NPA Essential: June 2021

This month’s key notes...

Claiming for Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) – GP referral pathway engagement and set-up 

Pharmacy contractors registered for providing CPCS are able to claim a fee of £300 for engagement and set-up, following the completion and documentation of evidence of certain activities by 30 June (previously 31 March). Claims for engagement and set-up need to be submitted via the MYS portal by 5 July. Read the NPA update here for full details - https://bit.ly/3voE2tI

Signing the reverse of NHS prescriptions and EPS token submission changes 

The temporary suspension of the requirement to sign the reverse of NHS prescriptions and EPS token submission changes has been extended until 30 June. Previously it was in place until 31 March. Read the NPA update for full details here: https://bit.ly/3eS5LxB

Claiming for the NHS pandemic delivery service (Advanced Service) 

The NHS Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service during the Covid-19 Outbreak ended at 23:59 on 31 March for all clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) patients in England. The service now is only available to individuals notified to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace from 16 March until 23:59 on 30 June. 

All pharmacies will receive payment under the Essential Service element, and £6 (£5+VAT) for each completed delivery of prescribed items to patients under the Advanced Service element of the service. 

Claims for delivering prescribed items to eligible patients under the Advanced Service element must be submitted no later than the fifth of the following month in which deliveries were made. Read the NPA update here for full details - https://bit.ly/3u6Qnm9


Covid-19 vaccination mandated health campaign for 2021/22 

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have said all pharmacy contractors will be asked to participate in a Covid-19 vaccination campaign, which forms the first mandated health campaign for 2021/22. 

The Covid-19 vaccination campaign will focus on providing information to the public about the Covid-19 vaccines and encouraging them to take the vaccine when it is offered to them. 

Key points for pharmacy teams: 

• Campaign materials will arrive in pharmacies from mid-May 

• The campaign material pack will include: 

o A briefing sheet for the pharmacy team 

o An information leaflet to use with patients which includes FAQs 

o Posters 

o A window sticker 

For any questions regarding the campaign, please email ENGLAND.CommunityPharmacy@nhs.net

Community pharmacy workforce survey 2021 

The Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey 2021 launched on 7 May and will close by mid-June. It is being managed by University of Manchester (UoM) and their research partner Inner City Fund (ICF) on behalf of Health Education England (HEE). 

The aim of the survey is to better understand the numbers and skill mix in the community pharmacy workforce and inform planning and future investment in education. 

ICF will aggregate the data and share the anonymised data set with UoM and HEE. 

UoM will analyse the data to produce a report. The anonymised and aggregated data set will be published on data.gov.uk in Autumn 2021. 

NPA campaigns in PM’s constituency and Westminster to maintain pressure on government to cover Covid-19 costs

As part of the NPA’s funding campaign, digital advertising vans have been in Westminster and Uxbridge, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

Adverts on the van reminded the PM that he’s made a promise to community pharmacies in his constituency and across England to reimburse the extra costs that they have borne during the pandemic. 

NPA chair Andrew Lane, who joined the ‘battle bus’, said: “Pharmacy teams everywhere have risen to the challenge of staying open and continuing to see patients, even while other parts of the health system went behind closed-doors. Now they are also part of the must-win battle to vaccinate the population against coronavirus, and the latest phase of test and trace. 

“Failure to reimburse community pharmacies for the costs of coronavirus would be a slap in the face for the people working so hard in this essential part of the NHS. 

“We need government to make good on commitments to meet all the additional costs associated with coronavirus and also address long term underfunding - so that pharmacies can stay open to keep people well and save lives.” 

This is the latest phase in the NPA’s on-going campaign to maintain pressure on government to meet its commitments to community pharmacy. It follows campaigning in the constituencies of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

All-Party Pharmacy Group send letter to Matt Hancock 

The All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG), of which the NPA is a co-sponsor, is supporting a cross-party letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, calling for a more sustainable funding framework for community pharmacy. 

Pharmacists have been urged to lobby their MP to sign the letter, and dozens of MPS and peers have reportedly done so. National newspapers have also been briefed and picked up on the matter - the Sunday Times carried a news item on the lobbying activity in its May 23 edition. This follows a recent House of Commons debate led by the APPG Chair, Jackie Doyle-Price MP. 

If you would like to find out more about the APPG please visit: www.pharmacyappg.co.uk/ or you can email the NPA’s public affairs team on independentsvoice@npa.co.uk

History and Future – NPA centenary survey 

This year marks the NPA’s 100th birthday. As well as commemorating the past, we are also using this centenary year as a springboard to the future. To that end, we are consulting on our Core Beliefs, asking whether they are fit for the long term. Go to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ NPAcorebeliefs to access the survey or email your thoughts to independentsvoice@npa.co.uk

The NPA Core Beliefs in brief. Are they fit for the long-term future? 

1. Community pharmacy works! 

2. Community pharmacy can do so much more 

3. Community pharmacists are clinicians and our future is clinical 

4. Supply and service belong together 

5. Face-to- face care is vitally important 

6. A pharmacy without a pharmacist is not really a pharmacy at all 

7. Change is inevitable and necessary – we are on a journey 

8. A sustainable future for the sector is as an efficient, tech-enabled, local, integrated health service – the front door to the NHS. 

Pharmacy Stories 

NPA members tell us about their life and times in community pharmacy, as part of the Association’s centenary celebrations...

This time: Dean & Smedley 

Mementos from a bygone era adorn the ‘unofficial museum’ of Dean & Smedley’s head office. Items such as old pill machines and cork presses, Allenbury’s pastilles and Zam-Buk brand ointments are all a reminder of how much has changed over the years. 

Arthur Alwyn Dean established the company in 1927 after purchasing an existing business in Horninglow Road in Burton-on-Trent. After the Second World War, the shop was taken over by his son John Dean. 

John Dean married a pharmacist who had been his apprentice. She had subsequently owned a pharmacy in Derby, trading under her own name as Joan Smedley. When they married a limited company was created in 1946 with the name Dean & Smedley Ltd. 

Their son, Richard Dean, joined the business in 1971 and became managing director a few years later. Richard’s daughter, Lucy, joined the company in 2009. Richard has now retired from executive duties and acts as chairman of the pharmacy group, which currently has 10 branches. 

“Grandfather would have been amazed by the computerisation and robotics that are now integral to our lives,” says Richard. 

“However we pride ourselves that our approach is still as patient-centred as it was for him, and we give thanks for our loyal, long-serving staff, especially during the trying times we are currently living through.” 

Richard has witnessed first-hand how much the pharmacy landscape has changed over the years. 

“Pharmacy practice has changed from a largely compounding role to one where we are integrated with Primary Care. 

“When I qualified 50 years ago there was still a lot of compounding going on for prescriptions. We were also, as a profession, very subservient to the doctors. You never rang a doctor to discuss a prescription as it was considered professionally inappropriate. You had to work out yourself what the script said even if it was illegible.” 

Nonetheless Dean & Smedley has always been a place where locals came to get health advice and information on medicines. 

“My grandfather’s wife was a nurse. I suspect she was offering advice from the pharmacy before the NHS was even invented. That’s been a common thread for pharmacy - offering advice on homely remedies and minor ailments. 

“The advice that’s offered and the things people ask about are different now. They’re not asking about things like colic anymore; they’re asking about statins and antidepressants - things which they would never had asked about years ago.” 

Richard has visited the NPA headquarters in St Albans many times – for training sessions, for meetings of the PIP Code panel, as a member of the former Pharmacy Voice board and also as chair of the Community Pharmacy IT Group. 

He believes the company has used NPA services ever since his grandfather’s time. 

“I remember being shown a letter from him in the NPA Information Department’s archive when I was amongst a group being shown around during an NPA show some years ago,” explains Richard. 

“His letter asked a question posed by a customer about his cow’s low milk yield! Over the years we have asked many more questions of the NPA although I doubt we’ve asked any veterinary ones for a good few decades!” 

In the present day, the Dean & Smedley group still makes good use of what NPA membership provides. 

“We’ve always bought indemnity insurance and we’ve always used the information service and the legal advice that’s available. We’re not big enough to have those departments ourselves and it’s always been very useful.” 

Looking back on the last year, Richard says he is proud of what the team at Dean & Smedley has achieved. 

“I think it has been amazing that we’ve quietly carried on, day after day, week after week, delivering the same high quality service that we’ve always delivered. 

“Our staff have cheerfully come into work every day without complaint, knuckled down and carried on doing the job they’ve always been doing. I think that’s remarkable really.” 

Want to tell your own story, as part of the NPA’s centenary celebrations? Contact press@npa.co.uk

International travel restrictions lifted in England 

International travel resumed from 17 May for people in England. A three-tier traffic light system, with countries classified into three categories – green, amber and red - has been put in place. The traffic light system determines the rules that are required to be followed when travellers return to England from the destination they have visited. The full list of countries in each category is available on gov.uk. 

Furthermore, people in England who have received two doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine will be able to demonstrate their vaccination status from 17 May and access this status when travelling abroad. 

This can be via the NHS App or by calling the NHS helpline on 119 to request a letter proving vaccination status. People should not approach their GP surgeries regarding their Covid-19 vaccination status and GPs are not able to provide letters containing this information. 

Key points for pharmacy teams 

• Potential travellers should be advised to read the following advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) before they travel, and to sign up for an email alert to ensure they are up-to-date with current advice: 

o FCDO Travel abroad and coronavirus (Covid-19) 

o Country-specific travel advice 

• Review up-to-date information from TravelHealthPro in relation to travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic 

• Advise the traveller to be aware that other countries may have different advice to the UK in relation to Covid-19 testing, quarantine and social distancing 

• Advise travellers that countries are rated as red, amber or green for Covid-19 and they must follow the rules that apply for each category when they return to England 

• Advise potential travellers to register for the free NHS App so they can access their Covid-19 vaccination status or call the NHS helpline on 119 to request a Covid-19 vaccination letter 

• Advise potential travellers to check whether the country or territory they are travelling to requires proof of Covid-19 vaccination for entry (currently, proof of vaccination is not accepted by many countries) 

• The rules the potential traveller must follow are dependent on whether the country they are returning from is rated as red, amber or green – further information can be found on gov.uk website 

o Advise the potential traveller that changes in conditions can result in countries and territories moving between categories and therefore, it is important to stay up-to-date with any changes 

o Travellers are still required to have proof of a negative coronavirus (Covid-19) test before they return to the UK and take Covid-19 tests on their return. This also applies to those who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19. 

The private Test To Release Scheme will allow travellers arriving into England from the amber list countries or territories to have the option of taking a private Covid-19 test to potentially reduce the quarantine period 

• Advise potential travellers on travel vaccine and malaria chemoprophylaxis requirements 

o Refer to the “NPA Malaria prophylaxis information” leaflet for country-specific malaria recommendations 

o The contents of the NPA malaria prophylaxis information leaflet should not be used for clinical decision making when following and supplying through Patient Group Directions 

o Contact the Pharmacy Services team by telephone on 01727891800 or email pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk for advice on making appropriate recommendations on vaccine requirements 

• For potential travellers that are classed as special risk, for example, children and pregnant women, refer to TravelHealthPro for advice 

• Travel advice should be given to the international traveller near to the time of their travel 

• Advise potential travellers to check with their travel insurance provider that they are covered to travel 

o Travellers to countries in the European Union can access state- provided healthcare with a European Health Insurance Card or a Global Health Insurance Card 

The following NPA recommended Business Partners can help you in offering travel and Covid-19 testing services, and earn income from private services. 

• Medicspot has developed a Covid-19 PCR testing service suited to pharmacy, which provides reliability and high-value 

• TravelJab.co.uk provide a range of digital tools and guidance to help you to reach potential customers and take bookings for vaccinations 

• New partners - Pharmadoctor and ECG - are well placed to train your team and provide a range of PGDs 

Mental health charities – get involved in fundraising 

The National Pharmacy Association has partnered with Mind in England and Wales, and its sister charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Inspire Wellbeing, to raise awareness of pharmacy services for people with mental health problems and to raise funds for the vital work of these charities. 

The initiative is being launched as part of the NPA’s centenary celebrations, so fundraising activities will use a ‘100’ theme, for example 100 mile (or 100 metre!) walks and 100 question quizzes. All pharmacists, colleagues, family and friends are being invited to participate – either by supporting the NPA’s own set-piece events, or by organising their own activities. 

As a pillar of communities across the UK, pharmacies often take part in charitable fundraising and engage with the voluntary sector in a variety of ways. It can have a positive impact on the reputation of a business and also improves staff morale. 

NPA Board member, Raj Aggarwal OBE, said: “I am personally looking forward to getting stuck into fundraising activities. Community pharmacy is well placed at the heart of local communities to identify and help those in need of support to maintain good mental health. Our message is that community pharmacies are concerned with the wellbeing of the whole person – mind as well as body.” 

Why mental health? Because of their place in communities and in healthcare, pharmacies are in a position to look after people’s mental wellbeing as well as their physical health. The pandemic and the related lockdowns have affected people’s mental health and many pharmacists are seeing the results amongst patients and staff. It seems right to reflect this in our charitable activities and to highlight that pharmacies support people with their whole health – body and mind. 

The NPA’s 2021 vaccination training and PGD programme 

Following feedback from its members in February, the NPA recently launched its 2021 vaccination training and PGD programme. One of the changes this year is that the NPA is working with new partners to deliver its programme. 

Speaking on this new partnership, head of learning and development at the NPA, Louise Baglole, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with ECG Training to deliver this year’s programme. We have been impressed with their efficiency and speed in setting up the scheme within a short period of time. 

“ECG has an excellent reputation within the industry and partnering with them has enabled us to offer better pricing and an improved selection this year. They also have other services that I’m hoping we can offer to our members as the season progresses.” 

Sophie McCracken, clinical director from ECG, adds: “We are delighted to be working with the NPA to deliver vaccination training this year. We are passionate about helping those within community pharmacy to maximise the services they can offer patients. 

“With a combination of Covid and flu vaccinations as well as travel health all featuring highly on the horizon within the next year, there has never been a more apt time to get trained. 

“Our nurse and paramedic trainers will guide you through the course no matter whether you are brand new to vaccinations or an extremely competent and experienced vaccinator, to ensure you get the right experience for you.” 

As part of the programme, ECG offers two different forms of Covid-19 vaccination training dependent upon requirements – and there are seven different options available for flu training and PGDs. 

Janita Patel, an NPA learning and development pharmacist, explained that the vaccination season could be a busy one for community pharmacists this year due to the increased awareness of what pharmacies can do. 

She said: “We’re very grateful for the feedback that members provided via a short survey earlier this year. It identified those aspects that they were happy with and those that demanded our attention. We have made some key changes, as a result. 

“With this increased awareness of pharmacy services and, as a result of the pandemic and vaccination roll-out, the demand for flu vaccinations may be higher than usual this autumn – so this opens up more opportunities for our members to support their patients. 

“People will wish to travel and take the necessary vaccinations and medicines to enable this, so may well turn to their local pharmacy to obtain these due to their ease of accessibility.” 

The programme is open for enrolments. If you require any further information, please visit www.npa.co.uk/pgd

NPA medication safety update Quarter 4 2020 (England) 

Since March 2020 and during the coronavirus pandemic there has been a significant decrease in the number of patient safety incidents being reported. During this unprecedented time we appreciate you are currently extremely busy with a massively increased workload. 

Pharmacies have had to adjust to new ways of working due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, patient safety incidents may occur in the course of your practice. 

• Please continue to manage and report all patient safety incidents in line with your pharmacy protocols 

• This includes completing the recording of the incident details carefully and fully 

• A Medication Safety update presenting our analysis of patient safety incidents reported during the fourth quarter of 2020 is available – access the full update here: bit.ly/3tNT7DW 

Summary of key findings from analysis of patient safety incidents reported during Q4 2020 

• Overall, there was a 6 per cent increase in the number of incidents reported during Q4 2020, compared to Q3 2020. 

• Compared to the same quarter in 2019, there was a 27 per cent decrease in the number of incidents reported during Q4 of 2020. 

• 96 per cent of incidents reported originated from the pharmacy. 

• 2 per cent of errors reported were prescribing errors. 

• The most common type of incident reported during Q4 was ‘dispensing error’, which accounted for 82 per cent of all those reported. 

• Delivery/collection errors accounted for 9 per cent of the incidents reported; an increase of 2 per cent on Q3 2020. 

• The main categories of errors reported were those involving medication errors such as wrong drug/medicine, strength or formulation. These accounted for 66 per cent of errors reported – this is a 3 per cent decrease on Q3 2020. 

• The degree of harm caused to patients reported as ‘none’ (61 per cent) and ‘near miss’ (25 per cent) continues to make up the majority of reports. 

• There was a 5 per cent increase in the incidents involving self-checking compared to Q3 2020. 

• The main contributing factor continues to be ‘work and environment factors’ (41 per cent) and LASA (23 per cent). 

• LASA errors — 3 per cent of all reported LASA errors involved gabapentin and pregabalin. 

The professional duty of candour 

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have previously issued a joint statement with other regulators about the professional duty of candour and the importance of being open and honest with patients when something goes wrong with their treatment or care which causes or has the potential to cause harm or distress. 

Healthcare professionals (including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) must: 

• Inform the patient (or, where appropriate, the patient’s carer/representative) when something has gone wrong 

• Apologise to the patient (or, where appropriate, the patient’s carer/representative) 

• Rectify the error or offer an appropriate remedy/ support to put matters right (if possible) 

• Explain fully to the patient (or, where appropriate, the patient’s carer/representative) the short and long term effects of what has happened. 

The joint statement also states: “Healthcare professionals must also be open and honest with their colleagues, employers and relevant organisations, and take part in reviews and investigations when requested. Health and care professionals must also be open and honest with their regulators, raising concerns where appropriate. They must support and encourage each other to be open and honest and not stop someone from raising concerns.” 

Incident reporting SOP and near miss logs 

A patient safety incident is where an unintended/ unexpected event occurs in which harm may or may not have been experienced by one or more customer/patient/pharmacy staff. Patient safety incidents may occur in the course of your practice. It is important to manage and report all patient safety incidents in line with your usual pharmacy process and requirements in your relevant UK country. This includes completing the recording of the incident details carefully and fully. It is vital to ensure the whole pharmacy team is aware of the pharmacy’s processes for dealing with incidents. 

To support you, we have updated some patient safety resources on incident reporting: 

• Dealing with patient safety incidents standard operating procedure (SOP) 

• Near miss log – Record near miss incidents – (a near miss is a patient safety incident that is detected before the patient or patient’s representative is handed the dispensed prescription, preventing any unintended/ unexpected harm). 

Other resources, which may support reporting include: 

• Dealing with Controlled Drug (CD) incidents SOP 

• Annual and monthly patient safety report templates 

• Delegation of responsibilities – to be used in conjunction with SOP: Dealing with patient safety incidents. 

For further information refer to NPA Patient safety incidents, including professional duty of candour page 

Contact the NPA Medication Safety Officer (MSO) 

Independent community pharmacies in England who are NPA members can contact the NPA MSO through the Pharmacy Services Team at the NPA for further information, advice and/or support on any patient safety or pharmacy topic/matter by phone: 01727 891800 (9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am -1pm Sat) or by email: pharmacyservices@npa. co.uk (anytime) 

Independent community pharmacies in England with fewer than 50 branches who are currently not members of the NPA can contact the MSO by email at pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk 

• Include your pharmacy name, ODS code, name of the owner/superintendent pharmacist and their telephone/mobile number, plus the pharmacy’s NHSmail email address. 

• State ‘Non-member MSO query’ in the subject field. 

The full range of the NPA patient safety resources can be accessed on the NPA website: www.npa.co.uk/services-and-support/patientsafety

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