National News

PSNC CEO webinar now on-demand

PSNC News - 2 hours 30 min ago

Community pharmacy contractors can now access an online recording of PSNC’s recent CEO webinar.

Almost 500 people registered for yesterday’s webinar hosted by PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes. Simon used the webinar to inform viewers about the direction he wants PSNC to take as well as taking time to answer questions live.

During the webinar Simon discussed his first impressions of the sector, the key issues and how he plans to move forward, giving an insight into his ambitions for the next few years.

Click here to view an on-demand version of the webinar.*

*Please note, to watch the recording, you will need to register (or input the email address you registered with previously).

 

Categories: National News

Appropriate use of flu vaccines (aTIV and QIV)

PSNC News - 20 September 2018 - 3:09pm

Over the last few days, PSNC has received many queries from contractors relating to the ordering and appropriate use of adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) and in what exceptional circumstances quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) may be used in patients 65 years and over.

On Monday, we published a Briefing which summarises the different documents and news stories relating to the use of aTIV that have been published by NHS England, Public Health England and PSNC. The Briefing also explains what pharmacy contractors should do if they have no aTIV available, either temporarily or because they have been unable to obtain any aTIV for the 2018/19 flu season. We strongly recommend that all pharmacists providing the flu vaccination service read this briefing.

PSNC Briefing 050/18: Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19: Adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (aTIV)

The advice on vaccinating patients aged 65 years and over remains: no vaccine other than aTIV (Fluad) should be administered at this point in the season*. Where despite this advice, a contractor seeks reimbursement for vaccine other than the recommended vaccine choice, NHS England may make enquiries to understand how the evidence of clinical efficacy of aTIV and QIV was considered and how the clinical judgement to use the relevant vaccines was reached.

Where an appropriate clinical justification cannot be provided, NHS England may seek to take action against a contractor for breach of the terms of service for failing to provide the service and exercise their professional judgement consistent with standards generally accepted in the pharmaceutical profession.

* except for patients with an egg allergy.

Categories: National News

EPS continues to roll-out in urgent care settings

PSNC News - 20 September 2018 - 12:05pm

Following last year’s successful pilot, NHS Digital is continuing to roll-out EPS to urgent care providers that use the Advanced Adastra prescribing system. Integrated urgent care providers include: NHS 111, GP out of hours, Clinical Assessment Services (CAS), Walk-in Centres, Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Care Centres.

As patients can get their prescriptions dispensed from any NHS community pharmacy in the country, all pharmacy staff (including locums) should familiarise themselves with the details of the roll-out.

How does this work?

The roll-out uses a type of ‘one-off nomination’ to send the prescription to the pharmacy that the patient has selected; this will not affect existing nominations for the patient’s ‘regular’ prescriptions.

Prescribers will identify a pharmacy that is open and accessible for the patient using similar processes as used for paper FP10s and, as EPS cannot indicate the urgency of the prescription, prescribers have been asked to ensure that the pharmacy is contacted to alert them that the electronic prescription is available for them to dispense.

The prescriptions will be downloaded by the contractor’s PMR system in the normal way. Pharmacies that are open out of hours and that regularly receive paper prescriptions written by prescribers from urgent care providers may want to consider reviewing how frequently they download prescriptions from the central NHS Spine, so that any prescriptions sent by urgent care services are downloaded promptly. The prescription message will contain the contact details of the prescribing site in case there are any queries for the prescriber. The existing EPS dispense/claim message sending processes are unaffected.

Further information

For more information please visit our EPS in urgent care settings webpage.

If you have any questions or comments on the EPS pilot in urgent care settings, please contact info@psnc.org.uk.

 

Categories: National News

September 2018 Price Concessions/NCSO – 1st update

PSNC News - 18 September 2018 - 5:00pm

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

Drug Pack size Price Concession Amisulpride 100mg tablets 60 £9.95 Amisulpride 50mg tablets 60 £5.29 Mometasone 0.1% Cream 30g £2.71 Propranolol 10mg tablets 28 £2.84 Propranolol 40mg tablets 28 £2.86 Sodium Valproate 200mg/5ml oral solution SF 300ml £6.27 Sodium Valproate 500mg gastro-resistant tablets 100 £13.95 Valsartan 40mg capsules 28 £3.99

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 September 2018 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

Case study: Community pharmacist independent prescribers can alleviate GP supply-demand issues

PSNC News - 18 September 2018 - 10:59am

Community pharmacists in Nottingham have been working in GP practices as part of an NHS England-funded project designed to maximise patients’ health and wellbeing by making efficient use of the skills of both professions.

What did the project aim to achieve?

The aim was to develop and evaluate new models of care to test whether the quality of patient care can be improved by utilising community pharmacy independent prescribers (CPIP) in both a GP practice and/or a community pharmacy setting. The pilot was a proof of concept scheme seeking to evaluate and understand the proposition that CPIPs can play a positive role in general practice and have a positive impact at all levels – on patients, practices and the NHS.

What did the project involve?

Six GP practices in the East Midlands were matched to six community pharmacies for a period of one year. Pharmacists worked for varying hours in each practice, between one and four days per week. CPIPs were able to offer personalised appointment lengths and appointments were often twice as long as GP appointments or more.

Community pharmacists undertook various tasks, such as:

  • medication reviews;
  • care home and domiciliary visits;
  • prescription queries;
  • chronic disease management including adherence and condition monitoring;
  • discharge management; and
  • acute care consultations.

What does the evaluation show?

CPIPs were able to use their unique and expert knowledge on medicines which was very positively received by patients. Medication advice provided to patients led to increased medication adherence and improved patient safety.

Over half of the work undertaken by the CPIPs was medication reviews, a third related to reviewing long term conditions and their management (including interventions provided in care homes and domiciliary settings) and almost 10% of time was spent supporting general demand with urgent care appointments. The commissioner’s own data shows that the CPIPs pilot scheme potentially reduced avoidable secondary care admissions by around 8% saving the NHS a potential £710,000 per year. Finally, overall, around 7% of the CPIP work was in acute and urgent care.

The evaluation concludes that CPIPs bring unique expert knowledge to the primary care skills mix and actively practise cost-effective prescribing which has cost-saving benefits to the NHS. CPIPs can act as a strategic tool to drive NHS or local health aims and objectives and prevent hospital admissions.

The evaluation states that the findings provide evidence to support the concept that CPIPs can have a positive impact on the current supply-demand issues in general practice and can offer a quality service to patients.

Further details on this services and similar services can be found on the PSNC Services Database.

Categories: National News

Summary of guidance on aTIV published

PSNC News - 17 September 2018 - 10:59am

In light of this year’s recommendations on the different types of flu vaccines for the Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19, PSNC has received many queries from contractors relating to the ordering and appropriate use of the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV).

PSNC has therefore published a Briefing which summarises the different documents and news stories relating to the use of aTIV that have been published by NHS England, Public Health England and PSNC.

The Briefing also explains what pharmacy contractors should do if they have no aTIV available, either temporarily or because they have been unable to obtain any aTIV for the 2018/19 flu season.

PSNC Briefing 050/18: Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19: Adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (aTIV)

Further information, resources and answers frequently asked questions are available at psnc.org.uk/flu

Categories: National News

Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19: Adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (aTIV)

PSNC News - 17 September 2018 - 9:22am

This is the first year of the pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service, that different vaccines have been recommended for different eligible groups. There is also an added complexity this year, due to the fact that contractors will receive a phased delivery of Fluad® and that there is a recommended priority order for patients in the 65 years and above eligible group.

There have been several documents and news stories published containing information about aTIV and the recommendations for using it; a publication timeline is set out in Annex A as background information. This PSNC Briefing provides a summary of relevant information for contractors.

PSNC Briefing 050/18: Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19: Adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (aTIV)

If you have any queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information, please contact Zainab Al-Kharsan, Service Development Pharmacist.

To browse other PSNC briefings on services and commissioning click here.

View Article…

Categories: National News

Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

PSNC News - 17 September 2018 - 9:05am

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. Can a homeless person have a flu vaccination?
A homeless person can have a flu vaccination if they fall into one of the eligible groups for the Flu Vaccination Service. Contractors should also consider the following:

  • The homeless person would need to come into the pharmacy for their vaccine, this couldn’t be provided at another location as the only off-site vaccinations that are allowed are those for people living in long-stay residential care homes, other long-stay care facilities or in a patient’s own home (where the pharmacy has an existing clinical relationship with the patient);
  • No fixed abode (NFA) can be written on the consent and record form in the patient’s address section;
  • If a homeless person is registered with a GP practice, notification would need to be sent to the GP practice if appropriate providing as much identifying information as the pharmacy can provide to allow the GP practice to match the information to the relevant person (some areas have specific homeless patient services to allow GP registration and some encourage registration at regular GP practices); and
  • If a homeless person is not registered with a GP, it will not be possible for the notification to be sent to a GP practice, but the service can still be provided to the person.

Q. Can a vaccination be provided to a patient in an eligible group who is registered with an NHS GP practice and lives elsewhere in England or one of the other home countries, for example, Scotland?
Yes. There are no geographical restrictions placed on provision of the service to eligible patients registered with an NHS GP practice.

Q. Can I vaccinate a person with a learning disability who is unable to understand the consent form?
No. If the patient does not have capacity to provide informed consent, they must be referred to their GP for vaccination.

Q. Are all workers working within registered care home and domiciliary care organisations eligible to receive the Flu Vaccination Advanced Service?
No. Only those workers directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients are eligible. A worker that has no direct contact with a patient/client is not eligible. For example, a member of catering staff that serves food to patient/clients would not be considered eligible.

Q. If an individual has had confirmed influenza recently and they are in an at risk group should they still have the vaccine?
Yes, anyone eligible to receive the vaccine should still have it even if they have had confirmed influenza, either recently or in the past. Having the vaccine will help to protect against other circulating strains. The inactivated flu vaccine can be given at any time following recovery providing there are no contraindications to vaccination.

Categories: National News

CPPE Corner: New Vaccination Services DoC launched

PSNC News - 13 September 2018 - 9:00am

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) has launched a new DoC applicable for both the NHS Flu Vaccination Service and locally commissioned influenza services. We spoke to Lesley Grimes, CPPE lead pharmacist, learning development, to find out more.

CPPE has updated its Declaration of Competence (DoC) framework for vaccinations.

Previously, there have been two separate DoC frameworks for vaccinations; the NHS Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service and other locally commissioned Immunisation services. This meant that those providing the NHS service along with a locally commissioned influenza service were required to complete two DoCs.

Those two DoCs have now been merged into a new single DoC framework for all vaccination services. It is recommended that you revisit the DoC every two years, so some people may not need to complete the new, merged DoC if they completed the practical training and DoC for the 2017/18 influenza season.

As the new DoC covers all vaccinations, the competency framework should be revisited and the statement of declaration re-signed whenever a service for a different vaccination is introduced.

In addition to completing the DoC, the requirement for healthcare professionals to complete an annual update, which can be self-directed learning rather than face-to face training, remains.

The 2018 National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners include a new requirement for supervised clinical practice following training. Both the merged DoC and statement of declaration have been amended to include a clause relating to this.

PSNC has developed some frequently asked questions relating to the supervision clause.

For further information on the Declaration of Competence system, visit: www.cppe.ac.uk/doc

Categories: National News

Drug Tariff Watch: October 2018 changes

PSNC News - 11 September 2018 - 9:00am

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 October 2018.

Part VIIIA additions

Category A

  • Adrenaline (base) 1mg/1ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (1) n
  • Calcitonin (salmon) 100units/1ml solution for injection ampoules (5)
  • Calcitonin (salmon) 400units/2ml solution for injection vials (1) n
  • Calcitonin (salmon) 50units/1ml solution for injection ampoules (5)
  • Ibandronic acid 3mg/3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (1) n
  • Naloxone 400micrograms/1ml solution for injection ampoules (10)

Category C:

  • Abatacept 125mg/1ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (4) – Orencia ClickJect
  • Abatacept 125mg/1ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (4) – Orencia
  • *Bambuterol 10mg tablets (30) – Bambec
  • Benzocaine 20% dental gel sugar free (5.3g) n – Orajel Extra Strength
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 0.015%/Cetrimide 0.15% solution 100ml sachets (10) – Sterets Tisept
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 0.015%/Cetrimide 0.15% solution 25ml sachets (25) – Sterets Tisept
  • Ciclosporin 100mg/ml oral solution sugar free (50ml) n
  • Darbepoetin alfa 100micrograms/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Darbepoetin alfa 150micrograms/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Darbepoetin alfa 20micrograms/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Darbepoetin alfa 300micrograms/0.6ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Darbepoetin alfa 40micrograms/0.4ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Darbepoetin alfa 500micrograms/1ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Darbepoetin alfa 60micrograns/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Darbepoetin alfa 80micrograms/0.4ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices (1) nAranesp SureClick
  • Denosumab 120mg/1.7ml solution for injection vials (1) n Xgeva
  • Epoetin beta 10,000units/0.6ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 2,000units/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 20,000units/0.6ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 3,000units/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 30,000units/0.6ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (4) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 4,000units/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 5,000units/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 500units/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Epoetin beta 6,000units/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes (6) – NeoRecormon
  • Gentamicin 80mg/2ml solution for injection ampoules (5) – Cidomycin Adult Injectable
  • Insulin isophane biphasic porcine 30/70 100units/ml suspension for injection 10ml vials (1) n – Hypurin Porcine 30/70 Mix
  • Liquid paraffin 65% bath additive (500ml) nDoublebase
  • Methylprednisolone 100mg tablets (20) – Medrone
  • Methylprednisolone 16mg tablets (30) – Medrone
  • Methylprednisolone 2mg tablets (30) – Medrone
  • Methylprednisolone 4mg tablets (30) – Medrone
  • Metapyrone 250mg capsules (100) – Metopirone
  • Morphine 100mg modified-release granules sachets sugar free (30) – MST Continus
  • Morphine 200mg modified-release granules sachets sugar free (30) – MST Continus
  • Morphine 20mg modified-release granules sachets sugar free (30) – MST Continus
  • Morphine 30mg modified-release granules sachets sugar-free (30) – MST Continus
  • Morphine 60mg modified-release granules sachets sugar free (30) – MST Continus
  • Nedocromil 2mg/dose inhaler CFC free (112 dose) n – Tilade
  • Paracetamol 500mg effervescent tablets sugar free (100) – Accord Healthcare Ltd
  • Sodium dihydrogen phosphate anhydrous 1.936g effervescent tablets (100) (5x n20) – Phosphate Sandoz
  • Sucroferric oxyhydroxide (iron 500mg) chewable tablets (90) – Velphoro
  • Testosterone 16.2mg/g gel (20.25mg per actuation) (88g) nTestogel
  • Timothy grass pollen allergen extract 75,000 SQ-T oral lyophilisates sugar free (30) – Grazax
  • Titanium ointment (30g) nMetanium Nappy Rash
  • Typhoid vaccine (live, oral, strain ty21a) gastro-resistant capsules (3) nVivotif

Part VIIIA amendments

  • Benzylpenicillin 600mg powder for solution for injection vials (2) – Thornton & Ross Ltd (Category C) is changing to Category A
  • Carbocisteine 750mg/1ml oral solution 10ml sachets sugar free (15) – Intrapharm Laboratories Ltd (Category C) is changing to Category A
  • Folic acid 400microgram tablets (90) – Preconceive (Category C) is changing to Category A
  • Haloperidol 500microgram tablets (28) – Crescent Pharma Ltd (Category C) is changing to Category A
  • Naltrexone 50mg tablets (28) – Nalorex (Category C) is changing to Category A
  • Phenytoin sodium 25mg capsules (28) – Flynn Pharma Ltd (Category C) is changing to Category A
  • Phenytoin sodium 300mg capsules (28) – Flynn Pharma Ltd (Category C) is changing to Category A
  • Phenytoin sodium 50mg capsules (28) – Flynn Pharma Ltd (Category C) is changing to Category A

Part VIIIA deletions

  • Anise oil liquid (100ml) – JM Loveridge Ltd
  • Glucose liquid BPC 1963 (140g) – JM Loveridge Ltd

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 Healthgard I.V. Film Dressing 7cm x 9cm Healthgard Film Dressing All sizes Premierfilm Dressing All sizes Premierfilm I.V. Dressing All sizes Healthgard Film + Dressing All sizes Draina S Vision 100 wound drainage bag 300ml cut to 100mm (H28567E) Zerodouble Gel 475g Eakin Cotton Bag Cover (Pelican Healthcare Ltd) All sizes (839030-839035) Eakin Elasticated Belt (Pelican Healthcare Ltd) All sizes (839029 and 839036) Combihesive Natura Drainable Pouch with InvisiClose Outlet, Integral Filter and 2-sided Flocking Small – Opaque, pre-cut 32mm (S7436F) Combimate 2-piece drainable pouch with clip closure Beige, Large, all sizes (ILB245 and ILB257) Combimate Colocap 2-piece stoma cap with high capacity filter 38mm flange (CCB238)

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

Categories: National News

NUMSAS pilot extended until end of March 2019

PSNC News - 10 September 2018 - 12:04pm

Steve Brine, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care has announced in response to a parliamentary question that the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) pilot has been extended until the end of March 2019. This was put into effect by the amendment Directions issued by the Department of Health and Social Care at the end of August 2018.

NHS England has today published an updated service specification to capture the above and a few other changes:

  • community pharmacy teams are required to have access to Summary Care Records (SCRs);
  • the SCR should be accessed during the telephone or face-to-face consultation with the patient; and
  • if the SCR was not accessed, the reason for not doing so must be recorded.

Actions for community pharmacy teams providing NUMSAS:

  • ensure you are familiar with accessing and using SCR, if not already: org.uk/scr
  • review any Standard Operating Procedures that may relate to this service, and update them as appropriate; and
  • ensure any staff members involved in the service are aware of the updated requirements.

Further information on NUMSAS is available on psnc.org.uk/numsas

Categories: National News

SCRs with additional information – NHS Digital want your views

PSNC News - 10 September 2018 - 9:10am

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are reminded that NHS Digital has launched a survey to assess the benefits and disadvantages of ‘Additional Information’ being available for those healthcare staff who view Summary Care Records (SCR).

More than 96% of the English population has an SCR with the core information. Patients may also agree that their general practice adds other useful content beyond the core information. Over 1.6 million patients have consented to adding this additional information to their SCR and this number is rising by more than 18,000 patients each week.

When present in the GP health record, SCRs with additional information can contain the following:

  • Significant medical history and procedures (past and present);
  • Reason for medication;
  • Anticipatory care information (such as information about the management of long-term conditions);
  • Communication preferences (as per the Accessible information national dataset);
  • End of life care information (as per the Palliative Care Co-ordination national dataset);
  • Immunisations; and
  • Contact details for family, carers and healthcare professionals.

If this additional information is available to community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, this is likely to have benefits for patient care provided by community pharmacies.

Pharmacy staff and others may take part by completing the online SCR additional information survey; it should take around 5-10 minutes to complete depending on your answers. The deadline for responding is 21st September 2018.

Categories: National News

Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

PSNC News - 10 September 2018 - 9:05am

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. Do I need to obtain consent from the local NHS England team before vaccinating a patient in their own home?
No. Contractors do not need to obtain consent before vaccinating a patient in their own home. However, before providing any off-site vaccinations (i.e. in a patients’ homes or long-stay care home or long-stay residential facility), contractors should send a completed copy of the ‘Notification of intent to provide off-site NHS flu vaccinations’ form (available in Annex C of the service specification) to the local NHS England team. No acknowledgment of the receipt of the form is required by the contractor before they provide an off-site vaccination.

Q. What should I do if there is a power failure to the fridge containing the flu vaccines?
You should refer to the Vaccine incident guidance document and the vaccine product’s Summary of Product Characteristics. Further advice should be obtained from your local screening and immunisation team (members of local NHS England teams).

Q. Must patient consent be recorded in writing?
Yes. The national consent form must be completed and then the patient must sign this. A record of the consent may also be maintained on an electronic record, for example, within the Sonar or PharmOutcomes systems, if such a system is available in your pharmacy. Such systems may allow you to print out a completed copy of the consent form for the patient to sign.

Q. Can another pharmacist act as the experienced healthcare practitioner within a period of supervised clinical practice?
Yes, as long as the pharmacist is competent in immunisation and has the ability to make an assessment of a new immuniser’s knowledge and skills.

Q. Will pharmacies be sent promotional materials?
Pharmacy teams may receive promotional materials from their LPC or other local organisations. PSNC promotional materials will not be sent to pharmacies but are freely available to download from psnc.org.uk/flu

Categories: National News

Update on restriction of gluten-free prescribing

PSNC News - 6 September 2018 - 2:41pm

Community pharmacy contractors are advised that from December 2018 it is expected that the only Gluten Free (GF) products allowed on prescription in primary care will be for GF bread and mixes. This will have implications for stock-holding, and contractors will want to consider this in their ordering processes between now and then.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has previously announced a decision to restrict GF prescribing to bread and mixes only. This means that GF foods from the following categories will no longer be available for prescribing in primary care; biscuits, cakes, cereals, cooking aids, grains/flours and pasta. Read here for PSNCs response to the original consultation.

On 21st August 2018, the DHSC launched a further consultation that provides the draft regulations that will allow this change and describes what will be done to apply the changes. The first change proposed will be to amend Part XV (‘ACBS list’) of the Drug Tariff to remove the products which are discontinued or withdrawn by suppliers/manufacturers*. The list will reflect a range of GF bread and GF mixes. The NHS (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc.) Regulations 2004 will also be amended to prevent prescribers from ordering GF products (except for breads and mixes) on prescription.

Before all GF products (except for bread and mixes) are disallowed on the NHS in England, PSNC recommends that any outstanding prescriptions (including owings) for these GF foods are dispensed and submitted for payment before December 2018.

*The proposed changes to Part XV (‘ACBS list’) by GF food category is summarised the table below. PSNC will notify contractors when these changes are due to implemented and will publish further updates as more information becomes available.

Food Type/Category   Drug Tariff – Number of Item Types   Implementation   GF, GF & Wheat Free (WF) Biscuits (includes crispbreads and crackers)   25 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).   GF, GF&WF Bread (includes rolls, part baked bread, and pizza bases)   95 products   To retain provision; ACBS review of GF bread against agreed definition.   GF, GF&WF Cakes/Pastries   No ACBS approved products   Will no longer be available.   GF WF Cereals   9 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).   GF WF Cooking Aids   2 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).   GF, GF&WF Grains/Flours   12 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).   GF, GF&WF Mixes   29 products   To retain provision; ACBS review of GF mixes against agreed definition.   GF, GF&WF Pasta (includes fusilli, lasagne, macaroni and spaghetti)   23 products   Will no longer be available. All items to be removed from the Drug Tariff (Part XV).   GF, GF&WF Ready meals   No ACBS approved products   Will no longer be available.  

Categories: National News

Stop smoking resources from Cancer Research UK

PSNC News - 6 September 2018 - 11:19am

Cancer Research UK has published the latest edition of Cancer Insight aimed at pharmacists and pharmacy staff, which focuses on smoking cessation.

The latest edition provides information on the safety of e-cigarettes, the power of Very Brief Advice (VBA) and the most successful ways to quit smoking. The magazine also doubles up as a poster to provide different options for quitting smoking.

Cancer Research UK also has a number of practical resources for health professionals on smoking cessation which pharmacy teams may find useful, especially if teams are planning to participate in Public Health England’s 28-day Stop Smoking campaign, Stoptober, which launches on 20th September. Resources include:

  • a behaviour change and cancer prevention course – a 30 minute course on VBA for smoking, obesity and alcohol. The module gives practical explanations on how to deliver effective VBAs for the different high-risk behaviours in as little as 30 seconds; and
  • an e-cigarettes hub – provides information on the safety of e-cigarettes compared with tobacco and key FAQs.

Pharmacists and pharmacy staff can sign up to receive future copies of Cancer Insight on the Cancer Research UK website.

Date for the diary – Smoking cessation webinar

Cancer Research UK will be holding a 30-minute VBA smoking cessation webinar on 2nd November 12.30-1pm.  The webinar will provide information on how best to help patients quit smoking and will also cover tobacco dependence, the current smoking cessation landscape and cessation strategies.

Categories: National News

Order your free toolkit for Stoptober 2018

PSNC News - 6 September 2018 - 11:18am

Stoptober, the 28-day stop smoking campaign from Public Health England (PHE), is launching on 20th September 2018. The campaign, which encourages smokers to quit from 1st October 2018, is based on research that if a smoker can stop smoking for 28 days, they are five times more likely to be able to quit smoking for good.

Stoptober encourages smokers to find the most suitable support for them rather than trying to go ‘cold turkey’ and there is a range of free support to help people on their quitting journey, including an app, daily emails, Facebook messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook.

In previous years a Stoptober toolkit was sent out to community pharmacy teams without the need to order one; however, pharmacy teams who wish to participate in the campaign this year will need to order the free toolkit unless other local arrangements are in place for delivery (please check with your LPC if you are unsure if local arrangements are in place).

The pharmacy toolkit contains:

  • 2 x A4 posters;
  • 50 x A5 leaflets;
  • 1 x A5 leaflet dispenser;
  • 1 x window cling;
  • 2 x shelf wobblers; and
  • 1 x briefing sheet.

The free toolkit can be ordered online from the PHE Campaign Resource Centre or by calling the pharmacy order line on 0300 123 1019 and quoting STOP18-PHA.

Pharmacy teams who are working towards or have already achieved Healthy Living Pharmacy (HLP) Level 1 status could consider participating in the campaign to help demonstrate that they meet several of the required HLP Level 1 quality criteria.

Additional resources

All pharmacy teams who are planning to participate in the campaign are reminded of the Holding an awareness event/campaign on smoking page on the PSNC website and PSNC Briefing 011/17: Healthy Living Pharmacy – Holding a health promotion event/campaign.

Cancer Research UK has also published the latest edition of Cancer Insight aimed at pharmacists and pharmacy staff, which focuses on smoking cessation. Other practical resources are also available from Cancer Research UK on smoking cessation.

Categories: National News

Announcement on plans to integrate pharmacy and medicines optimisation into STPs/ICSs

PSNC News - 6 September 2018 - 10:08am

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new programme to test how pharmacy and medicines optimisation and safety can be integrated into Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

Supported by the Pharmacy Integration Fund, the Integrating NHS Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation programme aims to develop a framework which will set out how to tackle medicines optimisation priorities for the local population in an STP/ICS footprint and use the expertise of pharmacy professionals to deliver the best value and patient outcomes from medicines.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have identified seven pilot regions to ‘test’ the principles of the framework and to act as case studies for future roll-out:

  • Black Country STP (Midlands);
  • Cumbria and North East STP (North East);
  • Dorset ICS (South West);
  • Hertfordshire & West Essex STP (Central & East);
  • Lancashire & South Cumbria ICS (North West);
  • South East London STP (London); and
  • Surrey Heartlands ICS (South East).

Further information about the programme can be found in NHS England’s briefing.

Categories: National News

Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

PSNC News - 4 September 2018 - 4:36pm

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. Do pharmacists have to sign a copy of the national PGD?
Yes, pharmacists must sign a copy of the PGDto indicate that they understand the PGD requirements and agree to work under those requirements.

Q. I have already ordered a brand of a non-adjuvanted trivalent vaccine; can this be used to vaccinate the 65 or over age category instead of aTIV?
No. Only the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (Fluad®) can be used to vaccinate those in the 65 or over age category. The non-adjuvanted influenza vaccine is not one of the recommended vaccines for 2018/19 but may be administered where the recommended vaccine choices are unobtainable; please see the PGD for further details.

Q. I completed face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support two years ago – do I need to complete face-to-face training again this year?
No. Face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support must be completed every three years (previously this training was required every two years).

This requirement means that a pharmacist who undertook face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support in 2016 or 2017 would not need to undertake face-to-face training in 2018. The pharmacist would then need to undertake face-to-face training in 2019 in order to continue to provide the service in 2019/20. Pharmacists who last undertook face-to-face training in 2015 would need to undertake face-to-face training in 2018, prior to providing the Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19.

Q. Since the requirement for face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support now needs to be completed every three years (previously this training was required every two years), will the DoC requirement also change to every three years so the requirements can be synchronised?
No. The Declaration of Competence process remains unchanged; this needs to be completed every two years.

Q. Can we provide other services to patients in their homes at the same time as the Flu Vaccination Service, such as MURs?
This may be possible, but contractors must ensure they follow the requirements in the service specification for each service they intend to carry out. For example, in order to conduct off-site MURs, contractors must have permission from the local NHS England team.

Categories: National News

NICE guidance published on increasing flu vaccination uptake

PSNC News - 4 September 2018 - 10:46am

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has worked with Public Health England to publish new guidance on how to increase uptake of NHS flu vaccinations by identifying and encouraging those who are eligible.

 A number of recommendations are made in the guidance covering seven areas. The table below gives examples of the recommendations included in the guidance; however, the guidance should be read in full to see all the recommendations that are included in the guidance.

It should also be noted that, the guidance is aimed at a number of organisations working in primary and secondary care, therefore some of the recommendations may not be applicable to community pharmacy contractors. For example, recommendations around providing flu vaccinations for children are not applicable as the pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service only covers those patients most at risk from flu aged 18 years and older.

Area of recommendation Example of recommendation Raising awareness Raising awareness in eligible groups, for example:

  • Raise awareness of free flu vaccination among people who are eligible. Do this at the earliest opportunity before the flu vaccination season starts in September, and ideally by the end of December.
  • Consider working with statutory and voluntary organisations, including those representing people with relevant medical conditions, to increase awareness of flu vaccination among eligible groups (and their parents or carers, if relevant).
  • Give people who are eligible (or their parents or carers, if relevant) face-to-face brief advice or a brief intervention on the importance of flu vaccination. Tell them that they can have a free flu vaccination and explain why they are being offered it, using language they can understand and taking into account cultural sensitivities.
  • Include information on flu vaccination with other health-related messages and existing health-promotion for people in eligible groups.
Offering vaccination
  • Use every opportunity throughout the flu vaccination season to identify people in eligible groups and offer them the flu vaccination. This could include when people visit community pharmacies for health advice, a Medicines Use Review or a New Medicine Service, or to collect prescriptions (check whether the person taking the medicine or their carer is eligible, while taking into account confidentiality).
  • Include prompts about people’s eligibility for flu vaccination in electronic patient records.

Categories: National News

Dispensing & Supply monthly update (August 2018)

PSNC News - 4 September 2018 - 9:53am

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 August’s CPN.

PSNC Briefing 049/18: Dispensing & Supply monthly update (August 2018)

This month we also published Dispensing & Supply Factsheet: Exemptions from the prescription charge in CPN.

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
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