Community Pharmacy "Declaration of Competence" to replace HAG.
Supporting Community Pharmacy in Service Provision within the new Commissioning Landscape
A new model has been developed to support the pharmacy profession in service provision within the new NHS commissioning landscape. This work has been undertaken by the Harmonisation of Accreditation Group (HAG) which previously developed Competency and Training Frameworks (C&TF) for cross accreditation of enhanced services (LES). The approach taken has been to move forward from ‘accreditation’ towards a ‘declaration of competence’ model. This aligns to the model for the New Medicines service self-assessment with which pharmacy professionals are already familiar. Click here for more information.
What else is new?
Supporting the safe and effective supply of Pharmacy medicines (Nov 2013)
The GPhC has outlined how it proposes to support the safe and effective supply of Pharmacy (P) medicines in a background paper published today. Developing guidance to support the safe and effective supply of ‘Pharmacy (P)’ medicines describes the key areas that must be adequately addressed by owners and superintendents that operate registered pharmacies and supply P medicines. These areas include professional decision making and accountability; managing risk; staff; and involving patients in decision making and communicating effectively.
The paper will be used to encourage discussions with individuals and representative bodies, including patients and the public, in the coming months. You can read the paper now - Developing guidance to support the safe and effective supply of ‘Pharmacy (P)’ medicines November 2013 [PDF 254.81 KB]
Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said that there is a consensus across pharmacy that more needs to be done to improve the quality of the supply of pharmacy medicines. Securing the safe and effective supply of pharmacy medicines is a key focus for us. We believe that the best protection for the public comes from high quality interaction between trained staff and patients.“We know that there are complex issues involved and a wide range of views in relation to the supply of P medicines; we want to participate in and contribute to this debate so we can all work together to make sure patients receive the best possible advice about their medicines.
General pharmaceutical services in England – ten year view (Nov 2013)
The Health and Social Care Information Centre has published information about community pharmacies and appliance contractors in England between 2003-04 and 2012-13. Key facts:
Community Pharmacy – Local Government’s new public health role (Oct 2013)
The LGA has launched a new resource for local government on community pharmacy with key messages for local authorities and health and wellbeing boards (HWBs). The document Community Pharmacy – Local Government’s new public health role highlights the important contribution that pharmacy can make to public health locally. Four main areas of common purpose identified are: Public health; Support for independent living; Making every contact count; and Sustaining communities and building social capital.
With locally commissioned services, Councils have taken on three interrelated functions: Pharmaceutical needs assessments; Commissioning some public health services; Supporting the development of community pharmacies as part of a broader strategic role (with HWBs).
The resource included useful case studies of community pharmacy and local councils working together and provides key messages to commission community pharmacy services effectively, including engagement and inclusion of Local Pharmaceutical Committees, and also key questions for local councils to raise with community pharmacy.
Joint statement on prescription direction published (Oct 2013)
PSNC, Pharmacy Voice and the British Medical Association have published a joint statement on prescription direction. The three organisations discussed the topic at a meeting in August. The joint statement is an outcome of this meeting and is intended to be a helpful reminder to pharmacists and GPs of existing guidance. The statement can be downloaded by clicking on: Joint statement on prescription direction
Last month PSNC published a briefing on this topic including summaries of the regulations and relevant guidance, as well as an update on PSNC’s work in the area. This briefing may be of use to contractors and LPCs affected by the issue and can be downloaded by clicking on: PSNC Briefing 095 13 Direction of Prescriptions
New briefing on market entry regulations released (Oct 2013)
1 April 2013 marked a new era in market entry. Applications for inclusion in a pharmaceutical list are now considered by NHS England through their area teams. The market entry test is now an assessment against the pharmaceutical needs assessment produced by the local authority’s health and wellbeing board (and until they have completed one, the former PCT’s version). The exemptions introduced in 2005 have been removed, other than the exception for distance selling pharmacies, and neighbourhoods are no longer relevant for relocations.
Health on the High Street - Rethinking the role of Community Pharmacy (Oct 2013)
This paper "Rethinking Community Pharmacy Role" discusses how best public health services might be commissioned from community pharmacy within the new system architecture. It outlines the recommendations of a task group of the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum. The task group was chaired by Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, and included representatives from across public health, local government, commissioning organisations and pharmacy. Key points include:
Professional standards for homecare services (Sept 2013)
These standards provide a best practice framework for the implementation and delivery of homecare services. Homecare services, where medicines are provided to patients direct from the manufacturer are increasingly being commissioned. The RPS, working with the Department of Health homecare strategy board, has produced ten standards to ensure patient safety and the effective management of medicines delivered via the homecare route.The standards will also support teams providing and commissioning homecare services.
Updated information about complaints to pharmacy contractors (Sept 2013)
Under the provisions of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 pharmacy contractors are required to make arrangements for the handling and consideration of complaints. PSNC has produced a briefing containing updated information on the NHS complaints procedure.
General Pharmaceutical Services in England 2002-03 to 2011-12
The Information Centre has published information about services provided by community pharmacies and appliance contractors in England in contract with primary care trusts (PCTs) to dispense NHS prescriptions between 2002-2003 and 2011-12. To view click on Report.
Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) planning for health and wellbeing boards
Health and wellbeing boards (HWB) must publish their first pharmaceutical needs assessments by April 2015, or sooner if existing needs change. To comply with the regulations, HWBs need to allow at least 12 months to develop a PNA. The events on 25 September in Leeds and 17 October in Taunton is for HWBs, public health teams and others involved in the development of PNAs.
PSNC Vision Narrative Launched (Aug 2013)
Building on PSNC’s vision for community pharmacy, which was agreed in early 2012, PSNC has today published a narrative describing how services could be commissioned from pharmacies over the next few years. The narrative is designed to give contractors and pharmacy teams a clear picture of how pharmacy services could be developed in practice by the new NHS commissioners. PSNC’s vision, which was supported by pharmacy contractors surveyed last year, sets out a clear vision of its aims and aspirations for the community pharmacy service in 2016, as follows:
The narrative published this month describes in more detail how this vision could be achieved, outlining a plan for how those services could work in pharmacies and what they would mean for patients. The narrative set out is not the only way in which community pharmacy service development could happen, but we hope it will provide a useful point of reference for contractors and other pharmacy stakeholders as we progress our discussions with the new NHS commissioners. Click to View the narrative and associated resources
Community Pharmacy guide to General Practice (Aug 2013)
PSNC, NHS Employers and the GP Committee of the British Medical Association have produced an updated guide to GP practices for community pharmacists and pharmacy staff. This document was written to promote greater understanding of the roles and day to day activities of the two professions to enhance local working relationships. The guides have been updated to reflect the changes in the NHS and the two contracts since they were first published in 2010.
Pharmacy Voice data highlights Community Pharmacy's safety role in high-risk medicines pathway (Aug 2013)
Figures released by Pharmacy Voice, which represents community pharmacy owners, highlight the contribution of pharmacists to the detection of patients at risk of adverse effects from medicines which require close monitoring. Audit data collected from 2,773 pharmacies in England and Wales found that just under 14% of people taking methotrexate (to treat arthritis), lithium (to treat bipolar disorder) or warfarin (to thin the blood) are not having their regular blood tests which are used to check they are receiving the correct dose. In the course of the audit, community pharmacists identified 425 patients who were showing signs of toxicity.
Hints & Tips Newsletter (April 2013)
The latest editions of the NHS Prescription Services hints and tips newsletter are now available to read on the NHSBSA website. NHS Prescription Services issues two quarterly newsletters to customers; one for dispensing contractors (pharmacies, dispensing doctors and appliance contractors) and the other for all users of the NHSBSA’s Information Services, such as Area Teams. The Information Services edition has important information on the changes to NHS Prescription Services’ systems and procedures following NHS and Local Authority Reforms that took effect on 1 April 2013.
Transforming local care: community healthcare rises to the challenge (Mar 2013)
This briefing shows how the community health sector is driving the transformation of local care systems and how innovative community healthcare providers are enabling people to stay healthy and independent and avoid crises that lead to unplanned hospital admissions.
The NHS faces an unprecedented dilemma: the supply of funding is struggling to match the growing rate of demand for healthcare, both scheduled and unscheduled. Health services provided in the community have a crucial role to play in meeting this challenge, as they are able to provide care closer to people’s homes that improves their health as well as their experience of care, so helping reduce avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions through prevention and early intervention. This briefing also details the challenges that need to be overcome to build upon this work and drive forward the necessary shift of care into the community.
To download Publication click on: Transforming local care: community healthcare rises to the challenge
NPA consults on a manifesto for independent community pharmacy (Mar 2013)
The National Pharmacy Association, in collaboration with the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies and the Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF), is launching a consultation on A Manifesto for Independent Community Pharmacy. For further information click on Link
NPA’s private PGD service scaled back after discussions with Department of Health (Jan 2013)
Several antibiotics have been scrapped from the National Pharmacy Association’s patient group direction service following a meeting with the Department of Health in December 2013 over concerns about antimicrobial resistance. The PGD service, developed with Day Lewis, would have enabled community pharmacists to dispense 16 prescription-only medicines (see Panel), including trimethoprim for cystitis, azithromycin and doxycycline for chlamydia, and ciprofloxacin for travellers’ diarrhoea.
However, following a meeting between the UK chief pharmaceutical officers, the NPA and Day Lewis, the NPA has decided not to include trimethoprim, doxycycline and ciprofloxacin in the service going forward. Azithromycin will remain within the scheme. In a statement from the three parties, the chief pharmaceutical officers welcomed the NPA's decision.
The chief pharmaceutical officers also welcomed the NPA’s offer to provide data on the evaluation of the pilot scheme. This, they said, would help inform future consideration of how best to use PGDs to improve safe access to medicines and meet public health objectives.
The service, which has been piloted by Day Lewis since October 2012, launched to NPA members in January. Patients will be able to access the service in pharmacies or online. The NPA has developed e-training modules to support pharmacists to deliver the service.
NHS prescription service hints and tips (Jan 2013)
NHS Prescription Services has published hints and tips for dispensing contractors and information service users.
Information services modernisation (ISM) project (Jan 2013)
NHS Prescription Services is closely monitoring the progress of its information services modernisation (ISM) project. It is particularly interested in users’ views on improving its portal. The survey closes on 15 February 2013.
Smoking health harm campaign launched (Jan 2013)
The Department of Health has launched a new campaign to encourage smokers to quit in the new year. The campaign aims to increase awareness by highlighting the immediate damage done by every cigarette. The health harms message focuses on the fact that every 15 cigarettes smoked causes a mutation that can lead to cancer and aims to increase motivation to quit.
Smokers will be encouraged to collect a free Quit Kit from their local participating pharmacy to help support their quit attempt. Quit Kits are being distributed, free of charge, through participating pharmacies across England. The campaign goes live on 28 December with TV, online, billboards and other outdoor advertising outdoor advertising and will run until March 2013. Smokers are being invited to visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree to find their nearest Quit Kit stockist or pharmacy
NHS Commissioning Board: Organisation of Primary Care IT services including Pharmacists (Dec 2012)
The NHS Commissioning Board has published a document setting out how the management of IT systems will be organised for primary care providers (dentists, pharmacists and optometrists) from April 2013. Under the new system the NHS Commissioning Board will commission access for use of national IT services – such as the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) or NHSmail – for primary care contractors. Primary care contractors will remain responsible for local implementation of national services and will provide the necessary support services including training, associated hardware and network services. For information click on this Link.
Electronic Health Records (Dec 2012)
RPS has roduced a guidance document, Electronic Health Records (EHR): Guidance for Community Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, on the use of all electronic health records.
Flu treatment restricted to at-risk groups (Dec 2012)
Department of Health has issued a letter highlighting the at-risk groups and patients who are eligible for treatment at NHS expense with either oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza in accordance with NICE guidance and as outlined in Part XVIIIB of the Drug Tariff (Drugs, Medicines and Other Substances that may be ordered only in certain circumstances). Community pharmacies will only able to dispense oseltamivir and zanamivir at NHS expense, if the prescriber correctly endorses the prescription with “SLS”. The DH has also urged pharmacies not to over order stocks of antiviral medicines as this could result in shortages in the supply chain. Further advice on the use of antivirals for the influenza season 2012/2013 and on the need to increase the uptake of vaccine is provided.
NHS Prescription Services hints and tips (Oct 2012)
Advice for dispensing contractors and users of the information service. Two new quarterly hints and tips bulletins have been published by NHS Prescription Services. One is for dispensing contractors and the other is for information services users.
The future of community pharmacy in England (Oct 2012)
A report looking into the future of community pharmacy and the sustainability of the sector has been published by management consultancy firm A.T. Kearney. ‘The Future of Community Pharmacy, Building a Sustainable Industry’ looks at the impact of some of the key challenges facing community pharmacies, including the squeeze on healthcare budgets, intensifying competition and patient demand for convenience and expertise. The consultants conclude that pharmacy is at a crossroads and they set out some business strategies they believe pharmacies should look to follow. The report also identifies seven enablers that the consultants believe will be crucial for the sector’s future.
This report highlights the challenges facing the sector and proposes strategies for survival that all contractors should consider carefully. The report includes identification of seven enablers that it states will be crucial for a sustainable future. Together with other pharmacy organisations we are already working on these enablers.” Read the full A.T. Kearney report here. For more information on the community pharmacy Cost of Service Inquiry, click here.
New Medicine Service and medicines use review data definitions (Sept 2012)
NHS Employers and the PSNC have produced two new documents to help community pharmacy contractors complete the approved reporting templates for MURs and the NMS. These documents offer guidance to clarify the data that contractors need to input in each column of the reporting templates. They will help contractors complete this important documentation and increase the accuracy of data reported to PCTs and their successor organisations.
NHS Smokefree to launch 28-day quit smoking challenge (Sept 2012)
NHS Smokefree is challenging smokers across England to stop smoking for 28 days during October. This campaign is designed to appeal to smokers who want to quit smoking but find it a daunting prospect. The Department of Health is keen to work with community pharmacies to encourage smokers to join the campaign. As part of this high-profile campaign, they will be providing a range of promotional materials for pharmacies to use to support people to stop smoking.
Major multiples join forces to pilot new services in Wigan and the Wirral (Sept 2012)
Two new medicine support services are being piloted by four leading UK pharmacy chains. The pilots have the backing of the Department of Health, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and NHS Employers and are being funded exclusively by the four pharmacy chains — Boots UK, the Co-operative Pharmacy, Lloydspharmacy and Rowlands Pharmacy. If successful, the services could be written into the national contract in England or promoted as enhanced services, say the companies. They also hope the initiative will help to establish a template for how to evaluate the contribution community pharmacy makes to improving patient health.
Community pharmacists working at 26 branches in Wigan will run a project supporting older patients who are prescribed four or more medicines, including making interventions and referrals as appropriate. The second “community pharmacy future” (CPF) pilot will involve 36 pharmacies in the Wirral, and will focus on supporting people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Launch of the CPF pilots — which begin this month (September 2012) and will run for six months before being independently evaluated by health economists — follows discussions between the pharmacy chains and health minister Earl Howe a year ago.The aim is that these services should be available to all the eligible customers of all community pharmacies. Evidence will be required to support their commissioning as new national services.
EPS: GP-Pharmacy Engagement Checklist Published (Aug 2012)
One of the lessons from the implementation of EPS Release 2 is that good communication between GP practices and community pharmacies is essential to ensure smooth implementation of EPS Release 2. PSNC has worked with Connecting for Health to develop a checklist to support GP-pharmacy engagement on EPS before, during and after go-live. This resource has been developed with input from GPs and pharmacists that have deployed EPS Release 2 as well as the inter-professional EPS Forum.
Latest version of information governance toolkit (June 2012)
All providers, including pharmacies, need to provide information governance assurances to the NHS on an annual basis. Version 10 of the Information Governance Toolkit covering 2012/13 is now online. All pharmacies will be expected to make their next annual return before 31 March 2013. There are no significant changes to the arrangements this year, other than the requirement to make business continuity plans, which was exempted as a requirement in 2011/12. PSNC is still in discussion with the Department of Health on business continuity planning. Full guidance will be published in due course.
Clinical governance important dates document published (May 2012)
NHS Employers and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have published a clinical governance important dates document. The document summarises the new and revised 'approved particulars', which come into effect on 1 July 2012, and the dates by which contractors must comply with each element of the clinical governance requirements. To download the document visit the NHS Employers website.
Thinking Ahead - Hay Fever Season (May 2012)
“Thinking Ahead” is a resource document for specific health events and seasonal conditions that may have a public health impact. This edition 2012 Hayfever is for the Hay Fever Season May to August 2012.
Videos of Community Pharmacy Conference 2012 (May 2012)
Video interviews with Earl Howe and Dame Barbara Hakin from this year's conference which took place last month are now available on the PSNC website.
Governance particulars for pharmacies updated (April 2012)
The Department of Health has published the clinical governance approved particulars for pharmacies which specify additional detail they must provide about premises, information governance and incident reporting. As part of their system of clinical governance, dispensing appliance contractors (DACs) are required to produce a practice leaflet containing particulars of their premises. They are also required to run an annual patient satisfaction survey annually. DH has released the particulars for the practice leaflet and the patient satisfaction survey, and PCTs have been advised to discuss these requirements with their DACs. Pharmacy contractors have until 1 July 2012 to implement the changes. PSNC and NHS Employers have published comprehensive guidance for pharmacy contractors and PCTs.
Fitness to practise information and applications to join a pharmaceutical list (Feb 2012)
Primary Care Commissioning (PCC) has received a number of queries regarding the provision of fitness to practise information by applicants applying to be included in a PCT's pharmaceutical list. This briefing sets out the requirements on sole traders, partnerships and bodies corporate and explains the provisions of home PCTs.
Lloydspharmacy to launch ‘intelligent’ drugs (Jan 2012)
Lloydspharmacy has teamed up with Proetus Biomedical to commercialise and launch Helius, a digital health product which helps monitor when patients have taken their medications, and also provides a range of other information on the patient, such as their sleep patterns and levels of physical activity. Helius combines sensor-enabled tablets, a sensor patch worn on the body, a mobile health application and information service and Lloydspharmacy's current medication adherence packaging. The data obtained by the system is then combined to provide information to allow the patients progress to be monitored.
The technology is expected to be available later in the year, and Lloydspharmacy will initially be offering Helius privately to customers through selected pharmacies, for around £50 a month. The report states that a number of NHS organisations have also expressed interest in the system. Link (free registration required)
Business continuity exempted from 2011/12 IG requirements (Jan 2012)
All NHS providers, including community pharmacies, need to provide information governance assurances to the NHS on an annual basis. This is done through the online Information Governance Toolkit. The deadline for contractors to submit their 2011/12 return is 31 March 2012. There are no significant changes to the information governance requirements this year. The Department of Health has confirmed that pharmacies are exempt from requirement 9-319 (business continuity planning) for 2011/12 while discussions continue between PSNC and the Department of Health on business continuity planning. Further details are available from the PSNC.
Revising PNAs and Supplementary Statements (Jan 2012)
PCTs are required to keep their pharmaceutical needs assessments (PNAs) up to date and, where they identify changes to the availability of pharmaceutical services, to either revise the assessment and/or issue a supplementary statement. This briefing is intended to help them meet this requirement.
Report advises collaboration between doctors and community pharmacists to improve pain management (Jan 2012)
BMJ news features a story on a report published by the UCL School of Pharmacy and the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) which suggests that GP practices should work with community pharmacists to provide better pain management for their patients because it could cut GP workload, take the strain off hospital services, and reduce the financial impact on the UK economy. Examples of improved pharmacy services highlighted in the report include:
Advising patients is considered by the authors as a crucial role for pharmacists which offers a real opportunity for improving care. In the current economic climate it is vital to use what pharmacists already have to best effect. For further information click on BMJ news article and UKCPA report
Guidance on the New Medicines Service and Medicines Use Review published to support seamless care for patients discharged from hospital (Jan 2012)
The PSNC has worked with NHS Employers to develop and publish guidance and support tools on how the New Medicine Service (NMS) and post discharge Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) can be used to provide a seamless care pathway for patients who transfer from hospital to the community setting. The guidance has been endorsed by the by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).