National News

PSNC Statement on Community Pharmacy Funding Negotiations

PSNC News - 23 April 2018 - 2:50pm

Community pharmacy contractors and LPCs may be aware that the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG) has today made a statement on the upcoming negotiations on community pharmacy funding.

This follows communication between Sir Kevin Barron MP, who is Chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG), and the Pharmacy Minister Steve Brine.

The Minister said he had been very interested in the APPG’s work hearing evidence on community pharmacy and the management of long-term conditions and he noted PSNC’s proposals for the development of community pharmacy services.

PSNC discussed proposals for the future of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework at its January meeting and these were put to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England. Further details on PSNC’s proposals can be found below.

PSNC has not yet received a mandate for the negotiations on funding for the 2018/19 financial year from NHS England and the DHSC, but hopes these discussions will begin soon.

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:

“PSNC’s ambition is to move to a funding framework that fairly rewards community pharmacies for offering a wide range of patient care and services including the dispensing of medicines. This is in line with the sector’s shared vision for its future, and would include allowing pharmacies to offer more patient care, particularly for people with long-term conditions.

The Minister has given no detail on what the substance of our negotiations with the DHSC and NHS England for 2018/19 will be, but we hope that we will be able to have substantive discussions on the future of community pharmacy. Given the very difficult financial situation that many community pharmacy contractors now find themselves in it is vital that we start to make meaningful progress towards achieving the sector’s vision.”

PSNC’s Proposals

PSNC’s proposals were intended to provide a possible mechanism to move towards a community pharmacy funding arrangement that fairly rewards community pharmacies for providing more patient care and support for people with long-term conditions.

The documents below set out the proposals in more detail.

Community Pharmacy: Developing Services for the Future
This briefing outlines PSNC’s proposals. Whilst it was created to explain PSNC’s proposals to external stakeholders, those working in community pharmacy may also find it a useful summary.

Introducing the Universal Community Pharmacy Care Framework
An infographic describing the Care Framework.

Community Pharmacy Care Plan: The Patient Journey
An infographic describing the support a patient could receive from their community pharmacy as part of the Care Plan.

PSNC Proposals for Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) Developments
This Powerpoint presentation sets out PSNC’s proposals for developing the CPCF, covering how they were developed, the changes they would bring to community pharmacy and how we are taking them forward.

Categories: National News

The Mary Seacole Leadership programme – further cohorts open for applications

PSNC News - 20 April 2018 - 2:06pm

With investment from the Pharmacy Integration Fund, the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) collaborated with the NHS Leadership Academy in 2017 to offer the Mary Seacole programme to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in community pharmacy. There are now further opportunities to access the Mary Seacole programme available for booking in 2018 across England.

This programme is NHS-led and designed to develop leadership and management skills to drive quality services in community pharmacy. Participation on the programme will enable you to:

  • Have increased self-awareness of how the changes you make can have an impact on colleagues in the NHS and the people you serve
  • Recognise your own personal value to healthcare and embed behaviours that improve the patient experience
  • Learn how to enable others to be the best they can be in the workplace through effective teamwork

It is a six-month long programme, which includes three face to face meetings, to prepare participants for the demands of leadership in the healthcare system today, and into the future.

To access further information or register on the programme, please read through the information on the CPPE website.

Categories: National News

NHS turns 70: primary care event

PSNC News - 20 April 2018 - 12:42pm

2018 marks 70 years since the NHS came into being and events are being planned throughout the year to celebrate this milestone.

As part of the ‘NHS70’ celebrations, NHS England is running a 10-day event to highlight the role of primary care in the NHS, and community pharmacy teams are encouraged to join in. Between 20th and 30th April there will be a range of social media activity, driven by local NHS England teams, using the #NHS70 and #primarycare hashtags.

Anyone working in the community pharmacy sector is invited to help promote pharmacy’s contribution to NHS primary care both today, and over the past 70 years. We would love to see pharmacy teams tweeting their own experiences of working in NHS primary care and PSNC has created a set of tweet templates to help inspire you.

NHS70 tweet templates

Further digital resources, planned by NHS England, include:

  • A film montage about changing roles for clinicians in primary care;
  • Clinical pharmacy quotes as part of a series of infographics​ on Twitter;
  • A video blog (or ‘vlog’) by the chief professional officers; and
  • A blog by Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Dr Keith Ridge about a visit to Westbourne Medical Centre in Bournemouth.

These digital assets will be made available to share between 20th and 30th April from, as well as via NHS England’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Looking for more ways pharmacy teams can get involved with the NHS70 celebrations? Click here for ideas.

Categories: National News

Service case study: Community pharmacies tackle inequalities for patients with psychosis

PSNC News - 20 April 2018 - 10:16am

A community pharmacy service, Improving Physical Health Care for People with Psychosis (PHCP), has been highlighted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists as an example of good practice using Quality Improvement methodologies to improve patient outcomes.

The project, which took place in Barking and Dagenham, was a joint collaboration between North East London LPC, North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and University College London, with support from Public Health London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the London Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network. It was funded by a Health Foundation Innovation Award and ran from September 2016 to January 2018.

What did the service involve?

Patients with a diagnosis of psychotic illness, known to the Barking and Dagenham Community Recovery Team, were offered physical health checks at a local participating community pharmacy. This included ECG, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose testing with results available on the same day. Pharmacists spent up to an hour coaching patients and empowering them to self-manage their physical health.

What were the results of the project?

There were 350 patients eligible for the service; of these, 180 were offered health checks and 140 attended the health check with 78% who were offered the health checks taking up the offer. Additionally, 70% of attendees had all five Lester cardiometabolic risk factors monitored which is a higher rate of patient uptake compared to the NHS England national inpatient and national community setting averages. This is significantly better than standard care in Barking and Dagenham, where only 36% of patients had all five risk factors monitored.

All patients attending community pharmacy health checks had health coaching to support them with physical health, in comparison to 44% of patients receiving standard care in Barking and Dagenham.

There were:

  • 22 patients who received support to stop smoking;
  • 56 patients who received support for exercise; and
  • 78 patients who received support to eat healthier or lose weight.

The project team and NELFT are now considering how to implement the PHCP model across the four London Boroughs within the Trust’s area.

Click here to view a YouTube video on the project

Dr Asif Bachlani, Consultant Psychiatrist said: ‘It has been a great privilege to work with community pharmacies on NEL LPC on this innovative project which aims to tackle the health inequalities faced by patients with psychosis who have often faced barriers to have their physical health monitored.  This project is an example of new models of care which uses a partnership model between secondary and primary care which breaks down the barriers of traditional care models by being able to meet the needs of this vulnerable and often forgotten group of patients by based in the local community’.

Hemant Patel, NEL LPC, Secretary, said: ‘Pharmacists provide high quality and accessible care from local pharmacies which was very much appreciated by this vulnerable patient group. The carers, too, appreciated local support and need for avoiding going to hospital or clinic and using public transport. Pharmacists enjoyed the training and patient contact which improved their consultation skills and feeling of contribution to their community.

Categories: National News

Getting to grips with GDPR – 2. Have a plan!

PSNC News - 20 April 2018 - 10:10am

This article has been written by Gordon Hockey, PSNC Director of Operations and Support, and is the second in a series of articles for contractors about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the associated (currently draft) UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), which both come into force on 25th May 2018. The articles accompany the  GDPR guidance and contractor workbook

Once you’ve started to get to grips with GDPR (see Part 1. Where do I start?), it’s important to have a plan and consider what needs to be done. The Community Pharmacy GDPR Working Party has developed a 13-step plan, followed by both the guidance and the workbook. The steps are set out in the form of a mnemonic – DATAPROTECTED – to help you to remember them, as follows:

  1. Decide who is responsible
  2. Action plan
  3. Think about and record the personal data you process
  4. Assure your lawful basis for processing
  5. Process according to data protection principles
  6. Review and check with your processors
  7. Obtaining consent if you need to
  8. Tell people about your processes: the Privacy Notice
  9. Ensure data security
  10. Consider personal data breaches
  11. Think about data subject rights
  12. Ensure privacy by design and default
  13. Data protection impact assessment

If you follow this 13-step plan, this should assist you on your journey towards GDPR compliance.

Your plan you should also include staff training. Staff need to be trained appropriately to their roles and should understand the basics of data protection (knowledge they should have already) and be aware of the GDPR and some of its key issues for your pharmacy, for example:

  • you have a lawful basis for processing data concerning health, a special category of personal data;
  • you have a privacy notice and they need to bring this to the attention of new patients;
  • data security is very important, and they are involved in this too (and exactly how);
  • generally, subject access requests are dealt with without charge and within in one calendar month; and,
  • there are new rules on dealing with data protection breaches and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may need to be informed of a breach without undue delay and at least within 72 hours of you first becoming aware of it.

Your registration with the ICO also remains important and you will need to continue to pay a fee to the ICO after 25th May 2018 (there are some exemptions from this requirement).

This has the feeling of a revision plan, which is perhaps appropriate as we head towards the summer exams for many students.

For more information and guidance on GDPR, please visit

Categories: National News

April 2018 Price Concessions/NCSO – 1st update

PSNC News - 19 April 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 Amitriptyline 50mg tablets 28 £2.88 Aripiprazole 5mg tablets 28 £2.85 Aripiprazole 15mg tablets 28 £3.22 Bicalutamide 50mg tablets 28 £17.24 Chlorpromazine 50mg tablets 28 £32.47 Lacidipine 2mg tablets 28 £2.95 Lansoprazole 15mg orodispersible tablets 28 £2.98 Oxybutynin 2.5mg tablets 56 £1.11 Phenoxymethylpenicillin 125mg/5ml oral solution 100ml £5.96 Phenoxymethylpenicillin 250mg/5ml oral solution 100ml £7.43 Ramipril 2.5mg tablets 28 £1.04 Trimethoprim 200mg tablets 6 £0.40 Trimethoprim 50mg/5ml oral suspension sugar free 100ml £3.75

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 April 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

Dispensing & Supply monthly update (April 2018)

PSNC News - 19 April 2018 - 11:51am

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 April’s CPN.

PSNC Briefing 024/18: Dispensing & Supply monthly update (April 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

Class 4 MHRA drug alert – Inhixa solution for injection in pre-filled syringe

PSNC News - 18 April 2018 - 5:00pm

Drug alert number: EL (18)A/07

Date issued: 18th April 2018

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 4 medicines defect information notice for:

Inhixa solution for injection in pre-filled syringe 2,000 IU (20 mg) in 0.2 mL; 4,000 IU (40 mg) in 0.4 mL; 6,000 IU (60 mg) in 0.6 mL; 8,000 IU (80 mg) in 0.8 mL; 10,000 IU (100 mg) in 1.0 mL (Techdow Europe AB)

Marketing Authorisation number:

  • EU/1/16/1132/012
  • EU/1/16/1132/014
  • EU/1/16/1132/016
  • EU/1/16/1132/018
  • EU/1/16/1132/020

Techdow Europe AB has issued this Direct Healthcare Professional Communication (DHCP) due to rare cases of premature self-activation of the safety device in unused, unopened pre-filled Inhixa syringes as shown in the DHCP diagrams. When premature activation has occurred, administration is not possible.

To minimise the risk of missed doses:

  • Pharmacists should visually check all Inhixa syringes before dispensing to check if they are affected by the self-activation defect as shown in the DHCP diagrams. Do not open the syringe blisters.
  • Individual syringes that are affected by the self-activation defect should not be dispensed to patients.
  • Pharmacists should make sure they have sufficient stock of Inhixa available as replacements.

Techdow Pharma England Limited can be contacted on 01271 334 609.

To view the alert please visit the website.


Categories: National News

Drug Tariff Watch: May 2018 changes

PSNC News - 18 April 2018 - 2:05pm

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 May 2018.

Part VIIIA additions

Category A:

•   Imatinib 100mg tablets (60)

Category C:

•   Acetylcysteine 2g/10ml solution for infusion ampoules (10) – Martindale Pharmaceuticals Ltd
•   Adrenaline (base) 150micrograms/0.3ml (1 in 2,000) solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices SC (1) and (2) – EpiPen Jr.
•   Bimatoprost 300micrograms/ml / Timolol 5mg/ml eye drops 0.4ml unit dose preservative free (30 (6xSC5)) – Ganfort
•   Cefuroxime 125mg/5ml oral suspension R (70ml) – Zinnat
•   Diltiazem 120mg modified-release capsules (28) – Adizem-XL
•   Diltiazem 120mg modified-release capsules (56) – Adizem-SR
•   Diltiazem 180mg modified-release capsules (28) – Adizem-XL
•   Diltiazem 180mg modified-release capsules (56) – Adizem-SR
•   Diphtheria / Tetanus / Poliomyelitis (inactivated) vaccine (adsorbed) suspension for injection 0.5ml pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Revaxis
•   Enoxaparin sodium 300mg/3ml solution for injection vials SC (1) – Clexane
•   Estradiol 500micrograms / Dydrogesterone 2.5mg tablets (84) – Femoston-conti
•   Glucose powder for oral use BP 1980 (500g) – Thornton & Ross Ltd
•   Hepatitis A (inactivated) / Hepatitis B (rDNA) vaccine (adsorbed) suspension for injection 1ml pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Ambirix
•   Insulin degludec 100units/ml / Liraglutide 3.6mg/ml solution for injection 3ml pre-filled disposable devices (3) – Xultophy
•   Insulin lispro biphasic 50/50 100units/ml suspension for injection 3ml cartridges (5) – Humalog Mix50
•   Insulin soluble human 100units/ml solution for injection 3ml cartridges (5) – Humulin S
•   Methotrexate 12.5mg/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Zlatal
•   Methotrexate 15mg/0.6ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Zlatal
•   Methotrexate 17.5mg/0.7ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Zlatal
•   Methotrexate 20mg/0.8ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Zlatal
•   Methotrexate 22.5mg/0.9ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Zlatal
•   Methotrexate 25mg/1ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Zlatal
•   Methotrexate 7.5mg/0.3ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes SC (1) – Zlatal
•   Nifedipine 20mg modified-release tablets (28) – Adalat LA
•   Nifedipine 20mg modified-release tablets (56) – Adalat retard
•   Somatropin (rbe) 10mg powder and solvent for solution for injection vials SC (1) – Zomacton
•   Somatropin (rbe) 4mg powder and solvent for solution for injection vials SC (1) – Zomacton
•   Somatropin (rmc) 8mg powder and solvent for solution for injection vials SC (1) – Saizen
•   Timolol 2.5mg/ml eye drops preservative free SC (5ml) – Eysano
•   Timolol 5mg/ml eye drops preservative free SC (5ml) – Eysano
•   Ulipristal 5mg tablets (28) – Esmya

Part VIIIA amendments

•   Imatinib 400mg tablets (30) – Glivec is changing to Category A
•   Pramipexole 1.05mg modified-release tablets (30) – Mirapexin is changing to Category A
•   Pramipexole 1.57mg modified-release tablets (30) – Mirapexin is changing to Category A
•   Pramipexole 260microgram modified-release tablets (30) – Mirapexin is changing to Category A
•   Pramipexole 2.1mg modified-release tablets (30) – Mirapexin is changing to Category A
•   Pramipexole 2.62mg modified-release tablets (30) – Mirapexin is changing to Category A
•   Pramipexole 3.15mg modified-release tablets (30) – Mirapexin is changing to Category A
•   Pramipexole 520microgram modified-release tablets (30) – Mirapexin is changing to Category A

Part VIIIA deletions

•   Emulsifying ointment 50% / Liquid paraffin 50% ointment (100g) – Emulfin

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 WOUND MANAGEMENT
DRESSINGS – Tielle Xtra Square (11cm x 11cm and 15cm
x 15cm) and Rectangular (15cm
x 20cm) URINAL SYSTEMS – Bard Ltd – Maguire adaptor & tubing 600532 BELTS – AMI Medical Ltd –
Corsinel Suportx Abdominal
Tube, White X Small (74-82cm) – CRL243W
Small (78-90cm) – CRL244W
Medium (86-98cm) – CRL245W
Large (94-106cm) – CRL246W
X Large (102-116cm) – CRL247W

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

Categories: National News

April edition of CPN magazine now available

PSNC News - 18 April 2018 - 12:54pm

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

  • Pharmacy funding levels maintained – interim arrangements agreed to protect current funding distribution systems prior to negotiations
  • Getting to grips with GDPR
  • Care Plan evaluation
  • Prescription penalty resources

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

CPPE Corner: A person-centred approach to clinical medical reviews e-course

PSNC News - 17 April 2018 - 5:17pm

The latest e-course from the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) focuses on taking a person-centred approach to clinical medication reviews.  We spoke to Michelle Styles, CPPE’s Regional Manager for London, to find out more.

Booking is now open for CPPE’s latest e-course, beginning on Monday 23rd April 2018. Clinical medication review: a person-centred approach has been developed to equip you with the clinical knowledge required to identify medicines issues and make clinical decisions based on key information and a patient’s ideas, concerns and expectations.

This 12-week e-course is suitable for pharmacy professionals working in any sector of practice, particularly those working in community pharmacy. Focused weekly topics and the opportunity for clinical discussions through online forums ensures that you can provide person-centred care at all times.

Clinical medication review supports the aims of the NHS Medicines Value Programme, to ensure that medicines are used to achieve better outcomes for patients, and that people are given the support to take their medicines as intended. As pharmacy professionals, you are well placed to help patients get the best and most appropriate choice of medicine and to improve the quality of prescribing.

Each week of Clinical medication review: a person-centred approach will focus on a key priority area for medicines optimisation, as well as a number of ‘reading weeks’ to accommodate busy working periods and allowing those undertaking the course to reflect on and consolidate the previous weeks’ learning.

Completion of the e-course will provide you with an appropriate level of clinical judgement and skills required to provide prioritised recommendations to a prescriber resulting from a clinical medication review, taking into account the patient’s ideas, concerns and expectations.

For more information and to book a place on the Clinical medication review: a person-centred approach e-course visit the overview page on the CPPE website.


Categories: National News

Trimovate cream supply issue

PSNC News - 17 April 2018 - 5:00pm

PSNC has become aware that the licensed Trimovate Cream manufactured by Ennogen Healthcare Ltd is currently unavailable. To meet patient need, Ennogen has launched Trimovate Cream as an imported medicine available via Alliance Healthcare Distribution. To enable prescribers to issue EPS or paper prescriptions for the unlicensed Trimovate cream, a new listing has been created on dm+d for ‘Clobetasone 0.05% / Oxytetracycline 3% / Nystatin 100,000units/g cream (Special Order)’.

In order for pharmacy contractors to be paid correctly for dispensing the unlicensed Trimovate cream, prescriptions must read ‘Clobetasone 0.05%/Oxytetracycline 3%/Nystatin 100,000units/g cream (Special Order)’. Prescriptions ordering the licensed ‘Trimovate cream’ will continue to be priced by an exception handler stream as an unlicensed special. In both cases, prescriptions will need to be endorsed as per the usual endorsing guidance for unlicensed specials and imports not listed in the Drug Tariff (non-Part VIIIB) to include the following:

  • Amount dispensed over pack size used;
  • Invoice price per pack size from which the order was supplied less any discount or rebate;
  • Manufacturers’/importers’ MHRA licence number;
  • Batch number of the product supplied; and
  • SP.

As a reminder, all prescriptions for unlicensed medicines should be placed in the red separators for the end of month submission.

Please contact Ennogen Healthcare Ltd on +44 (0) 1322 629 220 or for further information.

Categories: National News

NHS mandate 2018/19 (April 2018)

PSNC News - 17 April 2018 - 11:22am

Every year, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) issues a mandate to NHS England, to set out the Government’s objectives and requirements for NHS England to deliver, as well as its budget. It helps to set the direction for the NHS and to ensure the NHS is accountable to Parliament and the public.

This PSNC Briefing summarises the elements of the NHS mandate 2018/19 that are of most relevance to community pharmacy contractors and Local Pharmaceutical Committees.

PSNC Briefing 023/18: NHS mandate 2018/19

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

Dispensing errors legislation comes into force

PSNC News - 16 April 2018 - 5:15pm

Legal defences will be available for inadvertent errors made by community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from today (16th April 2018).

The Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Registered Pharmacies) Order 2018 makes provision for a defence to prosecution under section 63 and section 64 of the Medicines Act 1968 in cases where medicines are prepared or dispensed by a registered pharmacist, or registered pharmacy technician, or someone acting under the supervision of a registered pharmacy professional.

The conditions of the defence for the sale or supply of a medicine are that:

  • The medicine must have been dispensed at a registered pharmacy; and
  • The person who dispensed the medicine was a registered pharmacist or registered pharmacy technician acting in the course of their profession or other person acting under their supervision; and
  • The medicine was sold or supplied to fulfill a prescription or direction by a relevant prescriber or a PGD or a POM sold or supplied where there was an immediate need for it (i.e. a prescription could not have been obtained without undue delay); and
  • That one of the following is met:
    • The person who dispensed the medicine did not know that the medicine was not of the required nature or quality (i.e. had no knowledge that the medicine was inappropriate); or
    • Before the person who dispensed the medicine was charged, “an appropriate person” on becoming aware that the medicine was not of the required nature or quality promptly ensured that all reasonable steps were taken to notify the person to whom the medicine was intended or reasonably formed the view that it was not necessary or appropriate to do so and the person who dispensed the medicine did not know at the time of sale or supply of the medicine that it was not of the required nature or quality.

PSNC Director of Operations and Support, Gordon Hockey, said:

“Pharmacies have been required to record patient safety incidents in an incident log and report these to the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) since 2005, but now pharmacy professionals can be reassured that when they do report these incidents, generally they don’t need to fear legal repercussion for making inadvertent errors. PSNC welcomes this legal protection which we hope will allow the profession to instead focus on ensuring that safeguards are in place to minimise errors and identify areas for improvement.”


Categories: National News

GDPR webinar now on-demand

PSNC News - 13 April 2018 - 5:57pm

More than 600 people tuned in to PSNC’s recent webinars on complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and community pharmacy contractors can now access an online recording.

During each webinar PSNC Director of Operations and Support, Gordon Hockey, explained what the GDPR means for the average pharmacy business, outlined the steps contractors will need to take to comply, and highlighted the templates that PSNC has developed as part of the cross-sector GDPR working group.

Watching this 60-minute webinar will help you make sure you understand what GDPR means for your pharmacy.

Click here to view an on-demand version of one of the webinars.

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

Some of the feedback we have received so far:

“I thought it was well presented. Just at the right pace and not too much detail, with the emphasis on what is important and how it affects day to day Pharmacy.”

“It gave a nice insight into what is a very complex and important topic, yet taken lightly by many.”
Superintendent Pharmacist

“Very relevant and focus was on what to do not just what GDPR is. Thank you.”

Categories: National News

Health & Care Review

PSNC News - 13 April 2018 - 12:02pm

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.

Accountable care models contract: proposed changes to regulations

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published the full outcome of a consultation which took place between September and November 2017 on the proposed changes to regulations to support the development of NHS England’s Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) contract model. The consultation specifically asked consultees to consider whether the draft regulations delivered the policy objective of the introduction of a model ACO contract.

The full outcome report sets out specific issues raised, an analysis of the responses received, a response to concerns raised, and changes made to draft amendments as a result of comments received.

DHSC has also published an accompanying brief guide to ACOs which covers what they are, what they mean for patients and staff, how they will be implemented and whether or not they will lead to more private sector involvement in the NHS.

One in six people with diabetes discriminated against at work

Diabetes UK has published research findings which highlight that a third of people living with diabetes experience a lack of support and understanding from colleagues in the workplace. Additionally, people with diabetes feel that they have been discriminated against by their employer as a result of their condition.

The survey also found that:

  • 37% of respondents said that living with diabetes had caused them difficulty at work;
  • 7% had not told their employer that they have diabetes; and
  • 25% of people said they would like time off work for diabetes-related appointments and flexibility to take regular breaks for testing their blood sugar or to take medication.

Helen Dickens, Assistant Director of Campaigns and Mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said: “Discrimination and difficulties come about because employers lack knowledge about diabetes and do not understand its impact. We need to talk more about the condition and the many ways it affects people’s lives in order to persuade places of work to offer greater understanding and flexibility. Everyone deserves to work in an environment where they can ask for the support they need.”

Dedicated GP support for nursing homes sees significant drop in emergency admissions

The Nuffield Trust has published a study which evaluates a new GP service offering seven-day support to four nursing homes. The service was piloted in the Barking & Dagenham and Havering & Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and involves providing GP support as well as training and advice for care home workers and help from a geriatrician.

Key facts from the evaluation include:

  • after registering with the service, emergency inpatient admissions fell by 36% compared to 4% reductions in the comparator group;
  • the authors estimate that the monetary value of reductions in emergency admissions could be as much as £1000 per person per year, but that this is not necessarily directly equivalent to actual cash savings for either commissioners or providers;
  • emergency bed days in the intervention group reduced by 53% compared to no change in the comparator group; and
  • the biggest reductions in emergency admissions and bed days happened towards the end of people’s lives.

The success of the new primary care service in care homes in general, the report authors suggest, depends on the quality and continuity of relationships developed between the GPs and the care homes.

RCGP advises patients on online consultation safety

The Royal College of General Practitioners have issued a list of questions for patients, GPs and commissioners to consider before using online GP services, as part of a new guidance document, Online consultations in general practice: the questions to ask.

The guidance has been issued as it emerged that a growing number of services are offering consultations online, most commonly via smartphone apps.

The questions are:

  1. Will they see me whatever my health problem, or exclude me if I have complex health needs?
  2. Will they have access to my full medical record, so that they know my medical history?
  3. What happens if I need to see a GP in person – how far will I need to travel?

The guidance also outlines considerations for GPs or CCGs considering using or implementing online consultation services for their patients or local populations.

New funding for sports prosthetics for children with disabilities

The Government has announced that children with limb loss will benefit from a new £1.5 million investment into sports and activity prosthetics such as running blades. The fund will also support research and innovation to improve prosthetic technology.

PM announced new research and funding in drive to fight prostate cancer

The Prime Minister has unveiled new plans to get thousands of men with prostate cancer access to earlier and faster treatment. Over the next five years, over 40,000 men will be recruited into prostate cancer studies backed by £75 million funding.

22 Million people encouraged to embrace self care for life

The Self Care Forum has published a review of Self Care Week 2017 as well as findings from a survey of participants of the campaign. The 2017 theme of Embracing Self Care for Life allowed promotion of a range of self-care messages, supported by a range of resources for people-facing organisations.

The review found that more than 300 organisations participated in the campaign, with a combined reach of more than 22 million people – more than a third of the English population.

The survey found that self-care for self-treatable conditions was the most popular message being communicated, and signposting to the community pharmacist was the second most favoured.

Review into NHS overseas visitor charges: call for submissions

DHSC is evaluating the impact of its regulations on NHS charges to overseas visitors that came into effect in 2017 and is asking organisations to share information or experiences to help shape the review.

The review will look at the impact on: upfront charging; amending patient records; community services; and non-NHS providers. It will focus on the impact on vulnerable groups (such as those with protected characteristics) and how any identified negative effects can be addressed.

Does the public see tax rises as the answer to NHS funding pressures?

The King’s Fund has analysed the latest data from the British Social Attitudes survey on public attitudes to NHS funding and the quality of care provided by the NHS. In general, the analysis shows that the public is increasingly anxious about the state of the NHS and there is widespread support for tax increases to fund it.

Key findings include:

  • there is growing consensus that the NHS is facing major crisis; respondents saying that the NHS is facing a funding problem have increased by 14% since 2014;
  • 61% of respondents support tax rises; an increase of 21% from 2014 and 12% from 2016;
  • in relation to tax increases, 35% supported a separate tax that would go direct to the NHS and 26% would pay more through their existing taxes; and
  • pessimism about the future has increased significantly; just 20% expected standards of care to improve.
Patient Activation Measure – implementation quick guide

NHS England has published a quick guide on Patient Activation Measures (PAM) to support sites considering using the PAM license.

The guide covers preparatory work, how to ensure good quality data and how the PAM can ensure that plans for services and support are tailored to an individual’s needs. It also focusses on why patient activation is important in managing people’s health and wellbeing.

Media monitoring

On Monday 9th April 2018 the following stories were published:

  • Tens of thousands of allergy patients face ‘life or death situations’ because of a UK shortage of EpiPen jabs, reports the Mail. US manufacturer Mylan has warned pharmacists and patients in Britain that the country is the latest to be hit by global supply problems. Also featured in the Telegraph and Sun.
  • British tourists will be putting their health at danger when the NHS axes travel vaccinations for rabies and yellow fever, reports the Mail. Experts believe the change could lead to an increase in people obtaining the vaccines via a private prescription and attempting to self-administer to save costs.
  • Four in ten prostate cancer cases diagnosed late, reports the BBC. A study by charity Orchid found a ‘worrying trend’ of late diagnosis with 37% of prostate cancer cases diagnosed at stages three and four. Also featured in the Times, Sun, Mail and Huffington Post.

On Tuesday 10th April 2018 the following stories were published:

  • Deceased organ donor numbers have reached a record high, reports iNews. Latest figures show there were 1,575 deceased donors during 2017/18, an 11% increase on the previous year. A new Bill which would introduce the opt-out system in England passed its first stage in Parliament in February. Also featured in the Times, Mirror, Sun, Huffington Post and the BBC.
  • Patients aged over 60 who lose weight should be investigated, reports the Telegraph. One in seven cases among men likely to mean cancer, a major study has found. Also featured in the Sun, Mail, Times and Express.

On Wednesday 11th April 2018 the following stories were published:

  • The Times reports elderly patients effectively age 10 years for every 10 days they are stuck in a hospital bed due to inactivity. This has also been covered by The Telegraph and The Mail.
  • The Guardian reports that two-fifths of private hospitals in England fail to meet the expected safety standards, according to the Care Quality Commission. This is of concern not just to private patients, but also those given NHS funding to be seen privately. Also covered by iNews, the Independent, Times and BBC.
  • Pfizer UK have a piece in The Telegraph about access to medicines in the NHS. It’s largely focused on treatments for cancer and vaccines.
  • The Sun warns that a new killer flu strain is on its way, but the World Health Organisation has said it will be included in this year’s four-strain flu vaccine.

On Thursday 12th April 2018 the following stories were published:

  • The Telegraph reports that the NHS has launched a sexual abuse probe amid fears of dangers on mixed sex wards. Inspectors have warned hospital trusts to do more to protect patients, amid fears patients are being put at risk on mixed sex wards.
  • iNews reports that a 50% rise in cigarette prices ‘will save millions of poorer people’.
  • A new study suggests that a substantial increase in cigarette prices would help millions of people around the world avoid poor health and extreme poverty. Also featured in the Sun, Mail and Telegraph.
  • Late risers at increased risk of early death, reports the BBC. People who go to bed late and struggle to wake in the morning are more likely to die prematurely than early risers, according to new research. Also featured in the Telegraph.

On Friday 13th April 2018 the following stories were published:

  • The Sun discloses the NHS’s ten worst-performing A&E wards. Following the announcement that A&E waiting times are at their worst level since records began, the ten worst offenders have been revealed. Similar stories are featured in the Mail, ITV, Express and Times.
  • Just one alcoholic drink a day could shorten your life, reports the BBC. An analysis of 600,000 drinkers found that drinking 5 to 10 alcoholic drinks a week was likely to shorten a person’s life by up to six months. Also featured in the Express, Evening Standard, Independent and Telegraph.

Categories: National News

NUMSAS: Updated toolkit for pharmacy staff published

PSNC News - 12 April 2018 - 10:12am

NHS England has published an updated and shorter version of the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) toolkit, to reflect the extension of the service until the end of September 2018.

In March 2018, NHS England also published an updated service specification and the Department of Health and Social Care issued accompanying Secretary of State Directions which came into effect on 30th March 2018.

Further information on NUMSAS can be found on the PSNC website.

Click here to view the new NUMSAS toolkit for pharmacy staff

Categories: National News

Building a business case for a Minor Ailment Service (April 2018)

PSNC News - 12 April 2018 - 10:01am

As part of PSNC’s work to support LPCs to get local services commissioned and to ensure services are costed correctly, PSNC is developing template toolkits for a range of locally commissioned services, the first of which is for Minor Ailment Services. The toolkit contains a number of resources to assist with the commissioning of a service, for example, a costing toolkit; a business case; service specification; implementation plan; and resources to notify local GP practices about the commissioning of a new service.

This exemplar business case has been produced jointly by PSNC and Pinnacle Health Partnership, using evidence from peer reviewed articles and the most recent PharmOutcomes data. Pinnacle Health Partnership has undertaken this work as part of their commitment as a social enterprise to encourage commissioning of community pharmacy services. The business case has also been reviewed by members of the Commissioning Toolkit Programme working group. Further information on the Commissioning Toolkit Programme can be found at:

The business case is a free resource that LPCs can choose to use and personalise to meet their local needs if they wish and is intended to assist in making their negotiations more efficient.

PSNC Briefing 022/18: Building a business case for a Minor Ailment Service

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.





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Categories: National News

Getting to grips with GDPR – 1. Where do I start?

PSNC News - 11 April 2018 - 4:55pm

This article has been written by Gordon Hockey, PSNC Director of Operations and Support, and is the first in a series of articles for contractors about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the associated (currently draft) UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), which both come into force on 25th May 2018. The articles accompany the  GDPR guidance and contractor workbook

The bad news is that the GDPR has been described as one of the most complex pieces of regulation ever produced by the European Union; the good news is that the PSNC, NPA, CCA, AIMp, RPS, CPPE and CPW, along with various representatives from contractors, have already got together to sweat it out and prepare guidance and a workbook for you to complete. If you do, it will go a long way to helping you comply with the GDPR and associated legislation.

The GDPR and its associated legislation applies to the processing of personal data, e.g. names and addresses, including special category personal data, e.g. data concerning health. It concerns the personal data of living persons – we’ll take that as read – primarily in filing systems. These are electronic or paper systems in which you can search people by set criteria, such as a name. Probably the single biggest consideration for community pharmacy is the processing of more than a billion prescription items annually and the associated electronic records held in Patient Medication Record (PMR) computer systems.

Before we go further, remember that while the GDPR is important, and it does change the way we consider data protection, it is not about pharmacy practice, life, the world and the universe!

There are two sets of rules that community pharmacies already comply with that I want to highlight because they interact with, but should not be confused with, the GDPR. These are:

  1. consent or agreement to the activity in question – for example, patients must give consent to you administering a flu vaccination or agreement to you dispensing a prescription as a part of pharmacy practice; and
  2. the common law duty of confidence (confidentiality) – patients can generally expect their health information not to be disclosed unless, for example, they consent to the disclosure (express or implied consent is acceptable here) or it is authorised or required by law or there is an overriding public interest.

There are some complexities around the interaction of these two with the GDPR work, but the key thing to remember is that while you generally won’t be using patient consent as a lawful basis for processing their data under the GDPR, it will remain important in these two other areas so you must continue to seek consent for services and protect confidentiality as you do now.

It’s sensible to appoint one person to lead on implementation of the GDPR. That person will bring it all together and make sure that not only is the Workbook completed, but that technical and procedural aspects of data protection are carried out in the community pharmacy and all relevant staff understand the GDPR to the extent required for their roles.

The bigger your business, the more likely it is that you’ll need some help and guidance on the GDPR from somebody who has expert knowledge of it and understands your business. You may indeed be required to have such a person by the GDPR – a Data Protection Officer (DPO). Guidance on the role of the DPO can be found here.

Whether all community pharmacy contractors will have to appoint a DPO is subject to debate, but if you do, you may need to share a DPO with other contractors, to keep costs to a minimum. The hope is that only large-scale community pharmacies will have to appoint a DPO. There is little guidance on what ‘large-scale’ means in practice, but what there is suggests that processing on the scale of a single practitioner is not large-scale, but processing on the scale of a hospital is. It is not clear where community pharmacy fits into this and we are seeking to resolve this urgently.

For more information and guidance on GDPR, please visit


Categories: National News

Quality Payments: SCR calculator now available for the June 2018 review point

PSNC News - 11 April 2018 - 2:25pm

NHS Digital has updated the Summary Care Record (SCR) calculator webpage, for the June 2018 review point of the Quality Payments Scheme. This includes a new, more user-friendly format calculator. Further information on using the calculator can be found on the NHS Digital website.

The calculator is designed to assist contractors in monitoring their SCR usage to meet the SCR quality criterion, which requires contractors to be able to demonstrate on the day of the review (29th June 2018):

  • a total increase in access to SCR from period 1 to period 2 as defined below; or
  • to have accessed the SCR 100 times or more in both period 1 and period 2.
Period 1 Period 2 For 29th June 2018 review point Monday 1st May 2017 to Sunday 26th November 2017 Monday 4th December 2017 to Sunday 1st July 2018

The SCR calculator shows the number of times a pharmacy has viewed the SCR in period 1 and period 2.

SRC resources

The following resources provide guidance and examples for pharmacy professionals on when they could consider accessing a patient’s SCR (with the patient’s consent), which may assist contractors with increasing their SCR usage ahead of the next review point:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How frequently is the SCR calculator updated?
The SCR calculator does not provide live information; it is only updated weekly on Thursdays (with the previous week’s viewing figures as of the end of Sunday). The calculator states the date of the data being used.

Q. How do I view and use the new format SCR calculator information?
NHS Digital are now publishing the calculator in a new, more user-friendly format. To use the new format calculator:

  • access the data;
  • use the arrows at the bottom to scroll between weekly SCR views and the QP calculator;
  • enter your pharmacy name or ODS (F) code into the search box;
  • select from the list, or scroll through the pharmacy list to select; and
  • view totals in the box (correct as of the date the data was extracted).

Q. Can I still view the regular format SCR calculator (Excel spreadsheet)?
For at least the next four weeks, NHS Digital will also publish the calculator in spreadsheet format, for those that need to use this format; the regular format calculator uploads may not continue from May 2018. SCR usage data in raw spreadsheet format will continue to be published for those that need to use this spreadsheet data for their bespoke analysis.

More FAQs and guidance on SCR use

Categories: National News
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