Things to do and things to know in community pharmacy across the UK
Specials in Northern Ireland
HSCB is reviewing procedures for specials ordering as the use of specials in Northern Ireland has risen to over £6 million a year. In a recent Prescribing Newsletter the Board outlined a number of steps for prescribers and pharmacists to rationalise the use of specials. In particular, pharmacists are asked to:
• Alert the GP to the unlicensed nature and cost of any prescribed special before it is procured and advise on alternative licensed products where available
• Be aware of price differences from one manufacturer to another, and if in doubt about ordering a special, contact HSCB Pharmacy Advisor before ordering
• Have a written SOP detailing the steps involved in the ordering of specials including risk assessments of the different options available.
TPP SystmOne EPS repeat dispensing issue
NHS Digital has issued an alert regarding a clinical safety incident due to an issue that involves the TPP SystmOne and the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) prescription template. TPP SystmOne has been made aware that eRD prescription templates which have previously been amended to change a dose, quantity or prescription note, and then it is stopped, fails to completely cancel all current eRD prescriptions on the Spine.
Although pharmacy contractors are presented with a warning stating that the items have been cancelled, the eRD prescription still remains available on the Spine to be dispensed. The Summary Care Record (SCR) also reflects the TPP SystmOne message that the eRD prescription has been cancelled. Therefore, there is a clinical safety risk that the amended and cancelled eRD prescriptions remaining on the Spine may have been dispensed after the prescriber has cancelled the eRD prescription, and hence, the patient may be using the incorrect item(s). The issue affects all amended eRD templates from 2010 but was resolved by TPP SystmOne on Thursday 16 August 2018 at 15.06.
NHS Digital believes 10,053 prescriptions from 562 GP practices and 1479 nominated pharmacy contractors may be affected. TPP SystmOne has contacted GP practices directly; however, nominated pharmacy contractors and patients will only be contacted by the GP practices where needed. If pharmacies identify, or are made aware of, affected patients, this should be reported as a patient safety incident, following pharmacy procedures and using the NPA Patient Safety Incident report form.
Stoptober Pharmacy Toolkit
Stoptober, the 28-day stop smoking campaign from Public Health England, is back from 1st October. Stoptober offers 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 addition, people can get expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services. Public Health England has a wide range of resources you can download and order for free. Some of these are restricted to .NHS and .GOV users. The toolkits will be available to order through Pharmacy Order Line and pharmacies would be able to order them individually. For more information go to
NPA Conference and Pharmacy Show
The upcoming NPA conference takes place on 6 October at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, NEC Birmingham after which the Pharmacy Show will take place at the NEC Birmingham. Delegates at the conference will learn how to improve their business and generate more income, how to handle change, how to understand patients’ needs and provide them with a better service and how to become even more central to healthcare in the UK.
One of the business appearing at The Pharmacy Show is Enoch Evans who advise clients on a range of matters including Corporate and Commercial Property, Regulatory, Commercial Civil Litigation and Employment. They are offering a free initial consultation up to half an hour, contact Enoch Evans directly to book a timeslot.
For more information go to npa.co.uk/conference2018