New SOPs free-up pharmacists to deliver more clinically focused services

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has rolled out new guidance set to significantly free-up pharmacists’ time and improve patient safety. The revamped standard operating procedures (SOPs) are free of charge to members and were designed to take account of the most common errors reported to the NPA

In addition to supporting legislative requirements they specifically focus on making better use of a pharmacist’s time, by delegating some tasks to others in the pharmacy team. The move supports a wider NPA-drive to enable community pharmacy to deliver more clinical services, like managing chronic illnesses, and easing the GP-access crisis and A&E pressures.

Leyla Hannbeck, NPA chief pharmacist, said: “We are absolutely clear that pharmacists are critical to the safe and effi cient operation of pharmacies. But these SOPs recognise the evolution of the other roles within a modern pharmacy team and the increasing pressures on the sector and the wider NHS. They are one of a series of measures to enable community pharmacy to better support the over-stretched NHS in the face of an ageing population.”

All General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) regulated pharmacies must use SOPs to set out how certain everyday tasks comply with the legislation and maintain patient safety. The NPA SOPs include all of the GPhC mandated sections and others, all of which have been refi ned to take account of error reports received by the NPA. For example, monitored dosage systems SOPs are not mandatory but use of such systems resulted in 10% of all error reports in one quarter.

In the same period medicines delivery issues accounted for 9% of error reports, which informed the relevant mandatory SOPs. More sections are in development that can be added to the SOPs, which are country-specifi c and designed so pharmacies can adapt and edit them to suit their individual needs.

Members can download the SOPs at npa.co.uk. For more information email pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk or call 01727 891800.

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