National Pharmacy Association (NPA) - News updates

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Child Protection Guidance updated for Scotland

  The Child Protection Scottish guidance has now been updated to reflect legislation changes and to incorporate current best practice from the seven years since the previous publication. Principles for child protection and specific responsibilities of professional roles are included in the guidance, along with a new accompanying Practice Insights document. The new guidance strengthens the focus on children’s rights and highlights the importance of the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIFREC) policy. The guidance is for all practitioners and recognises that community pharmacy teams have an important role in identifying and raising concerns for children at risk of significant harm. Read the new guidance at here. More information on GIFREC here.…

NPA wants to retain benefits of parallel trade in post Brexit system

  Several benefits of parallel trade were highlighted in NPA’s response to a government consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. The question of a future exhaustion regime is a significant one as it underpins the rules on parallel trade of goods into the UK, especially after its departure from the EU. In its written response to the Intellectual Property Office consultation which ended on 31 August, the NPA asked that any model that would be applied in the future continues to deliver the benefits of the current system”. The consultation response listed a number of factors in support of parallel trade including: Parallel traded products have been used to deal with medicines shortages in the UK, ensuring continuity of supply to patients of often life-saving medicines Parallel trade has reduced the price the NHS pays for a range of medicines releasing resource to provide additional services elsewhere in the NHS. Whilst community pharmacies procure the medicines for the NHS the saving is passed through to the tax payer via the contracts that pharmacies across the UK have with the NHS, so the tax payer is the ultimate beneficiary of this trade Parallel trade can ensure that a patient receives a medicines that has been subject to the full licensing process where no licensed alternative is available This issue is particularly important for our members in Northern Ireland where there are considerable concerns about medicines shortages caused by uncertainty in relation to the Northern Ireland protocol Helga Mangion, Policy Manager at the NPA, said: “On average, each pharmacy dispenses approximately 100,000 prescription items per year.…

You’ll be our anchor, First Minister of Wales tells NPA members

Mark Drakeford told the assembled NPA members:  “The word ‘community’ in community pharmacy means something. As well as being an essential clinical resource, community pharmacy is an economic driver.  As we rebuild after the pandemic, you will be one of the anchors that help maintain the vitality of local high streets.” He praised the work of pharmacy teams during the pandemic, saying: “You have been on the frontline of the extraordinary experience we’ve all been through. Without you we wouldn’t have got through this together… that’s why there is support for community pharmacy across the political spectrum in Wales.” Making a formal toast, Andrew Evans said: “We have ambitions for a reinvented community pharmacy service – one that is thoroughly modern but built around the values and behaviours that are intrinsic to independent community pharmacy. The NPA and its members will have an invaluable role in that future.” Health & Social Services Minister, Eluned Morgan, told guests, via a recorded video message, that the lessons of the pandemic will “help us further develop the role of pharmacies” and promised ongoing support. She looked forward to “a positive agreement [with Community Pharmacy Wales] later this financial year, which will reflect our shared ambition that every community pharmacy in Wales will provide an extended range of services, available consistently across the country.”…

Community Pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination Advanced service (NHS) 2021/22 (England)

The NHS Community Pharmacy Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service 2021/22 starts on 1 September 2021. Following the publication of the Community Pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination Advanced service (NHS) 2021/22 (England) patient group direction (PGD), and service specification the NPA has published updated the flu vaccinations service support pack. In our previous update earlier this month, we detailed the NHS community pharmacy flu Advanced Service 2021/22 (including a summary of the key changes and timelines, actions for pharmacy contractors to start undertaking, training, funding, and professional indemnity insurance). Please review our earlier update for this information. The National protocol for inactivated influenza vaccine was published on 1 September 2021. Details of this will be published in due course. We are now pleased to launch the NPA flu 2021/22 pack, which can be downloaded from our dedicated flu hub. Access NPA flu hub here: https://www.npa.co.uk/nhs-flu-service/ The NPA flu vaccination service 2021/22 support pack includes the following standard operating procedures (SOPs) and resources to support members: Please note the NHS flu SOPs currently apply to community pharmacists administering the seasonal influenza vaccine under the Advanced Service Patient Group Direction and will be reviewed, as further information is available. NPA SOP template – National flu vaccination Advanced Service 2021-22 SOP pharmacy premises administration (England) template NPA template SOP – National flu vaccination Advanced Service 2021-22 SOP off-site administration (England) template Flu vaccination information table Flu training pathway In addition, we have also published updated template SOPs and resources that support the NHS flu vaccinations service; these can also be used for other vaccinations services as required/appropriate: Template SOP – cold chain Template SOP – hand hygiene Template SOP – needle stick injury and biohazard spillages Template SOP – administration adrenaline Cold chain products date checking matrix Cold chain products drug alert log Further resources to support provision of vaccination and non-vaccination pharmaceutical services have also been updated and published, including: Delegation of responsibilities guidance Pharmacy team declaration – to be used for SOPs Pharmacy team guide on flu vs COVID-19 COVID-19 pre-screening patient questionnaire Chaperone suite of resources: Chaperone policy FAQs Chaperone policy guidance Chaperone policy patient notice Chaperone policy SOP Consent suite of resources: Service user policy guidance notes for pharmacists Service user consent policy (template) Service user policy patient notice Service user consent form for patients with capacity Service user consent form for children under 16 without capacity Access resources here: https://www.npa.co.uk/information-and-guidance/vaccinations-services-resources/ Further information and reading NHSE&I “Community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service specification”: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/community-pharmacy-seasonal-influenza-vaccine-service/…

Take hub and spoke to the competition watchdog, says NPA

  The NPA says that there needs to be a dynamic and competitive market in which hubs compete on the basis of quality of service and price for the custom of pharmacies that want to operate this model. Its board has suggested five tests for maintaining fair competition and choice within hub and spoke dispensing:   Hubs must be registered pharmacies and meet all GPhC/PSNI standards. Hubs must be prevented from using their trusted position in the supply process to try to circumvent the relationship between the spoke and the patient, for example by using patient dispensing data for other commercial reasons or inserting branding or advertising material into packs to be supplied to a patient. The current barriers to entry for a hub provider presented by the direct to pharmacy (DTP) and limited wholesaler schemes must be removed so that any registered provider meeting standards can operate and compete in this market. A common set of standards should set out the duties and accountabilities of a dispensing hub and professional metrics which must be collected and published by the hub to assist the spoke in selecting a potential provider. Any mechanism which is designed to prevent a pharmacy from easily switching hub provider should be prevented, thus ensuring that pharmacies can drive competitive pressures in this market.   To achieve the third test, the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 would need to be updated to put an obligation on all manufacturers to supply the reasonable needs of all registered holders of a wholesaler dealer’s licence or a registered pharmacy.…

Isolation Exemption changes for pharmacy teams

  The SG Policy Framework details the clinical safeguards required for close contacts of people with a positive COVID test to be able to return to work. The framework provides a checklist which employers can use with employees to provide clarity on self-isolation and COVID testing requirements for the person to return to work   Following a close contact notification, pharmacy team members:  Are not required to self-isolate if they: are double vaccinated at least 14 days prior to exposure (vaccination date is ‘day 1’) had a negative PCR test, after exposure; are not currently self-isolating; have no COVID-19 symptoms Are required to self-isolate for 10 days: if they have a positive PCR test result have declined to take a PCR test if they develop COVID symptoms after returning to work and they should take a PCR test if they have a positive LFD test and they should take a PCR test Are required to self-test with lateral flow tests for 10 days if they have a negative PCR test and return to work. Staff declining LFD testing should not work in patient facing roles. The employee’s line manager must: facilitate the access to LFD test kits risk assess ensuring that the member of staff is not returning to a high risk clinical setting   Further reading: sehd.scot.nhs.uk/dl/DL(2021)24.pdf…

Patient Safety Alert: Elimination of bottles of liquefied phenol 80%

  A National Patient Safety Alert (NPSA) has been issued for the elimination of bottles for liquefied phenol 80%. Phenol is corrosive compound with antimicrobial, antipruritic and anaesthetic properties and is often used in podiatry and orthopaedic foot surgery to destroy the nail matrix. It is a highly toxic substance which can cause burns and severe tissue injury if it comes into contact with skin, in addition to rapid development of systemic toxicity. There have been a number of incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) involving unlicensed liquefied phenol 80% being incorrectly administered instead of the licensed oily phenol 5%. There have also been reports of patients receiving burns from spillage of liquefied phenol 80%. Many concerns have been identified including confusion between the bottles of the unlicensed pharmacy special preparation of liquefied phenol 80% and other products with similar packaging, including confusion with ampoules of the licensed oily phenol 5%.   Key points for pharmacy teams: Read the full alert , particularly if the pharmacy keep stocks of liquefied phenol 80%, or receive requests from other healthcare professionals for this Have robust processes in place to ensure the correct product is identified and handled appropriately Know how to dispose of  any stock of liquefied phenol 80% as per hazardous waste Purchasing controls should be introduced to avoid any inadvertent orders being placed for liquefied phenol 80% Elimination of oily phenol 5% injection is not required as part of this alert; oily phenol 5% injection is a licensed medicine used for the treatment of internal haemorrhoids   Further reading DHSC Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe management of healthcare waste: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-the-safe-management-of-healthcare-waste    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  …

Resources to support the delivery of Pharmacy Collect in Northern Ireland

  The new optional pharmacy service requires pharmacy contractors to order free Lateral Flow Device test kits from the current wholesaler, Alliance Healthcare, for supply on request to the public in boxes of seven tests. Record of the delivery date and the batch number of tests must be retained. The COVID -19 Pharmacy Collect NI Lateral Flow Test eForm will be used to collate data on supply and is submitted for payments. Specific COVID-19 self-testing advice must be provided to people collecting the tests, including the purpose of the tests and how to use and report results. Resources include a template Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which outlines the provision of the COVID-19 LFD Distribution Service (Pharmacy Collect NI).  A risk assessment template and FAQ document are also included to help staff prepare to deliver the service.  …

The NPA responds to CPCF funding update (23/08/21)

  “NHS England has today announced changes to the pharmacy contractual framework in England, including the introduction and expansion of a number of clinical services. We welcome this element of the announcement which aligns with the direction of travel set out in the NPA’s How We Can Help vision. “We are disappointed though that PSNC’s request to Treasury to resolve the long-term funding crisis facing pharmacies in England has not been successful. “Last year the NPA commissioned a report from Ernst and Young (EY) that showed the precarious situation facing pharmacies up and down the country. It said community pharmacies face a funding gap of half a billion pounds and nearly three-quarters of family-owned pharmacies in England could be forced to shut their doors by 2024. Simply put, these new funding arrangements do not address the fact that 72 percent of pharmacies in England are forecast to be loss-making within four years, as the EY report has highlighted. “Community pharmacies are a local lifeline. They provide vital health and social care in communities across the country, including the most deprived neighbourhoods. The long-term investment needs to be resolved so that alongside the expansion of clinical services from community pharmacy a sustainable plan for the future can be developed.…

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in children aged 12-15 years (Updated 20/08/21)

  The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12-15 years. The decision for approval has taken place, following the review of clinical trial data in children aged 12-15 years for safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine by the MHRA and CHM. For further information please see here.   Main story: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be used in children aged 12-15 years.  The decision for approval has taken place, following the review of clinical trial data in children aged 12-15 years for safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine by the MHRA and Commission of Human Medicines (CHM).   Key points for pharmacy teams Clinical data was thoroughly assessed and reviewed by two groups within the CHM, the Paediatric Medicines Expert Advisory Group and the COVID-19 Vaccines Benefit Risk Expert Working Group; with no new side effects identified in children and the safety data obtained was comparable to those seen in young adults Having seen the quality, effectiveness and safety data gathered for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine which was used in over 2000 children aged 12-15 years, the MHRA has concluded that the benefits outweigh any risks for use of this vaccine in this age category Update 20/08/21: The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have advised that children and young people aged 12 years and above, at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, should be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine This includes children with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities It is recommended that children aged 12- 17 years should be offered the vaccine if they live with an immunosuppressed person Children outside of these groups should not be vaccinated as per current evidence The  Patient Group Direction (PGD) for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the National protocol for COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT126b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) have been updated in line with the new advice Pharmacy teams should report any side effects profiles for all UK approved COVID-19 vaccines via the MHRA Yellow Card scheme (this includes children aged 12-15 years) which helps monitor safety   Further reading: UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-pfizer-biontech-vaccine-for-covid-19…