National Pharmacy Association (NPA) - News updates

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IMPORTANT: NHS Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service during the COVID-19 Outbreak extended (22/2/2021)

The NHS Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service during the COVID-19 Outbreak was restarted for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) living in all areas of England following the national lockdown started on 5 January 2021. The service was to end on 21 February 2021; however, on 19 February 2021, a new cohort of patients were identified as CEV, and added to the Shielded Patient List – the service is now to continue until 23:59 on 31 March 2021. For full details, please refer to the service specification and detailed guidance dated 19 February 2021: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/preparedness-letters-for-community-pharmacy/ Key points for pharmacy teams in England: The NHS Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service during the COVID-19 Outbreak will apply to CEV patients living in England The service will run from 19 February until 23:59 on 31 March 2021 All community pharmacies will receive payment under the Essential Service element Where possible at first instance, a friend, relative, carer or volunteer should be asked to collect the medicines 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 Manage Your Service (MYS) platform Details on the new cohort of patients identified as CEV and added to the Shielded Patients List can be found here  NPA support NPA SOP “Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service during the COVID-19 outbreak (England) is available here NPA volunteer training is available here Delivering medicines to patients – poster FAQs including ones on volunteers COVID-19 dedicated section of the NPA website Signposting for further information Public Health England (PHE): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19…

Extended shielded patient list

Following a new COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment, on 16 February 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced that an additional cohort has been identified as being high risk of COVID-19, and subsequently been added to the Shielded Patient List (SLP). These patients will be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination, and are advised to follow the same Government guidance as those who are already identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. Key points for pharmacy teams: Details published by the DHSC can be found here: New technology to help identify those at high risk from COVID-19 The additional group are those with multiple risk factors which put them at increased risk of COVID-19 A letter will be sent directly to patients in the new SLP cohort to notify them how they have been identified and highlighting relevant guidance to support them Patients in the new cohort will have a flag added to their Summary Care Record (SCR) Patients in the new cohort will be eligible for the NHS Community pharmacy home delivery service – for details and actions to take please see our news story: NHS Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service during the COVID-19 Outbreak has been restarted DHSC has sent letters to NHS trusts and GPs which pharmacy teams may find useful in answering various questions that patients may potentially ask The Government’s shielding advice and support has been extended nationally until 31 March 2021 Further reading: NPA resource: NHS Community pharmacy home delivery service – template SOP NPA news: Clinically extremely vulnerable people: updated Government guidance during lockdown.…

GP CPCS referrals for minor illness (updated 18/2/21)

In this update, we cover: GP Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) referral introduction Key points – includes an updated section 18/2/2021 Further reading GP Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) referral introduction From 1 November 2020, GPs have been able to make, patient referrals to community pharmacies under CPCS, for minor illness only. GPs are not allowed to make patient referrals for an urgent supply of medicines or appliances via CPCS, unlike NHS 111. Before GPs can make such referrals, local discussions to agree on the process must take place between pharmacy contractors, Primary Care Network (PCN), GPs, the NHS and the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). From 1 November 2020, referrals made to pharmacies who had previously participated in the GP CPCS pilot Enhanced Service will now be managed under the Advanced Service. Relevant staff will need to be briefed on the CPCS update.  Key points for pharmacy teams: Read and understand the updated : NHS CPCS toolkit for pharmacy staff: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-community-pharmacist-consultation-service-toolkit-for-pharmacy-staff/ Service Specification:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/advanced-service-specification-nhs-community-pharmacist-consultation-service/ Ensure the CPCS Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) includes the GP referral pathway: Pharmacies who participated in the GP CPCS pilot should update their SOP accordingly Pharmacies which were not part of the GP CPCS pilot, can update their SOP to include the GP referral pathway; however, ensure local discussions have taken place within the PCN to confirm the process, before doing so NPA resources to support the NHS CPCS can be found here: https://www.npa.co.uk/news-and-events/news-item/cpcs-the-npa-launches-new-resources/…

COVID-19 vaccination programme: designation process opened again for community pharmacy contractors (England)

In this update: NEW – NPA COVID-19 vaccination programme hub launched **New 24/2/2021** Cross-sector guidance published on considerations for before applying for the COVID-19 vaccination programme (England) New designation process opened for community pharmacies to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination programme – key points of the new designation process (February 2021) Timeline/deadlines Online designation form Actions to take if you are interested in applying to become a designated site Insurance and indemnity cover NPA support – including launch of NPA COVID-19 vaccination programme hub Reference and further reading NEW – NPA COVID-19 vaccination programme hub launched We are pleased to announce the launch of our dedicated COVID-19 vaccination programme hub for NPA members. This page will provide you with NPA resources and direct links to key websites and information, to support you and your teams provide the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Access the COVID-19 vaccinations hub here. **NEW 24/2/2021** A new cross-sector guidance (made up with NPA, CCA, PSNC, RPS and AIM) has been developed on the considerations pharmacy contractors in England should undertake before applying to provide the COVID-19 vaccination service. This can be accessed here. 1) New designation process opened for community pharmacies to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination programme On 16 February 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has announced a further opportunity for community pharmacies to contribute to the COVID-19 vaccination programme.…

Supply of Phyllocontin® (Aminophylline) modified release tablets 225mg and 350mg

A Supply Disruption Alert (SDA) has been issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on 9 February 2021 (SDA/2021/003) and an updated alert on 16 February 2021 (SDA/2021/003(U)) for Phyllocontin® (Aminophylline) modified release tablets 225mg and 350mg which are being discontinued in the UK. Northern Ireland has also issued a similar alert on 15 February 2021 (HSS(MD) 18/2021) Remaining stock for Phyllocontin® modified release tablet 225mg was originally expected to be exhausted by 2 March 2021 (SDA/2021/003). The SDA has been updated (reference SDA/2021/003(U)) to reflect the new exhaustion date of 30 March 2021 for the 225mg strength whilst stock for the 350mg strength is expected to be exhausted by 5 April 2021, which remains unchanged. Northern Ireland, HSS(MD) 18/2021 also reflects the same supply exhaustion dates. Licensed therapeutic indications for Phyllocontin® include as follows: For adults: treatment and prophylaxis of bronchospasm associated with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bronchitis For children: management of asthma Advice for pharmacy teams: Please read in full detail the : England: SDA/2021/003 and the updated SDA/2021/003(U) Northern Ireland: HSS(MD) 18/2021 Part dispensed prescriptions for  Phyllocontin® modified release tablets should be sent off to the prescription authority endorsed with the actual amount dispensed Prescriber should be notified of the actual quantity dispensed vs.…

New Medicine Care and Review (MCR) Directions and Service Specification

The MCR directions include the addition of care home residents as eligible, which will be rolled out locally by NHS Boards. Definitions of serial prescribers and serial prescriptions have been amended, with the requirement for a patient to be registered with the pharmacy before serial prescriptions are produced, now removed. Supply of medicines on a serial prescription require patient registration for MCR to be completed. Serial prescriptions can be written for 24, 48 or 56 weeks. Quality Service Development payments for February and March this year have been assigned to contribute to pharmacy teams completing revised National NHS Education Scotland (NES) MCR resources There will be no disruption of service for patients as they transfer from CMS to MCR, although a new MCR patient leaflet which includes care home residents as eligible, should be used to explain the service to patients. The new MCR leaflet is available from stockorders.DPPAS@apsgroup.co.uk. Patient information and the new leaflet including translations to other languages are available at www.gov.scot/publications/nhs-medicines-care-review-service-local-pharmacy/  A new Public Health poster campaign for MCR will commence 1st March, and contractors are requested to retain the poster for future reuse. Contractor payments for MCR will remain as with CMS until a new model is developed in the next financial year.…

IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19 tests (England, Scotland, Wales) – ACTIONS REQUIRED

Disclaimer: The information published in this update is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of writing (15/2/2021). However, no responsibility will be accepted by the NPA for any consequences of decisions made using this information.   On 1 February 2021, Public Health England (PHE) issued updated guidance on “COVID-19: summary guidance for service providers on point of care or near-person tests for diagnosis and management”. Following this, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has carefully reviewed the guidance from Public Health England published on 1 February and has updated its previous position on the provision of rapid/ point of care /near-person antibody tests for COVID-19 from community pharmacies in response. Additionally, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Testing Requirements and Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 have come into effect that require COVID-19 test providers in England to meet specific requirements before providing the tests. PLEASE NOTE: At the timing of writing this update, there was no update from Scotland. Similarly, in Wales, no further guidance has been issued following the PHE’s updated guidance of 1/2/2021. Therefore, this update will differ in relevance in the different UK countries. You are advised to ensure that you check the information from the relevant public health agencies in your relevant country. In this update, we cover: Key points of the updated guidance from Public Health England (PHE) on “COVID-19: summary guidance for service providers on point of care or near-person tests for diagnosis and management” (England) Key points of the GPhC’s updated guidance on COVID-19 testing (England, Scotland, Wales) Brief overview of the DHSC self-declaration and UKAS process and stages (England) Checklist/actions for community pharmacies before providing COVID-19 tests/testing (England) NPA professional indemnity insurance cover for the pharmacy for the sale or use of Covid-19 testing kits NPA support and information KEY ACTIONS REQUIRED References and further reading   1.Key…

COVID-19 testing: new GPhC guidance removes pharmacy anomaly

In an open letter dated 15 February, GPhC states that the regulator is no longer barring community pharmacies from providing point of care or near-person antibody tests. Instead, they expect any pharmacy owner or pharmacy professional to “carefully consider” Public Health England guidance and other relevant guidance when deciding whether it is appropriate to offer this type of test, or other type of Covid-19 test. NPA Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “We are delighted that the GPhC has joined Public Health England in updating guidance on COVID-19 testing, following repeated representations by the NPA. “Community pharmacies are no longer explicitly prohibited from providing COVID tests, which was a clear anomaly in the initial position. “We believe our persistence helped bring about this levelling of the playing field in relation to testing, as well as a big dollop of common sense. “We are now examining the detail of this modified guidance – PHE and GPhC – so that the full implications can be properly understood.” GPhC’s updated position also emphasises that any pharmacy offering COVID-19 tests must carry out a full risk assessment and check whether they need to be accredited with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. NPA support to help its members with test kit sales and testing services will be available soon.…

NPA medication safety update (MSO report) Quarter 3 2020 (England)

Pharmacies have had to adjust to new ways of working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, patient safety incidents may occur in the course of your practice. Please continue to manage and report all patient safety incidents in line with your pharmacy process This includes completing the recording of the incident details carefully and fully Medication Safety update presenting our analysis of patient safety incidents reported during the third quarter of 2020 (Q3) – access the full update here. In the NPA Q3 2020 medication safety update: Analysis of patient safety incidents reported during Q3 2020 Look alike sound alike (LASA) errors analysis, including trends in gabapentin and pregabalin errors Controlled Drug incidents and COVID-19 OTC stimulant laxatives Methotrexate – new measures Lorazepam (Ativan®) 4mg/ml Solution for injection (Pfizer) shortage Opioids- Risk of dependence and addiction Valproate Other patient safety updates National Patient Safety Alerts COVID-19: Yellow Card reporting including COVID-19 vaccines Reporting patient safety incidents Relevant links & signposting Contact your MSO Summary of key findings from analysis of patient safety incidents reported during Q3 2020 Overall, there was a 19.6% increase in the number of incidents reported during Q3 2020, compared to Q2 2020. Compared to the same quarter in 2019, there was a 43.3%…

Eligible groups can book their COVID-19 vaccinations online

Changes have now been made to allow frontline health and social care workers, including pharmacy teams, to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments through the National Booking Service online.   Key points for pharmacy teams (including locums): NHSE&I have confirmed that community pharmacy teams  are within the category of frontline health and social care staff eligible for a coronavirus vaccination The National Booking Service allows frontline pharmacy teams to book appointments themselves at a vaccination centre or community pharmacy If any pharmacy team members are under 18 years, they need to book their COVID-19 vaccination at a hospital hub as they need to be administered with the Pfizer vaccine Pharmacy staff are advised to bring evidence/ID of their employment status in a health or care organisation Refer to NPA key worker status template letter if required Use this service to book their first and second appointments   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…