National News

January edition of CPN magazine now available

PSNC News - 21 January 2019 - 5:16pm

The January 2019 edition of PSNC’s Community Pharmacy News (CPN) is now available. This month’s CPN features:

  • NHS ten-year plan published;
  • IG support materials;
  • Quality Payments declaration; and
  • Price concession flow chart.

View our CPN magazine online via the flipbook reader below or download the PDF copy. Please note, the colour PDF can be printed out in black-and-white and will still be clear to read.

Categories: National News

#checkbeforeyoutick – how can you help?

PSNC News - 21 January 2019 - 5:04pm

The NHS Business Services Authority’s ‘Check Before You Tick’ campaign aimed to help patients understand their eligibility for free NHS prescriptions, and to highlight the possible consequences of making an incorrect claimWe spoke to Tori Hutchinson who worked on the campaign to find out more.

Hi I’m Tori and I’m a Lead Digital Delivery Manager at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

#checkbeforeyoutick was a national communications campaign launched by NHSBSA and NHS England in September 2018. The aim of the campaign was to encourage people to check entitlement before claiming free prescriptions.

The campaign did really well, with our message hitting the media; wide spread radio promotion; social media posting and even bus stop advertising. Toolkits were also sent to all pharmacies including posters and other materials that they could display.

We are currently averaging around 2,500 people using our online Eligibility Checker, and have had peaks of up to 20,000/day when the message was pushed on MoneySupermarket! This is one of the key actions called out in the campaign, so we know that the message is out there and more people are accessing help than before. But, we need to keep the message going…

What is the message?

Our key audience is patients. We want to them to be actively aware that:

  • They should not just assume that they are eligible for free NHS prescriptions, and always check their eligibility before making a claim. We wanted to draw attention to this as patients sometimes don’t realise that certain benefits have expiry dates, benefits change over time, etc.
  • There is a possible consequence of making an incorrect claim – a penalty charge of up to £100.

So, how can patients determine their eligibility?

  • The campaign directs patients to search ‘check before you tick’ online. Once there, they have access to two applications which they can use to determine whether they currently hold a NHSBSA exemption or whether they could be entitled to help (with directions on how to apply).
  • If patients do not have access to this digital route, they are directed to their pharmacy team. Toolkits were sent to all pharmacists in September 2018, including posters, guidance booklets, counter cards and shelf wobblers.
  • Additional guidance booklets are available in a format for patients to take away. The contact details are: pcse.enquiries@nhs.net or call 0333 014 2884. Additional campaign resources can also be downloaded from the campaign resource centre: campaignresources.phe.gov.uk

What can pharmacists do to help patients?

  1. Ensure campaign materials are displayed prominently. We have seen some great examples of this in pharmacies across the country!
  2. Encourage patients to check their entitlement prior to making a claim/completing the declaration on the prescription.
  3. Ask to see proof of eligibility when assisting patients with the exemption status on the back of a prescription.
  4. Remind those collecting prescriptions on someone else’s behalf to check the eligibility of the person they are claiming for before they tick.
  5. If the patient is not sure if their exemption allows them to claim free prescriptions, to avoid receiving a penalty charge, it is always best to better to get them pay at the time and provide them with an FP57 form along with information on how to claim a refund later.

Hopefully the importance of this message is clear – making people aware of help they are entitled to and confident in their exemption status before they collect their prescriptions. This should help to save time for both the patient and pharmacist.

If you have any questions or comments on the above, please email us: alisono’brien@nhs.net or victoria.hutchinson1@nhs.net

Want to learn more about prescription charge exemptions?

PSNC and the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) will be holding a ‘Prescription charge exemptions and switching’ webinar on Tuesday 22nd January at 7.30pm.

During this webinar, the presetners will outline the different exemptions from the prescription charge, including the evidence needed to prove eligibility, and how the declaration process varies between paper and electronic prescriptions. This will be followed by details of why prescriptions are switched and how this affects pharmacy payments, as well as providing top tips on how to make sure switching isn’t a problem in your pharmacy.

Book your place now

 

Categories: National News

January 2019 Price Concessions/NCSO – 1st update

PSNC News - 21 January 2019 - 4:00pm

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has today granted the following initial list of price concessions:

Drug Pack size Price Concession Allopurinol 100mg tablets 28 £1.70 Allopurinol 300mg tablets 28 £3.68 Co-careldopa 25mg/100mg tablets 100 £10.69 Diamorphine 10mg powder for solution for injection ampoules 5 £16.56 Diamorphine 30mg powder for solution for injection ampoules 5 £16.52 Dosulepin 75mg tablets 28 £11.00 Furosemide 20mg tablets 28 £1.25 Furosemide 40mg tablets 28 £2.21 Ibandronic acid 50mg tablets 28 £54.22 Latanoprost 50micrograms/ml eye drops 2.5ml £7.95 Losartan 25mg tablets 28 £5.27 Losartan 50mg tablets 28 £4.50 Losartan 100mg tablets 28 £6.95 Metronidazole 200mg tablets 21 £2.70 Naproxen 500mg gastro-resistant tablets 56 £18.01 Nebivolol 2.5mg tablets 28 £15.85 Quetiapine 150mg tablets 60 £6.60 Ramipril 2.5mg tablets 28 £4.15 Ramipril 5mg tablets 28 £4.15 Risperidone 500microgram tablets 20 £2.72 Risperidone 2mg tablets 60 £21.00 Risperidone 3mg tablets 60 £24.95 Risperidone 4mg tablets 60 £31.88 Sodium valproate 200mg/5ml oral solution sugar free 300 £7.00 Sodium valproate 200mg gastro-resistant tablets 100 £6.25 Sodium valproate 500mg gastro-resistant tablets 100 £17.50 Tadalafil 5mg tablets 28 £23.71 Telmisartan 20mg tablets 28 £3.80 Telmisartan 40mg tablets 28 £6.94 Valsartan 40mg capsules 28 £4.49

No additional endorsements are required for price concessions. A price concession only applies for the month in which it is granted.

PSNC is still working with the DHSC to agree further concessionary prices on other drugs reported to be unavailable at the stated January 2019 Drug Tariff price.  Contractors will be alerted to further updates to the price concession list through our website and via our e-news email.  If you wish to subscribe to our email list, you can receive an email as soon as any announcements are made. Please note that PSNC cannot provide details of any generic products awaiting price concession approval from DHSC.

If you have problems obtaining a Part VIII product or problems obtaining the product at the stated Drug Tariff price, please report the issue to PSNC using the online feedback form on the PSNC Website. Please include full details of the supplier and price paid for any products sourced above the Drug Tariff price. PSNC will investigate the extent of the problem and if appropriate discuss the issue with DHSC.

Categories: National News

Ask PSNC: Quality Payments FAQs

PSNC News - 21 January 2019 - 9:05am

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the Quality Payments Scheme. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. How do I upload the Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire results to the pharmacy’s NHS website page?
user guide on the process to follow to upload the CPPQ onto an NHS website profile is available on the NHS website (The user guide can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the NHS website page and is listed under the ‘User guides’ section as ‘CPPQ user guide for February 2019 declaration’).

Can I change my hours on the DoS Profile Updater without informing my local NHS England team?
No. Under the Terms of Service, contractors:

  • wishing to amend the distribution of their core contractual hours must apply to NHS England for permission to change them; and
  • wishing to amend any supplementary hours, that they open additional to the core contractual hours, must notify NHS England, giving at least three months’ notice of the intended change.

Full details regarding a contractor’s contractual responsibilities regarding opening hours, including relevant application forms for changes, is available on the PSNC Opening hours page.

Q. For the asthma referrals criterion, do I need to go through all the patient records on the PMR system for the last 6 months and identify any suitable patients to meet this criterion?
No. Contractors do not need to review PMR systems to meet this criterion. There must be a process in place to identify these asthma patients as they present to the pharmacy. This process can be incorporated into daily practice (PSNC has suggested a process for referring patients for an asthma review).

Q. What duration of time should my pharmacy’s written patient safety report cover?
To meet the February 2019 review point, contractors that previously wrote a report for the June 2018 review point must have updated that written safety report since 29th June 2018 (the last review point) to incorporate learnings since that date. Contractors who have not previously claimed for the patient safety report quality criterion, will need to ensure their report covers the last 12 months.

In addition to the above, contractors must also evidence learning on prevention of NHS Improvement’s list of top five look-alike sound-alike (LASA) errors and put in place actions to prevent these. More information is available on the Quality Payments – Patient safety report page.

Q. When are we required to update our profiles on the NHS website?
Contractors must edit and/or validate their NHS website entry between 00:00 on 3 December 2018 and 23:59 on 15 February 2019.

Q.Are delivery drivers required to complete the CPPE Children’s oral health training?
If a delivery driver has an additional role in the pharmacy in which they provide healthcare advice to patients, then they will need to complete the training.

Categories: National News

Serious Shortage Protocols: Draft legislation laid

PSNC News - 18 January 2019 - 6:36pm

Draft legislation on Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) has been laid before Parliament and should come into force in early February 2019. This follows consultation between the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and stakeholders, including PSNC and other pharmacy representative bodies.

SPPs are protocols for pharmacies that will be put in place in the event of a serious shortage of a medicine; they may give pharmacies the ability to dispense less medicine, a different strength or pharmaceutical form of the medicine or an alternative medicine to that prescribed; following appropriate discussions with the patient. SSPs are part of the work being carried out by Government and the NHS in case there is a no-deal exit from the EU, summarised by Dr Keith Ridge here.

It is envisaged that where serious shortages occur, each medicine would have its own SSP which will need to be developed carefully to ensure that it can be implemented in practice. PSNC will work closely with DHSC on this. The draft legislation now laid is intended to provide the legal basis for the introduction of these SSPs.

PSNC supports this legislation as part of the measures that will help to manage any serious shortages of medicines, such as those which may occur if the UK exits the EU without a ratified deal (a no-deal Brexit).

Key aspects of SSPs are that they will be:

  • proposed only if in the opinion of the Minister there is a serious shortage;
  • developed with the involvement of clinicians;
  • issued only in exceptional circumstances;
  • more likely to be for alternative quantity, strength or pharmaceutical form;
  • less likely to be for generic or therapeutic substitution; and,
  • while introduced due to the possibility of a no-deal exit from the EU, their introduction is not dependent on it.

SSPs will link to a patient’s prescription although, formally, supply to the patient will be against the SSP.

The draft legislation can be found here and is included in (but separate to) UK legislation implementing the final provisions of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive and Delegated Regulation. The DHSC consultation response can be found here.

PSNC responded to the DHSC consultation on SSPs and we are pleased to see that our comments and observations have been taken on board. The changes should help by giving DHSC a framework to follow to manage serious shortages of medicines, as and when they do occur.

PSNC also welcomes the speed with which DHSC has consulted on the proposed legislation and that the legislation is likely to come into force in early February 2019, but work to address the practical issues associated with any introduction must now begin.

The practical issues are considerable and PSNC has sought to identify them here. We will continue to work closely with DHSC to ensure that the introduction of any SSP is practical for community pharmacy and that any costs incurred are recognised.

The introduction of SSPs also has implications for community pharmacy contractor’s Terms of Service, which PSNC will be discussing with the Department.

 

Categories: National News

No-deal Brexit preparations: NHS England update

PSNC News - 18 January 2019 - 5:50pm

Dr Keith Ridge, NHS England’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, has today (January 18th 2019) written to community pharmacies to update them on the continuity of supply of medicines as part of the Government’s contingency preparations for a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU).

Read the letter from Dr Keith Ridge here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/medicine-supply-update-letter-from-dr-keith-ridge-cbe/)

The letter reiterates that it is ‘not helpful or appropriate for anyone to be stockpiling medicines locally’, due to the risk of placing additional pressure on the availability of medicines for patients in other areas of the country, and Dr Ridge writes that ‘any incidences involving the over-ordering of medicines will be investigated and followed up with the relevant Chief or Responsible Pharmacist directly’.

The main body of the letter consists of a summary of the work currently underway across Government and the NHS as part of contingency preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit scenario.

Contractors should particularly note the Operational Readiness Guidance which sets out the actions that contractors should take to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU and can be found here. PSNC has provided a summary of the key actions for contractors: PSNC Briefing 005/19: Key actions for pharmacy contractors to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU

Further information included in the letter is:

  • Medicine Supply Assessment: The government has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of medicines supply to identify products that have a manufacturing touch point in the EU or wider European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
  • Six Week Stockpile: DHSC has received very good engagement from industry on developing a six-week stockpile of prescription only medicines and pharmacy medicines to ensure supply for patients is maintained across the NHS. DHSC has also secured contract agreements for additional warehouse space for stockpiled medicines, including ambient, refrigerated and controlled drug storage.
  • Alternative Transport Routes: Government has reviewed transport routes for all medicines and plans are being developed with industry for re-routing where necessary. The government has agreed that medicines and medical products will be prioritised on alternative routes to maximise the ability for supply to continue unimpeded after 29 March 2019. In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario this additional transport capacity and prioritisation includes prescription only medicines and pharmacy medicines, general sales list medicines and unlicensed medicines, including specials and investigational medicinal products used in clinical trials and vaccines.
  • Vaccines: Public Health England manages significant stockpiles of vaccine for the national immunisation programme and in addition is working closely with vaccine suppliers to ensure replenishment of stockpiles continues in the event of supply disruption in the UK. In addition, DHSC is leading separate contingency plans outlined above, which includes locally procured vaccines
  • Clinical Research including Trials: Participation of and recruitment into clinical research including trials should continue as normal unless specific instructions from an individual sponsor or formal communications are received. Investigational medicinal products (IMPs) have been prioritised on alternative routes to ensure that the flow of all these products continues unimpeded after 29 March 2019.
  • Unlicensed Medicines: DHSC have met all key unlicensed and specials suppliers and asked them to ensure that by March 2019 they have a minimum of six weeks additional supply in the UK in case of a ‘no deal’ scenario. In addition, unlicensed medicines and specials manufactures to ensure sufficient ingredients in the UK to ensure continuity of supply.
  • Operational Guidance: National operational guidance for the NHS has been produced in December 2018 by DHSC, with support from NHS England and NHS Improvement.
  • Serious Shortage Protocol: The government has also put in place legislation to enable Ministers to issue protocols that, where appropriate, enable community pharmacies to dispense against a protocol instead of a prescription without going back to the prescriber first. Any protocol will be developed with input from clinicians and could cover dispensing a different quantity, pharmaceutical form, strength or a generic or therapeutic equivalent.

PSNC Chief Executive, Simon Dukes, said: 

‘This letter from the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer repeats the Government’s request for anyone, other than manufacturers, to avoid stockpiling and it sets out some of the contingency planning that is being done to prepare for a possible no-deal Brexit. Much of this work, and particularly the preparation for the introduction of Serious Shortage Protocols, is complex, and PSNC will continue to work to represent community pharmacies’ interests in the ongoing dialogue. As uncertainty over Brexit continues we can expect to see continued pressure on the medicines supply chain, and we will work closely with LPCs, other national pharmacy organisations and the Government to try to ensure that the impact on pharmacies and their patients is minimised.’

 

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Updated gateway criteria report now available on NHS BSA website

PSNC News - 18 January 2019 - 3:32pm

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) has today updated its weekly gateway criteria report, allowing community pharmacy contractors to check whether they have been assessed as meeting four of the five gateway criteria (Advanced Services, NHS website, Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) and NHSmail) of the Quality Payments Scheme.

Contractors are therefore encouraged to check this report to see if the national datasets show they have met the four gateway criteria as detailed above and if not, take corrective action as soon as possible to ensure they meet the criteria by the review point (15th February 2019).

Contractors should also be aware that this report can change on a weekly basis, for example, a contractor could show as meeting the NHSmail gateway criterion if their shared premises NHSmail account has two active linked NHSmail accounts. However, if one of these accounts becomes inactive before the review point, the report could change to show that the contractor no longer meets the NHSmail gateway criterion. Contractors are therefore encouraged to download the report each week from the NHS BSA website to ensure that their pharmacy continues to meet the four gateway criteria.

Any changes made after each Friday will not be shown until the following week’s update. For example, if a pharmacy’s NHS website profile is updated on Monday 21st January 2019, it will not show on the gateway criteria report on the NHS BSA website until the new report is published on Friday 25th January 2019.

Further information on the gateway criteria report and how contractors will be notified if they meet the fifth gateway criterion (Warranted Environment Specification (WES)) can be found in PSNC’s original news story on the gateway criteria report.

Categories: National News

Brexit Update: PSNC contingency planning and contractor actions

PSNC News - 16 January 2019 - 1:30pm

Pharmacy teams will be aware that on 15th January 2019, MPs rejected the Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit deal in a vote in Parliament.

The UK remains on course to leave the EU on 29th March 2019, with a no-deal Brexit scenario still a possibility.

PSNC’s objective remains to safeguard the supply of medicines to pharmacies and their patients, whatever the outcome of the ongoing political debate about Brexit. This work remains critical, and we are continuing to work with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to make sure that contingency measures are in place.

Actions for Contractors

Contractors are reminded that DHSC issued EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance late last year. This guidance sets out the actions that contractors should take to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU and can be found here.

Contractors have been asked to take note of Action Card 1 of the guidance (pages 16-24), which indicates that all providers of NHS services, including NHS trusts and foundation trusts, primary care organisations and independent sector organisations which provide NHS services, ‘must consider and plan for the risks that may arise due to a ‘no-deal’ exit’.

PSNC has provided a summary of the key actions for contractors: PSNC Briefing 005/19: Key actions for pharmacy contractors to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU

PSNC Brexit Position

Commenting after the vote on 15th January, PSNC Chief Executive, Simon Dukes, said:

“Maintaining the supply of medicines to UK patients and community pharmacies must be a priority whatever the eventual approach to Brexit and we are pleased that dialogue on this has already been happening. PSNC, alongside the other community pharmacy representatives, has been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to plan for all potential scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit.

Given the ongoing uncertainty this work is now more critical than ever and PSNC will be deploying all necessary resources to it. While we hope that Parliament will, in time, be able to reach consensus on the approach to Brexit, our focus will remain on contingency planning with DHSC to ensure that patients can continue to access the medicines they need, when they need them, and that the impact on community pharmacies is minimised.

The diversion of Government resource to Brexit planning has already pushed back the beginning of negotiations on community pharmacy funding and the future role of the sector; this is not an exclusive problem to pharmacy but we are concerned that this delay is now likely to continue.”

Further Information and Communications Support

All the latest information and guidance on Brexit matters will be posted on our dedicated page: psnc.org.uk/Brexit

In particular, this week we have published a leaflet to help pharmacies to explain any medicine supply issues to their patients: https://psnc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Patient-Leaflet.pdf

PSNC and LPCs are continuing to receive a high volume of media queries about Brexit and medicines supply issues. If you have any media queries and need support with these, please contact the Communications Team via: commsteam@psnc.org.uk

 

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Validation of meeting the WES gateway criterion

PSNC News - 16 January 2019 - 12:48pm

Community pharmacy contractors should today receive an email to their premises-shared NHSmail account* from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA), which will state whether their pharmacy has been validated as having met the Warranted Environment Specification (WES) gateway criterion of the Quality Payments Scheme.

For a pharmacy to be assessed to see if it meets the WES gateway criterion, contractors will need to have accessed the Summary Care Record (SCR) portal from their pharmacy since the 14th November 2018. If the SCR portal has not been accessed from the pharmacy, NHS Digital will not have been able to capture the pharmacy’s operating system and browser details. Therefore, NHS BSA will not have been able to assess whether the pharmacy has met the WES gateway criterion.

The email will detail one of three possible scenarios:

  1. The SCR portal has been accessed and the pharmacy has been validated as having met the WES gateway criterion;
  2. The SCR portal has been accessed and the pharmacy cannot be validated as the pharmacy does not currently meet the WES gateway criterion (due to the operating system and/or the browser used to access the SCR portal not conforming to the WES requirements); or
  3. The SCR portal has not been accessed so compliance has not been able to be assessed.

Data used to validate whether a contractor has met the gateway criterion covers the period 14th November 2018 – 10th January 2019.

If the pharmacy has been validated as having met the gateway criterion

Provided that access to the SCR portal from the pharmacy continues with WES compliant operating systems and browsers, contractors will continue to be assessed as having met this gateway criterion. However, any access of the SCR portal with a non-compliant operating system or browser will then lead to the pharmacy being considered non-compliant and therefore not meeting the gateway criterion.

Contractors are advised to retain the email confirming that they have been validated, as evidence of compliance with the WES gateway criterion.

If the pharmacy cannot be validated as the pharmacy does not meet the gateway criterion

Contractors who are assessed as non-compliant are expected to work with their system suppliers to update to an operating system and browser that complies with the WES requirements, as outlined on page 21 of the NHS England guidance by the February review point (15th February 2019).

When this has been completed, contractors should access the SCR portal again to allow compliance to be reassessed. Contractors do not need to access an individual patient’s SCR for validation of this criterion; contractors just need to open the ‘Find a patient’ screen for NHS Digital to be able to capture the pharmacy’s operating system and browser details.

Contractors will receive another email, week commencing 28th January 2019, which will advise if they have been validated and have therefore met this gateway criterion in the next assessment period (11th January 2019 – 24th January 2019).

If the pharmacy’s compliance cannot be assessed as the SCR portal has not been accessed

Contractors should access the SCR portal as soon as possible so that the pharmacy’s compliance with the gateway criterion can be assessed and either validated as having met the gateway criterion or contractors can be advised that the pharmacy does not meet the WES requirements, allowing corrective action to be taken by the February review point. Contractors do not need to access an individual patient’s SCR for validation of this criterion; contractors just need to open the ‘Find a patient’ screen for NHS Digital to be able to capture the pharmacy’s operating system and browser details.

Contractors will receive another email, week commencing 28th January 2019, which will advise if they have been validated and have therefore met this gateway criterion in the next assessment period (11th January 2019 – 24th January 2019).

Further information on the WES gateway criterion can be found at psnc.org.uk/qpwes

*The following companies have requested that the WES gateway criterion email is sent to a representative at their head office rather than to individual pharmacy premises-shared NHSmail accounts:

ASDA; Boots; Britannia Pharmacy; WM Brown (kinghurst) Ltd; Daleacre Healthcare Ltd; Day Lewis plc; Dean & Smedley Ltd; Gorgemead t/a Cohens Chemists; Hollowood Chemists Ltd; The Hub Pharmacy Ltd; Jardines (UK) Ltd; Knights Chemists Ltd; Lincolnshire Cooperative Ltd; LloydsPharmacy; HA McParland Limited; JN McGill Ltd; Manichem Ltd; Medicine Clinic Ltd; Medipharmacy Limited; Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy Group; Morrisions; MW Phillips Chemists; Paydens Ltd; PCT Healthcare; Pharmacy Care Plus Ltd; Raylane Ltd; Rowlands Pharmacy; Safedale Ltd; Shaunaks Ltd; Steven Lo / Lo’s Pharmacy; Superdrug; Tesco; Waremoss Ltd / Kamsons; Warwick Healthcare Ltd; H I Weldrick Ltd; Well; and X-Pharm Ltd.

 

 

Categories: National News

Service case study: New GP2Pharmacy service in South Tyneside

PSNC News - 16 January 2019 - 10:24am

A new, innovative service has been launched in South Tyneside, which involves collaborative working between community pharmacy teams and GP practice teams.

The ‘GP2Pharmacy’ service enables GP reception staff to book fixed time appointments for suitable patients (depending on their symptoms and conditions) at their local pharmacy as opposed to waiting for an appointment at their GP practice. Suitable patients will have a consultation with the pharmacist and provision of advice and/or medicines will be supplied to patients through the locally commissioned Minor Ailment Scheme and Patient Group Directions, as well as offering signposting or referral back to the GP practice as appropriate.

The service also supports other planned patient appointments on a pro-active basis such as regular check-ups (for example, physical monitoring for patients taking oral contraceptives), long term condition management (such as blood pressure), and semi-centralised disease specific clinics to assist with polypharmacy and compliance.

The service will enable GPs to see critical patients more quickly and provide other patients with access to an earlier appointment. The programme is strategically similar to the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service, except the appointment is organised directly from the GP practice and not NHS 111.

Gateshead and South Tyneside LPC worked with the South Tyneside Health Collaboration on the development of the service, which is funded by South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)’s Primary Care Transformation Project as one of a range of measures to address the pressures on primary care in the NHS locally.

Research by South Tyneside CCG indicated that around 45% of GP appointments could be dealt with elsewhere and the GP2Pharmacy opens up a potential extra 35 locations (community pharmacies) where patients can have an appointment, with a choice for this to be near to their home, workplace or wherever is convenient for them, as opposed to waiting for an appointment at their GP practice.

The pilot scheme runs until September 2019, offering 8,000 appointments at around 30 locations in South Tyneside, including some weekend appointments.

More information about this service can be found on the PSNC Services Database.

Categories: National News

Contractor action – Community Pharmacy Planning for a No Deal Brexit

PSNC News - 15 January 2019 - 2:52pm

Tonight, Members of Parliament will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement deal ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU). Regardless of the outcome of the vote, PSNC’s objective remains safeguarding the supply of medicines to pharmacies and their patients.

In the event that the Withdrawal Agreement is not agreed tonight, and uncertainty remains, contractors are reminded that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance late last year. This guidance sets out the actions that contractors should take to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU and can be found here. It was highlighted in a PSNC news story in late December 2018.

At the current time of writing, contractors have been asked to take note of Action Card 1 of the guidance (pages 16-24), which indicates that all providers of NHS services, including NHS trusts and foundation trusts, primary care organisations and independent sector organisations which provide NHS services, ‘must consider and plan for the risks that may arise due to a ‘no-deal’ exit’.

PSNC has provided a summary of the key actions for contractors: PSNC Briefing 005/19: Key actions for pharmacy contractors to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU

Categories: National News

Key actions for pharmacy contractors to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU

PSNC News - 15 January 2019 - 2:50pm

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance in late 2018. This guidance sets out the actions that contractors should take to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU and can be found here. It was highlighted in a PSNC news story in late December 2018.

This PSNC Briefing highlights aspects of the guidance that are of most relevance to community pharmacy contractors.

PSNC Briefing 005/19: Key Actions for Pharmacy Contractors to Prepare for a No Deal Exit from the EU

If you have queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information, please contact Gordon Hockey, Director of Operations and Support

View Article…

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: One month left until review date

PSNC News - 15 January 2019 - 8:30am

The February 2019 review point (15th February 2019) for the Quality Payments Scheme is fast approaching and the declaration window for claiming for a quality payment opens in just over a fortnight (4th February 2019).

Many community pharmacy contractors are well on their way to meeting the gateway criteria and some if not all the quality criteria for the Quality Payments Scheme. Contractors are, however, reminded of PSNC Briefing 066/18: Quality Payments – PSNC resources which highlights all the resources available from PSNC to assist contractors with meeting the criteria.

Contractors are reminded that if they wish to claim for Quality Payments using the new NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) Manage Your Service application, they should register as soon as possible, to ensure the registration process is complete before the declaration period begins.

Additionally, contractors are encouraged to download the NHS BSA gateway criteria report on a weekly basis to see if the national datasets show they have met four out of the five gateway criteria and if not, take corrective action as soon as possible to ensure they meet the criteria by the review point.

PSNC has also recently updated and added new Quality Payments FAQs; these can all be found at psnc.org.uk/qpsfaq

Categories: National News

Health champion outreach initiatives highlighted in PHE newsletter

PSNC News - 14 January 2019 - 1:20pm

The seventh issue of Public Health England’s (PHE) Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) newsletter has been published and features examples of how HLP health champions across the country have reached out and engaged with their local communities.

The newsletter also highlights work on redeveloping the criteria and standards for HLP Level 2, recent PHE publications, and campaigns and training sessions relating to public health issues that community pharmacy teams may wish to take part in.

Click here to read the newsletter

Categories: National News

Ask PSNC: Quality Payments FAQs

PSNC News - 14 January 2019 - 9:00am

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the Quality Payments Scheme. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. How can I check whether my pharmacy meets the gateway criteria?
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) publishes a gateway criteria compliance report which is updated every week to show whether contractors have met four out of the five gateway criteria. Contractors are assessed whether or not they have met the Advanced Services, NHS website, Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire and NHSmail gateway criteria.

For cyber security reasons, confirmation of the fifth gateway criterion – compliance of the NHS Digital Warranted Environment Specification – will be sent by NHS BSA to each contractor’s shared NHSmail accounts (some companies have requested that information about the WES gateway criterion is emailed to a representative at their head office rather than to individual pharmacy premises-shared NHSmail accounts).

Q. Does a ‘super user’ personal NHSmail account linked to a pharmacy’s shared NHSmail account contribute to the requirement of having two active linked NHSmail accounts for the gateway criteria?
No. A super user account is not considered as an active, linked personal account and will not contribute to the requirement to have a minimum of two linked accounts. The linked accounts should belong to users who are involved in providing pharmaceutical services on a day-to-day basis at the individual pharmacies their account is linked to.

Q. What duration of time should my pharmacy’s written patient safety report cover?
To meet the February 2019 review point, contractors that previously wrote a report for the June 2018 review point must have updated that written safety report since 29th June 2018 (the last review point) to incorporate learnings since that date. Contractors who have not previously claimed for the patient safety report quality criterion, will need to ensure their report covers the last 12 months.

In addition to the above, contractors must also evidence learning on prevention of NHS Improvement’s list of top five look-alike sound-alike (LASA) errors and put in place actions to prevent these. More information is available on the Quality Payments – Patient safety report page.

Q. For the patient safety report criterion, can we continue to submit incident reports via a third party, for example, the National Pharmacy Association rather than direct to NRLS?
Yes. If the third party reports these errors to the NRLS on your behalf, you are not required to report them directly to the NRLS in addition to the third party.

Q. Are non-GPhC registered staff able to register with Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) to complete the Children’s oral health training?
Yes. CPPE has enabled non-GPhC registered staff members to register on the CPPE as ‘non-registrants’ to complete this training material.

If contractors have members of staff who are unable to register with CPPE, e.g. those not having a work or personal email address to access registration, then they can complete an open assessment for Children’s oral health without registration.

Whilst this will enable the staff member to undertake the assessment and, when successful, print off or save the PDF certificate as evidence of meeting this criterion, however this will need to be done immediately after the assessment as it cannot be saved on the CPPE website. It will not be possible for CPPE to provide any personalised support, feedback or a CPPE record for that member of staff. Contractors are therefore recommended to encourage staff members to register with CPPE to complete the assessment if at all possible.

Categories: National News

Register for our Data Security and Protection (IG) Toolkit Workshop

PSNC News - 11 January 2019 - 3:22pm

Data Security and Protection (IG) Toolkit Workshop: Support in completing your 2018/19 IG return

Webinar Details When is it?
Wednesday 30th January at 7.00pm

Who should sign up?
All contractors are required to give IG assurances to the NHS each year via the online self-assessment. Find out more about Information Governance at: psnc.org.uk/ig

How do I register?
Please sign up here

PSNC will be holding a webinar to help support community pharmacy contractors in completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit for 2018/19 on Wednesday 30th January at 7.00pm.

Previously known as the Information Governance (IG) Toolkit, PSNC and NHS Digital have been working together on the development of the new Toolkit and we are keen to assist contractors as they work through it.

During the 60-minute webinar representatives from PSNC and NHS Digital will discuss the questions in the Toolkit, talk you through the guidance materials available and answer viewers’ questions on how to make the declaration.

To make the most of this session, we would advise taking a look at PSNC’s guidance documents and registering for the Toolkit in advance of the webinar. Once registered for the webinar, you can also submit questions before the event.

With contractors required to finalise their pharmacy’s Data Security and Protection Toolkit submission by 31st March 2019, this webinar provides the perfect opportunity to make good headway in its completion.

Register for our Data Security and Protection Toolkit Workshop

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Updated gateway criteria report now available on NHS BSA website

PSNC News - 11 January 2019 - 2:25pm

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) has today updated its weekly gateway criteria report, allowing community pharmacy contractors to check whether they have been assessed as meeting four of the five gateway criteria (Advanced Services, NHS website, Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) and NHSmail) of the Quality Payments Scheme.

Contractors are therefore encouraged to check this report to see if the national datasets show they have met the four gateway criteria as detailed above and if not, take corrective action as soon as possible to ensure they meet the criteria by the review point (15th February 2019).

Contractors should also be aware that this report can change on a weekly basis, for example, a contractor could show as meeting the NHSmail gateway criterion if their shared premises NHSmail account has two active linked NHSmail accounts. However, if one of these accounts becomes inactive before the review point, the report could change to show that the contractor no longer meets the NHSmail gateway criterion. Contractors are therefore encouraged to download the report each week from the NHS BSA website to ensure that their pharmacy continues to meet the four gateway criteria.

Any changes made after each Friday will not be shown until the following week’s update. For example, if a pharmacy’s NHS website profile is updated on Monday 14th January 2019, it will not show on the gateway criteria report on the NHS BSA website until the new report is published on Friday 18th January 2019.

Further information on the gateway criteria report and how contractors will be notified if they meet the fifth gateway criterion (Warranted Environment Specification (WES)) can be found in PSNC’s original news story on the gateway criteria report.

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Have you started your NSAID audit?

PSNC News - 11 January 2019 - 8:30am

Community pharmacy contractors who are planning to meet the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) audit quality criterion of the Quality Payments Scheme only have five weeks left to complete and submit their audit data to NHS England; contractors are therefore encouraged to start the audit as soon as possible, in case they are unable to find the minimum number of patients required for the audit during the two week data collection period and need to extend this period to four weeks.

Data must be collected for two weeks with a minimum of ten patients participating in the audit. All patients aged 65 years or over who present a prescription for any oral NSAID or COX2 selective inhibitor (this does not include patients prescribed aspirin) should be included in the audit. In cases where there is difficulty in finding ten patients to participate, the audit should be extended to four weeks after which contractors can submit the data with the number of patients they have if less than ten. Data must be submitted by the February review point (15th February 2019) in order to meet the NSAID audit quality criterion.

More information, including the audit paperwork and information on how to submit your audit data, can be found on the PSNC website.

Frequently asked question

Q. I am unable to identify any suitable patients for the NSAID audit despite extending the data collection period to four weeks. Will I still be able to claim for this quality criterion?
Where a contractor is unable to complete the NSAID audit due to the fact that they have not identified any eligible patients during the audit period the contractor should send an email to the NHS BSA Provider Assurance Team at: nhsbsa.pharmacysupport@nhs.net with the following details:

The subject of the email should state “QPS NSAID AUDIT Nil return for [F code]”

The main body of the email should contain:

  • Pharmacy F code
  • Pharmacy name
  • Pharmacy address
  • Start date of the audit
  • End date of the audit
  • The following text should be included in the body of the email:

“I declare that this pharmacy has undertaken the audit of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and gastro-protection for patients aged 65 or over during the period stated above but no suitable patients have been identified. I am therefore unable to complete the on-line audit tool.

I acknowledge that NHS BSA may carry out checks on behalf of NHS England to determine if any patients over 65 have received dispensed NSAID items from the pharmacy during the period advised”

  • Name of person making declaration and their role in the pharmacy

Categories: National News

Clinical governance deadlines fast approaching – actions required by 31 March 2019

PSNC News - 10 January 2019 - 5:08pm

The end of the financial year (31 March) is approaching and community pharmacy contractors are reminded of four key deadlines relating to the clinical governance aspects of their terms of service.

The clinical governance requirements of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) cover a range of quality related issues and are set out in Schedule 4 of the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013.  Adherence with the clinical governance requirements is thus a part of the terms of service.

PSNC urges contractors to ensure that they have completed, or are working towards completing, the clinical governance requirements highlighted below to meet the end of year deadline.

Summary of actions to be completed by 31 March 2019

Topic Requirements By when? Data Security and Protection (formerly IG) Toolkit

To complete and submit an annual Data Security and Protection Toolkit.*

*Note that PSNC has published new guidance to support submission of the new Toolkit. 31 March 2019 Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) To conduct an annual CPPQ and publish the results. 31 March 2019 Clinical audit

To conduct two audits each year: one on a topic of your choice* and one nationally determined by NHS England.

*Please note, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) audit for the Quality Payments Scheme cannot be used as the pharmacy own audit.

Pharmacy own audit deadline: 31 March 2019

National audit deadline: Midnight on 30 December 2018

A fourth clinical governance requirement, whilst not due by 31 March, should be completed shortly afterwards and as such it is best to begin work towards achieving this alongside the requirements listed above.

Complaints report To prepare an annual report each year and send a copy to the local NHS England team. As soon as practicable after 31 March 2019

To help support contractors in meeting the above requirements, PSNC’s Regulations and Support Team has also produced a quick reference guide identifying the actions to be completed by 31 March 2019, as well as details of ongoing clinical governance requirements.

PSNC Briefing 004/19: Upcoming clinical governance deadlines – actions to be completed by 31 March 2019

Categories: National News

MHRA Drug Safety Update January 2019

PSNC News - 10 January 2019 - 3:20pm

Date issued 9th January 2019

A new Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Drug Safety Update (Vol 12 Issue 6 January 2019:1) has been published and includes articles on:

  • Tapentadol (Palexia): risk of seizures and reports of serotonin syndrome when co-administered with other medicines.
  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy): reports of cytomegalovirus (CMV) gastrointestinal infection or reactivation
  • Yellow Card App: download the updated App to receive the latest MHRA safety news and report suspected side effects, including in pregnancy
  • Letters and drug alerts sent to healthcare professionals in December 2018
  • Medical Device Alerts issued in December 2018

To see the latest MHRA Drug Safety Update in full, visit the GOV.uk website.

 

Categories: National News
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