National News

Category M reimbursement prices to increase from August 2018

PSNC News - 19 July 2018 - 3:30pm

Announcement Summary

Contractor Information

Category M reimbursement prices will increase by £15 million a month from August 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed.

The increase is because DHSC has agreed to cease the £15 million per month reduction in prices that had been in place to recover estimated excess margin delivered to pharmacies in 2015/16 and 2016/17.

These reductions had been in place since August 2017 and had been set to continue. This was because the latest Margins Survey results from 2016/17 suggest that there was over-delivery of margin in that financial year, with some excess yet to be recovered by DHSC.

The decision to cease the Category M price reductions to recover margin now was a result of negotiations with PSNC in which we raised concerns about the impact of price reductions on contractors’ cash flow.

However, underlying Category M prices will continue to be based on manufacturers’ data so prices will still reflect the lower purchase prices that led to the additional reduction in prices seen in the July Tariff.

The Category M reimbursement price list for August 2018 can be found here. Prices have been uplifted by an average of 16% which equates to an increase in Average Item Value (AIV) of between 19 and 20 pence per item on all items.

PSNC Director of Pharmacy Funding Mike Dent said:

“The decision to cease margin recovery in the short-term in light of PSNC’s representations about contractors’ cash flow is very positive and reflective of the collaborative relationship that we are trying to rebuild with the DHSC.

PSNC will be working, through the negotiations on funding and in discussions with the Department, to get the best possible deal for contractors and to ensure that any future mechanisms to correct margin delivery are as manageable as possible in terms of cash flow.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What is happening to Category M reimbursement prices in August?
Category M prices are affected by two factors:

  • the underlying manufacturers’ data; and
  • the margin required to make the supply chain work effectively.

In August, the underlying prices will carry on at levels introduced in the July Tariff, but prices will increase because the margin recovery has been removed. Prices will therefore be £15 million higher than they would otherwise have been had DHSC not agreed to suspend the recovery.

Q. For what months will these prices apply?
There will be a new Drug Tariff for August which will spread the £15 million uplift (because margins recovery has ceased) across the Category M products. This will apply for September as well.

Q. What will happen to prices from October?
In October there will be a new Drug Tariff based on manufacturers’ data.  At the moment the timing or quantum of any future adjustments are not known.

Q. How much excess margin has still not been recovered by DHSC?
A. The results of the Margins Surveys for 2016/17 and 2017/18 are still being analysed and discussed with DHSC. The survey for 2017/18 is taking far more work than usual because of the need to deal with the very many price concession lines set throughout the year.

Q. Is there any update on the funding negotiations and how does all this feed into those?
There is no update – funding negotiations for 2018/19 have not yet begun. The changes to Category M prices are part of PSNC’s ongoing work to ensure that the full amount of community pharmacy funding is delivered to contractors.

Categories: National News

Recognition for community pharmacy at MP briefing event

PSNC News - 18 July 2018 - 1:11pm

PSNC, working with LPCs and other pharmacy organisations, held a busy briefing event in Parliament yesterday MPs yesterday (17th July) which 35 MPs attended.

The MPs, along with seven representatives from other MPs’ offices, heard about the role that community pharmacy can play in helping to support people with long-term conditions. They were briefed on how pharmacy teams can identify and treat long-term conditions in the community, help to keep people healthy and out of hospital, and reduce pressure on GPs and other parts of the health service. Many of them expressed support for the sector and PSNC and the LPCs will be following up with them over the summer. 

The event was sponsored by Sir Kevin Barron MP and Steve Double MP, who are both officers of the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG).

Pharmacists were on hand to provide check-ups and discuss any long-term conditions the attendees had, whilst LPC representatives gave local briefings on how the sector could do more to help constituents. Parliamentarians and their staff also heard about the sector’s shared vision and PSNC’s Care Plan proposal, and information was available on the APPG’s recent report on the care provided for people with long-term conditions.

An example of the local briefing  (a personalised version was produced for each MP who had accepted the event invitation)

PSNC has been sharing images and videos from the event on social media (see a selection below) and community pharmacy teams may wish to support this activity by using some of the tweet templates and photos below, or simply retweeting the messages and photos from PSNC’s Twitter account.

Tweet templates for 17th July event

PSNC is interested to hear feedback on the Care Plan proposal from those who work in community pharmacy. You can let us know what you think by completing our survey:

All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) Chair Sir Kevin Barron said:

“The pressure on the rest of the National Health Service around minor ailments, going into A&E and effectively blocking up doctors’ surgeries as well – these can be dealt with by community pharmacy. People are recognising that now. And of course, what we’re doing here today is looking at how people with long-term conditions can be better looked after by community pharmacy, not necessarily having to use the rest of our health service.”

APPG Vice-Chair Steve Double said:

“Today’s event here in Parliament is a great opportunity for MPs to come and hear about the absolutely vital role that community pharmacies play as part of the National Health Service. To understand more about the services they provide and also some of the challenge that they face as we review their role within the NHS. And I think it’s really important that we engage with MPs in this way so that they have a better understanding of the role of pharmacies as part of our comprehensive National Health Service.”

Download the full list of attendees

Images and videos of the attendees Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen: Laurence Robertson, MP for Tewkesbury:

Categories: National News

MHRA company-led drug alert – Melatonin 10mg capsules (IPS Specials)

PSNC News - 17 July 2018 - 5:29pm

CLDA number: CLDA (18)A/04

Date issued: 17th July 2018

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a company-led drug recall for certain batches of:

Melatonin 10mg capsules (IPS Specials)

MDR number: MDR 022-07/18

IPS Specials is carrying out a company-led recall of two batches at pharmacy and wholesaler level as they have been labelled with an incorrect extended expiry date of 09 Apr 2021 when they should have been labelled as 26 Dec 2017.

To view the alert please visit the GOV.UK website.

Categories: National News

Dispensing & Supply monthly update (July 2018)

PSNC News - 16 July 2018 - 2:50pm

This briefing is part of a series issued regularly by PSNC to inform pharmacy contractors and pharmacy teams on monthly Drug Tariff changes, commonly asked questions and articles regarding dispensing and supply.

This briefing can also be found in the Dispensing & Supply section of July’s CPN.

PSNC Briefing 037/18: Dispensing & Supply monthly update (July 2018)

If you have any queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information, please contact the Dispensing & Supply Team.

To browse other PSNC briefings on dispensing and supply click here.

View Article…

Categories: National News

July edition of CPN magazine now available

PSNC News - 16 July 2018 - 2:48pm

The July 2018 edition of PSNC’s Community Pharmacy News (CPN) is now available. This month’s CPN features:

  • Endorsement guidance;
  • Flu Vaccination Service webinar;
  • Opening hours factsheet; and
  • CEO’s diary.

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

Contract Factsheet – Pharmacy opening hours in 2019 (July 2018)

PSNC News - 16 July 2018 - 2:18pm

PSNC’s Regulations and Support Team are often asked questions about the requirements in the terms of service relating to opening hours. This briefing contains a quick reference guide for 2019.

PSNC Briefing 036/18: Contract Factsheet – Pharmacy opening hours in 2019

If you have queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information please contact William Goh, Regulations Officer.

To browse other PSNC briefings on Contract & IT, click here.

View Article…

Categories: National News

Community pharmacy organisations to brief MPs in Westminster

PSNC News - 16 July 2018 - 11:24am

Community pharmacy organisations are hosting a Parliamentary briefing event this week (Tuesday 17th July) to highlight the role that community pharmacy can play in helping to support people with long-term conditions.

With continued pressures on the NHS, growing demand from an aging population, and the King’s Fund warning of a “crisis” facing the health and care workforce, pharmacists will meet with MPs and peers to showcase how they can identify and treat long-term conditions in the community, help to keep people healthy and out of hospital, and reduce pressure on GPs and other parts of the health service.

The briefing event will take place in Portcullis House at Westminster and PSNC along with a number of LPCs will attend. Sponsored by All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) Officers Sir Kevin Barron MP and Steve Double MP, it will offer a chance for MPs to talk to pharmacists about any long-term conditions they have, and to receive a local briefing on how the sector could do more to help their constituents. Information will also be available on the APPG’s recent report on the care provided for people with long-term conditions.

The aim will be to highlight all that community pharmacies can do to help patients with long-term conditions and to make the case for the further development of pharmacy services in this area. MPs will be briefed on the sector’s shared vision and on PSNC’s Care Plan proposal.

Our thanks go to the many LPCs who have been supporting the event. Community pharmacy teams may also wish to join in with the activity by using some of the tweet templates below, or simply retweeting the messages and photos from PSNC’s Twitter account.

Tweet templates for 17th July event

Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Pharmacy, said:

“It is great to see what pharmacy is capable of and how it could provide more support for people with long-term conditions. The All-Party Pharmacy Group, which I chair, recently called for a wholesale upgrade of what the NHS provides for people with long-term conditions. For too long, people have been passed from pillar to post, with lots of variation in practice and uncoordinated care. We will continue to urge the Government to commission services from pharmacies to meet this need.”

Zoe Long, Acting Director of Communications and Public Affairs at PSNC, said:

“We are very pleased to be working with other pharmacy organisations to talk to MPs about our shared ambition for community pharmacies to provide more comprehensive care for people with long-term conditions. With the support of practising pharmacists and LPC representatives, we will outline not just what community pharmacy teams can do, but the benefits that this would have for patients and the NHS, as well as the enablers that are required to make our vision a reality.”

Categories: National News

Research concludes community pharmacist involvement in hypertension management does not increase GP workload

PSNC News - 15 July 2018 - 12:44pm

New research published in British Journal of General Practice examined referrals for patients with hypertension from community pharmacies to GPs as part of the New Medicine Service (NMS). Specifically, the study looks at what influences patient referrals within the first two weeks of starting an antihypertensive medicine – reportedly the first study of its kind.

The study looked at data from 131,419 patients, recorded using the original PharmOutcomes system and provided to the researchers by PSNC.

The data shows that a total of 5,895 patients were referred back to a GP within the first two weeks, which makes up 4.5% of the total sample. Patients reporting side effects from their new medication were most likely to be referred to their GP followed by patients who expressed uncertainty regarding the efficacy of the medicine. The majority of patients, 95.5% of the total sample, were supported by the pharmacist with no referral to the GP required.

The article concludes that additional pharmacist involvement in the management of patients with hypertension does not increase GP workload. It also suggests that an extended prescribing role for community pharmacists could reduce referrals of routine cases to GPs as medicines management is within their professional capacity.

Categories: National News

Name change for Appeals Unit

PSNC News - 13 July 2018 - 11:28am

From 2nd July 2018, the Family Health Services Appeal Unit (or FHSAU) has been renamed as the Primary Care Appeals service.

The Appeals service, which is part of NHS Resolution, ensures the prompt and fair resolution of appeals and disputes between primary care contractors and NHS England. Community pharmacy contractors and LPCs may come into contact with the service, for example, when an application for a new pharmacy is appealed or when a pharmacy has a request to change its core opening hours turned down by NHS England.

Whilst, the Primary Care Appeals service continues to be based at 1 Trevelyan Square, Leeds, LS1 6AE, it’s new contact email address is

Categories: National News

Drug Tariff Watch: August 2018 changes

PSNC News - 13 July 2018 - 8:44am

The Preface lists additions, deletions and alterations to the Drug Tariff. Below is a quick summary of the changes due to take place from 1st August 2018.

Part VIIIA additions

Category A:

  • Glycopyrronium bromide 600micrograms/3ml solution for injection ampoules (10)
  • *Sodium chloride 0.9% solution for injection 50ml vials (25)

Category C:

  • Adrenaline (base) 500micrograms/0.5ml (1 in 1,000) solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices SC (1) – Emerade
  • Alfentanil 1mg/2ml solution for injection ampoules (10) – Rapifen
  • Alprostadil 3mg/g cream (4) – Vitaros
  • Brivaracetam 100mg tablets (56) – Briviact
  • Brivaracetam 10mg tablets (14) – Briviact
  • Brivaracetam 25mg tablets (56) – Briviact
  • Brivaracetam 50mg tablets (56) – Briviact
  • Brivaracetam 75mg tablets (56) – Briviact
  • Carbimazole 10mg tablets (100) – Macleods Pharma UK Ltd
  • Carbimazole 15mg tablets (100) – Macleods Pharma UK Ltd
  • Ciprofloxacin 2mg/ml ear drops 0.25ml unit dose preservative free (15) – Cetraxal
  • Colestipol 5g granules sachets sugar free (30) – Colestid
  • Docusate 120mg/10g enema (6) – Norgalax
  • Fentanyl 100microgram sublingual tablets sugar free (10) – Abstral
  • Fentanyl 200microgram sublingual tablets sugar free (10) – Abstral
  • Fentanyl 300microgram sublingual tablets sugar free (10) – Abstral
  • Fentanyl 400microgram sublingual tablets sugar free (10) – Abstral
  • Fentanyl 600microgram sublingual tablets sugar free (30) – Abstral
  • Fentanyl 800microgram sublingual tablets sugar free (30) – Abstral
  • Guanfacine 1mg modified-release tablets (28) – Intuniv
  • Guanfacine 2mg modified-release tablets (28) – Intuniv
  • Guanfacine 3mg modified-release tablets (28) – Intuniv
  • Guanfacine 4mg modified-release tablets (28) – Intuniv
  • Hepatitis B (rDNA) 10micrograms/0.5ml vaccine suspension for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) –Engerix B
  • Hepatitis B (rDNA) 20micrograms/1ml vaccine suspension for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Engerix B
  • Insulin glulisine 100units/ml solution for injection 10ml vials SC (1) – Apidra
  • Insulin glulisine 100units/ml solution for injection 3ml cartridges (5) – Apidra
  • Levetiracetam 500mg/5ml solution for infusion vials (10) – Keppra
  • Liquid paraffin light 82.8% bath additive SC (500ml) – Cetraben emollient
  • Maraviroc 20mg/ml oral solution sugar free (230ml) – Celsentri
  • Maraviroc 25mg tablets (120) – Celsentri
  • Maraviroc 75mg tablets (120) – Celsentri
  • Methylphenidate 50mg modified-release capsules (30) – Medikinet XL
  • Methylphenidate 5mg modified-release capsules (30) – Medikinet XL
  • Methylphenidate 60mg modified-release capsules (30) – Medikinet XL
  • Ondansetron 4mg orodispersible films sugar free (10) – Setofilm
  • Ondansetron 8mg orodispersible films sugar free (10) – Setofilm
  • Potassium chloride 375mg/5ml (potassium 5mmol/5ml) oral solution sugar free (500ml) – Kay-Cee-L syrup
  • Proguanil 25mg / Atovaquone 62.5mg tablets (12) – Malarone Paediatric
  • Stiripentol 500mg oral powder sachets (60) – Diacomit
  • Tramadol 75mg modified-release tablets (60) – Zytram SR

Part VIIIA amendments

  • Aceclofenac 100mg tablets (60) – Preservex is changing to Category A
  • Calcipotriol 50micrograms/g ointment SC (30g) – Dovonex is changing to Category A
  • Carbamazepine 125mg suppositories (5) – Essential Pharma Ltd is changing to Category A
  • Isotretinoin 10mg capsules (30) – Roaccutane is changing to Category A
  • Morphine sulfate 30mg/1ml solution for injection ampoules (10) – Martindale Pharmaceuticals Ltd is changing to Category A
  • Simple linctus paediatric (200ml) – Thornton & Ross Ltd is changing to Category A
  • Tetrabenazine 25mg tablets (112) – Xenazine is changing to Category A

Part VIIIA deletions

If a medicinal product has been removed from Part VIIIA and has no other pack sizes listed, it can continue to be dispensed as long as the product does not appear in Part XVIIIA (the ‘Blacklist’)–but it will need to be endorsed fully (i.e. brand or supplier name from whom the product was purchased and the pack size from which the item was dispensed).

* This pack only (others already available)

  • Polymyxin B 10,000units/g / Bacitracin 500units/g ointment (20g) – Polyfax
  • *Sodium chloride 0.9% solution for injection 50ml vials (1)
  • Strontium ranelate 2g granules sachets sugar free (28) – Protelos

Part VIIIB additions

  • Clobetasone 0.05% / Oxytetracycline 3% / Nystatin 100,000units/g cream SC (30g)

Part IX deletions

It is important to take careful note of removals from Part IX because if you dispense a deleted product, prescriptions will be returned as disallowed.

Product Type, Size and Product Code Vaginal Contraceptive Diaphragm – Ortho All-Flex Diaphragm Arcing – Arcing Spring (Type C) 65-80mm (rising in 5mm) Capillary Action Absorbent Wound Dressing – Cerdak Aerocloth All sizes Capillary Action Absorbent Wound Dressing – Cerdak Aerofilm All sizes Capillary Action Absorbent Wound Dressing – Cerdak Basic All sizes Cavity Dressing – Cerdak Cavity All sizes WOUND MANAGEMENT DRESSINGS – ELECT Superabsorber Square (all sizes) and Rectangular (all sizes) ELASTIC HOSIERY – CLASS I Lt. Wt Elas. Net Thigh and Below Knee SPACER/HOLDING CHAMBER DEVICES – Fisio Chamber Vision All (with and without mask) ILEOSTOMY (DRAINABLE) BAGS – Hollister Ltd – Karaya 5 seal with microporous adhesive – 41cm Length Transparent 76mm (3276) TWO PIECE OSTOMY SYSTEMS – ConvaTec Ltd – Drainable Pouch with InvisiClose outlet and Filter (2-sided Comfort Backing) Opaque – Standard – Right (30.8cm) 13-48mm barrier (S1211F) TWO PIECE OSTOMY SYSTEMS – ConvaTec Ltd – Drainable Pouch with InvisiClose outlet and Filter (1-sided Comfort Backing) Transparent – Standard – Right (30.8cm) 13-35mm barrier (S1220F) CHEMICAL REAGENTS – DiaCheck 50 CHEMICAL REAGENTS – SuperCheck Plus 50 CHEMICAL REAGENTS – SuperCheck 2 50

Want to learn more about recent Dispensing & Supply news? Read our monthly updates here.

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Last day to make your declaration!

PSNC News - 13 July 2018 - 8:30am

Today, Friday 13th July, is the last day that community pharmacy contractors can complete the Quality Payments online declaration on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) website as it will close tonight at 11.59pm.

Contractors are reminded that once they have submitted their online declaration it cannot then be altered. It is therefore imperative that contractors check their declaration thoroughly before submitting their declaration on the website.

Once the declaration has been submitted the contractor will receive an email from NHS BSA confirming that the declaration has been successfully submitted and confirming the details that have been declared. This email should be retained by the pharmacy as proof that the declaration was submitted and the date of submission. The email will show how contractors have responded to each of the gateway and quality criteria.

NHS BSA has published a document which outlines the questions that will be asked so contractors can view these ahead of making their declaration.

FAQs on claiming Quality Payments can be found on the Quality Payments – FAQs page of the PSNC website.

Categories: National News

CPPE launches GDPR e-learning

PSNC News - 11 July 2018 - 3:34pm

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) has published a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) e-learning programme for pharmacy professionals. The programme was developed on the back of the materials produced by the GDPR Working Group, which included representation from CPPE.

The aim of the e-learning is to develop the awareness, understanding and skills necessary for community pharmacy teams to implement the GDPR and associated legislation in order to make it work.

Categories: National News

Health & Care Review

PSNC News - 11 July 2018 - 2:17pm

Keeping up with all the latest developments in health and care policy could almost be a full time job and PSNC regularly receives questions from LPCs and pharmacy contractors about what is going on in the wider health and care landscape beyond community pharmacy. To help answer some of these questions and to help contractors and LPCs stay up to date, PSNC provides this update service outlining the latest information in an easily digestible format. Weekly updates are published on our website and contractors can ensure they do not miss them by signing up to PSNC’s email newsletter service here.

The reviews extend the work we have been doing for some time to help LPCs stay informed about the NHS changes, and they inform the more detailed PSNC briefings which we continue to publish on this topic; these can be accessed in the Healthcare Landscape section of the website.

New NHS app will make it quicker and easier to access health services

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that a new NHS app, developed by NHS Digital and NHS England, will be available to everyone in England from December 2018.

The new NHS app will give patients safe and secure access to their GP record, and the ability to make GP appointments; order repeat prescriptions; manage long-term conditions; and access NHS 111 online for urgent medical queries. Patients will also be able to use the app to state their preferences relating to data-sharing; organ donation and end-of-life care.

NHS England National Director of Operations and Information Matthew Swindells said: “In the NHS’s 70th year, the new app will take the NHS to a world-leading position by empowering all our patients using digital technology to take charge of their own healthcare and contact the NHS in a way that suits them.”

Around 1.6 million fewer adult smokers in England in six years

Information relating to the number of adult smokers in England between 2011-2017 has been published by NHS Digital, Public Health England (PHE) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Official figures, from NHS Digital, show that the number of adult smokers has dropped in England from 19.8% of adults (7.7 million) in 2011 to 14.9% (6.1 million) in 2017.

Other key statistics include:

  • adults aged 25 to 34 were most likely to smoke (20%), whilst those aged 65 and over were least likely to smoke (8%);
  • the number of items dispensed as an aid to stop smoking in England was 0.86 million in 2017/18, compared to 2.48 million in 2007/08 and a peak of 2.56 million in 2010/11; and
  • prevalence of e-cigarette users in 2017 for adults remained similar to 2016, at 5%, an increase from 4% in 2014.
£215 million research fund to tackle the next generation of health challenges

DHSC has announced that leading academics and technology experts will be able to apply or research funding to develop health solutions for the future. The research, worth £215 million, aims to give patients greater independence and choice about how they manage their healthcare.

The research will cover many topics, which include:

  • the pressures of an ageing population and increasing demands on the NHS;
  • behavioural science;
  • adult social care;
  • older people and frailty; and
  • cancer awareness, screening and early diagnosis.
Paramedics to be given body cameras to protect them from abuse

DHSC has announced that as part of a new wellbeing pledge for NHS staff, paramedics will be given body cameras to protect them from physical and verbal abuse. NHS Employers will also introduce fast access systems to speed up access to free mental support and physiotherapy for their staff.

In an initial pilot, 465 ambulances and their paramedics will be equipped with body cameras, with potential for a full rollout to all paramedics, and other priority areas.

In the past year, 354 prosecutions have been brought against individuals who have subjected ambulance staff to violence – but estimates suggest this is a fraction of the total incidents.

New law introduced to protect vulnerable people in care

A new bill was introduced to the House of Lords on Tuesday 3rd July to replace the current process for assessing people who do not have mental capacity to make decisions about their care.

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill seeks to replace the current system known as ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ which has been criticised for being too complex and bureaucratic.

The reforms seek to:

  • introduce a simpler process that involves families more and gives swifter access to assessments;
  • be less burdensome on people, carers, families and local authorities;
  • allow the NHS, rather than local authorities, to make decisions about their patients, allowing a more efficient and clearly accountable process;
  • consider restrictions of people’s liberties as part of their overall care package; and
  • get rid of repeat assessments and authorisations when someone moves between a care home, hospital and ambulance as part of their treatment.
NHS70 – Seven facts for seven decades

In celebration of the NHS’s 70th birthday, NHS Digital has released an infographic with seven statistics on the NHS across seven decades.

The figures demonstrate how the NHS has evolved since it began on July 5, 1948, and the changing health and lifestyles of the population.

Key statistics include:

  • in 1979, there were 23,062 GPs working in England of which 19,197 were male and 3,865 were female. In 2017 there were 39,843 GPs working in England, of which 21,055 were female;
  • in 2008, there were 35,960,539 antidepressant prescription items dispensed in the community in England. In 2017 this had risen to 67,530,375 items; and
  • in 2016/17, there were 617,000 admissions in NHS hospitals where obesity was a factor. This was an increase of 18% on 2015/16.
 Multi-million pound investment in new ambulances for the NHS

The Government has made a £36.3 million investment in new and updated ambulance vehicles to help staff provide emergency care to patients this winter.

Nationally, the investment will buy 256 new state-of-the-art vehicles, more than half of which will be on the road for this winter. Funding will also go towards hubs at ambulance trust headquarters, which will allow better restocking and maintenance of vehicles.

Demanding better: The social determinants of health care demand

The Nuffield Trust has published a report on how the health and care system should respond to the increasing effects of social circumstances on people’s health care needs.

The report cites examples of how social determinants of health have a significant impact on health and demand for health care, such as higher numbers and rates of admissions to hospital.

Proposed interventions include:

  • the coding of GP records needs to capture social risk factors in ways that make them easy to find in a consultation or needs assessment;
  • more multidisciplinary models of general practice and the inclusion of mental health in front-line primary care; and
  • in appropriate settings the inclusion of welfare, housing and other advice and support also makes a difference.
Diabetes not taken seriously by UK public

New research by Diabetes UK suggests that diabetes is not taken seriously by the UK public. A survey spoke to 1,000 people with and without a link to diabetes and demonstrates the extent of this lack of awareness.

Key facts include:

  • 2% of people spontaneously said a stroke was a complication of diabetes, 4% said kidney damage and 6% said heart disease;
  • only 1 in four people (25%) of people said, unprompted, that amputation and sight loss were linked to diabetes; and
  • no-one spontaneously knew that diabetes could cause problems in pregnancy, only 2% knew diabetes could lead to a shorter life span, and only 4% knew it could lead to early death.
Beyond barriers: how older people move between health and care in England

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a report which reviewed how the local area works together to support and care for peopled aged 65 years and over. The report looks at 20 LA areas and covers three specific issues:

  • Maintaining people’s health and wellbeing at home
  • Care and support when people experience a crisis
  • Supporting people when they leave hospital

The report found that organisations did intend to work together but often focussed on their own goals; the way services were funded did not support them to work together. Additionally, the regulatory framework only focusses on individual organisations.

The CQC recommends reform of planning and commissioning of services; a new approach to system performance management; joint workforce planning; and better oversight of local system performance.

Evidence Based Interventions: Consultation

NHS England has launched a consultation on new proposals jointly developed by NHS England, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges, the National Institute for health and Care Excellence and NHS Improvement’s GIRFT programme in collaboration with the Royal Colleges and patient groups such as Healthwatch.

The proposals are designed to reduce the delivery of interventions regarded as ineffective, such as breast reductions, snoring surgery, haemorrhoid surgery and tonsillectomies.

The consultation will last 12 weeks, ending on 28th September 2018.

NHS England inviting views to help shape modern primary care says NHS England as part of NHS Long Term Plan

NHS England is inviting GPs, patients and healthcare professionals to express their views on general practice reform to provide a stronger and more sustainable service as part of the new NHS Long Term Plan.

In particular, with a wide range of partners, NHS England has reviewed the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) which provides payments for achieving outcomes that reflect high quality care in general practice. NHS England is also seeking views on how general practice payment models can best support innovation.

The outcome of this engagement will inform GP contract negotiations for 2019 – 2020 between NHS England and the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association.

Thousands of patients to benefit from innovative new treatments on the NHS

NHS England will be introducing new treatments available to patients as a result of the latest specialised commissioning prioritisation process.

Treatments are grouped into five levels of priority, with those that cost less and offer more clinical benefit for patients relative to the other treatments being considered classified as level one, and treatments with the lowest relative clinical benefit and highest cost placed in the lowest category, level five.

Media monitoring

On Monday 2nd July 2018, the following story was published:

  • iNews and The Mail report that a study has found air pollution is responsible for nearly 15,000 cases of diabetes a year.

On Tuesday 3rd July 2018, the following stories were published:

  • The BBC reports that data for 150,000 patients has been involved in a data breach. SystmOne software used by GPs was used to record patient’s preferences regarding data-sharing, but it appears that messages from those who requested their data not be used for research and auditing purposes were not sent through to NHS England’s IT provider. Also covered by The Telegraph, The Times, The Mirror, The Mail and The Sun.
  • The Telegraph reports that there has been a five-fold increases in measles cases in England in the past year. Public Health England says outbreaks have mostly been affecting your adult who missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were younger. Also covered by The Times and The Guardian.
  • The Sun reports that tests have shown that taking aspirin daily could protect people from dementia. Also covered by The Mail, The Express and ITV News.

On Wednesday 4th July 2018, the following stories were published:

  • The Guardian reports that Home Secretary Sajid Javid is considering relaxing the rules on prescribing cannabis for medical use. An in-depth review led by Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies will look at possible plans, including moving cannabis from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 Controlled Drug. Also covered by the BBC, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph The Mirror and The Sun.
  • Poor rural broadband could prevent elderly people from accessing crucial at-home help, reports The Telegraph. The Local Government Association warns that “rural communities face increasing isolation from health services”. Also covered by The Express.
  • The BBC reports that Public Health England is advising that people should be doing strengthening exercises at least twice a week to help us ‘age better’. Also covered by The Guardian and The Mail.
  • The Mail reports on a study that found taking folic acid during pregnancy can protect against mental health issues in the unborn child.

On Thursday 5th July 2018, the following stories were published:

  • The Telegraph reports that tech company Babylon, who are behind the app GP at Hand, plan to open its own private GP surgeries.
  • The Health Service should text patients to remind them of appointments after almost half a million people failed to show up for a consultation last year, an executive has said. It is thought that 477,000 patients missed outpatient appointments last year. Featured in The Times.

On Friday 6th July 2018, the following story was published:

  • GP vacancies rise to record levels despite recruitment pledge. The Independent reports on the results of a survey by Pulse magazine, which states that GP vacancies have risen from 9.1% to 15.3% since the Government pledged to recruit 5,000 more doctors. The Telegraph features a similar story, including a quote from Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, who claims that almost every surgery in England is at least one GP short.

Categories: National News

Book now for our Flu Vaccination Service webinar

PSNC News - 11 July 2018 - 2:03pm

As the flu season approaches, PSNC will be holding a webinar on the 2018/19 Flu Vaccination Advanced Service on Wednesday 15th August at 7.30pm.

Webinar Details When is it?
Wednesday 15th August at 7.30pm

Who should sign up?
This webinar will be of most interest to those contractors and pharmacy team members who are planning to take part in this year’s Flu Vaccination Advanced Service. Find out more about the service at:

How do I register?
Please sign up here

On the night Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC, will explain how the Flu Vaccination Advanced Service will differ for 2018/19, highlighting some important changes community pharmacy teams need to be aware of.

We will also hear from Ben Tindale, Digitisation Lead for NHS Prescription Services, who will describe the new digital submission process for flu vaccination claims.

A ‘must-watch’ for contractors and pharmacy team members who will be involved in the service, the webinar will also provide guidance on managing the vaccination of the 65 years and over group with Adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV).

During the 60-minute webinar, there will be an opportunity for viewers to ask questions; so let us help you and your team #getreadyforflu by signing up here.

Unable to attend the webinar?
Don’t worry, you will be able to watch a recording on the PSNC website a few days after the event.


Categories: National News

MPs call for pharmacy role in long-term conditions care

PSNC News - 11 July 2018 - 11:20am

The All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) has called on the Government to make better use of community pharmacy teams to help improve the care provided for people with long-term conditions.

In a report on its Inquiry into Long-Term Conditions published this week, the cross-party group of MPs highlighted the need to develop NHS services to better support people with long-term conditions and help them to live healthier lives for longer.

The APPG inquiry heard from organisations representing patients with a range of long-term conditions, as well as from pharmacists and organisations representing the sector, to understand how care for people with long-term conditions could be improved and what part pharmacy could play in that. The Group also heard about some innovative ways in which community pharmacy teams are already supporting patients with long-term conditions and which could be rolled out more widely to benefit more patients. This included analysis from the Community Pharmacy Future project: Care Plan service which was a successful pilot that fed into PSNC’s Care Plan proposals.

The APPG has made the following recommendations:

  • Patients with one or more conditions must have access to a care plan;
  • NHS England to take a lead on integration in primary care (e.g. aligning contracts for different healthcare providers);
  • Access must be provided to high quality services that help patients to manage their own care; and
  • The same levels of service must be available across England.

Read the APPG’s report, In Good Health

APPG Chair Sir Kevin Barron MP said:

“This report’s recommendations will create a context in which services can be developed to improve outcomes for people with long-term conditions. These recommendations should not delay or replace negotiations on the community pharmacy contract, but our expectation is that the Government will enter negotiations with these recommendations firmly in mind.”

Acting Director of Communications and Public Affairs at PSNC, Zoe Long, said:

“We are very pleased that the APPG shares our ambition for community pharmacies to provide more comprehensive care for people with long-term conditions, and grateful to the MPs for their interest in this area. We were particularly pleased to note that the group agrees that community pharmacy is ideally placed to provide a care plan service for the benefit of patients, as we proposed earlier this year.”

Categories: National News

Class 1 MHRA drug alert – Valsartan and Valsartan/ Hydrochlorothiazide

PSNC News - 10 July 2018 - 5:20pm

Drug alert number: EL (18)A/11

Date first issued: 5th July 2018 (update made on 10th July)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA) has issued a class 1 pharmacy level recall for certain batches of:

Valsartan 40mg, 80mg and 160mg capsules (Dexcel Pharma Ltd) and 40mg, 80mg, 160mg and 320mg tablets (Actavis Group PTC EHF)

Update 10th July: An additional product Accord Healthcare manufactured – Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide 160/12.5mg Film-Coated Tablets – is also affected and is being recalled.

Batches of the above products are being recalled from pharmacies as a precautionary measure due to possible contamination with an impurity which has genotoxic and carcinogenic potential.

Healthcare professionals and wholesalers are instructed to stop supplying the affected batches immediately and quarantine all remaining stock and return it to the supplier.

To view the alert, please visit the Central Alerting system website.

Categories: National News

New Vaccination Services Declaration of Competence launched

PSNC News - 10 July 2018 - 4:55pm

The Community Pharmacy Competence Group (CPCG) has published a new combined Vaccination Services Declaration of Competence (DoC) which is hosted on the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education website.

Previously, there were two separate DoC frameworks for vaccination services; the NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service and other locally commissioned Immunisation services; these two have been merged into a single DoC.

Pharmacy professionals who will be providing the NHS Seasonal Flu Vaccination Advanced Service and a locally commissioned influenza service will now only be required to complete one DoC.

The 2018 National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners include the requirement for supervised clinical practice following training and this has been highlighted in the new DoC and statement of declaration. PSNC has published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which explain this requirement in more detail.

FAQs on the new DoC

Q. I have already completed a DoC for the NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service 2017/18. Do I need to complete it again?
The CPCG recommends that pharmacists revisit their DoCs every two years, so if you last completed the flu vaccination DoC in 2017/18, you would not need to complete the new vaccination DoC until the 2019/20 flu vaccination season.

As the new DoC covers all vaccinations, the competency framework should be revisited, and the statement of declaration re-signed whenever a pharmacist starts to offer a service with different vaccines to those that they have previously administered..

Q. How soon can I complete the DoC for the NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service 2018/19?
Pharmacists that need to complete a DoC for the 2018/19 flu vaccination season can now start to work through the DoC framework and complete any learning, training and assessment to fill any gaps identified. However, the service documents such as the service specification and Patient Group Direction (PGD) for this service are not available until later in the summer. You will need to read, understand and sign these documents before you sign your statement of declaration for this service.

Q. How can I find out more?
For more information and to access all DoCs, visit the CPPE website.

Categories: National News

CPPE Corner: New patient safety focal point event

PSNC News - 10 July 2018 - 3:30pm

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) is running workshops to improve knowledge and skills on patient safety and risk management. We spoke to Annie Sellers, Learning development pharmacist at CPPE, to find out more.

Bookings are now open for CPPE’s latest focal point programme, Patient safety: an anticoagulant case study. This brand new focal point programme aims to provide you with background knowledge relating to patient safety and risk management, with the opportunity to apply this to practice.

Development of this latest focal point programme followed on from the success of CPPE’s Patient safety spring learning campaign. The focus of this campaign was on a real life patient safety scenario, to enable you to reflect on practice and minimise risk.

Pharmacy professionals have an integral role to play in improving patient safety. CPPE’s Patient safety focal point workshop can provide the knowledge and skills necessary for you to improve patient safety in practice, and effectively respond to and manage patient safety incidents.

Patient safety: an anticoagulant case study ties in with the World Health Organization’s ‘Medication Without Harm’ initiative, describing the principles of patient safety concepts and technology, while also ensuring that you can respond to issues of patient safety.

The programme also focuses more specifically on a case study about anticoagulation, to help you recognise risk associated with the condition, whilst ensuring they can confidently consult with those who are prescribed high-risk medicines.

CPPE focal points bring you up-to-date with expertly written material and learning with colleagues in a relaxed, friendly and supportive environment.

Connect with those attending Patient safety: an anticoagulant case study workshops by using the hashtag #CPPEPS on Twitter to share your experiences and photos of events.

Book a place on Patient safety: an anticoagulant case study via the CPPE website.

Categories: National News

Matt Hancock becomes new Health and Social Care Secretary

PSNC News - 10 July 2018 - 11:46am

Matt Hancock, the MP for West Suffolk, has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Mr Hancock has been the Culture Secretary since the beginning of the year, but was given the health brief yesterday following Jeremy Hunt’s move to the Foreign Office. He has previously held various ministerial roles; most interestingly he worked in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills between September 2012 and March 2015.

Prior to entering politics, Mr Hancock has worked in a software business, as an economist for the Bank of England, and later as both an advisor and Chief of Staff to George Osborne when he was Shadow Chancellor.

The rest of the health ministerial team remains the same for the time being.

PSNC congratulates the new Health Secretary on his new role and looks forward to working with him to develop community pharmacy services for the benefit of patients, the NHS and pharmacies.

Categories: National News

Class 2 MHRA drug alert – Fiasp FlexTouch 100 units/ml solution for injection pre-filled pen (Novo Nordisk)

PSNC News - 9 July 2018 - 4:08pm

Drug alert number: EL (18) A/12

Date issued: 9th July 2018

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 2 pharmacy level recall, to be actioned within 48 hours, for:

Fiasp FlexTouch 100 units/mL solution for injection pre-filled pen (Novo Nordisk)

Batch number: HP50949

Expiry date: 30th November 2019

Novo Nordisk is recalling one batch as a precautionary measure due to the presence of particles in a small number of samples.

To view the alert please visit the GOV.UK website.

Categories: National News
Syndicate content