

Mark Lyonette, NPA CE writes to Leaders of main Scottish political parties before the Scottish Parliamentary elections on 6th May

  Parliamentary elections are an ideal time to engage with national and local politicians to increase their understanding of independent community pharmacy, hold them to account to the claims in each party manifesto and highlight future Government potential impact on the network of community pharmacies in Scotland. Pre election candidates and newly elected parliamentary members are generally keen to demonstrate responsiveness to their constituents. The NPA have written to the leaders of the main Scottish political parties to highlight the manifesto statements and key asks for community pharmacy aligned to the Community Pharmacy Scotland manifesto. Read the NPA letter to Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the Scottish National Party Read the NPA letter to Douglas Ross, Leader of Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Read the NPA letter to Anas Sarwar, Leader of Scottish Labour Party Please also consider contacting your local election candidates or newly elected MSPs to ensure community pharmacy is continued to be supported and developed in future Scottish governments. Inviting candidates or newly elected constituents to visit you in your pharmacy gives them a great photo opportunity of engagement in their constituency and enables them to understand how your team are a vital asset to patients and the NHS.…