NPA Essential: February 2022
This month’s key notes...
Expiry extension for medical exemption certificates
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has agreed that all medical exemption certificates that are due to expire between 14 December 2021 and 1 March 2022 will be extended for an additional six months from the current date of expiry. This is to help reduce the workload for GP practices during the COVID-19 vaccination booster programme. The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) will write to patients who hold an existing medical exemption certificate that is due to expire and supply them with a new certificate stating the extended expiry date. For further information go to bit.ly/32WaU4e
Online NHS directory helps find most appropriate service for patients
If you’re looking to direct or sign post a patient to another NHS service, NHS Service Finder provides fast, accurate online information about local health and social care services. It enables healthcare professionals to signpost patients to the most appropriate care, removing the need to use outdated directories.
You can search by location, service, or keyword, and receive instant results. There are even interactive maps to show you where services are located and directions which can be shared directly with patients. Sign up for this free service using your NHSmail address. For more information visit NHS Service Finder at finder.directoryofservices.nhs.uk/login or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kickstart - countdown to closure of the scheme
If you have been approved for a placement but are still looking to recruit a Kickstarter to your pharmacy - the clock is ticking. We will be communicating the deadlines you need to observe in the forthcoming weeks, but if you have not interviewed and appointed your Kickstarter by mid-February, the opportunity will be lost. If you have questions about the Kickstart scheme, please read our FAQs via this link bit.ly/3HBoWai or direct your query via email to:NPA.email@example.com
ALSO THIS MONTH
New updated NPA malaria chart 2022
An updated version of the “NPA Malaria prophylaxis information” leaflet, which expires 30 June 2022, has been published by the NPA. The leaflet is available to download from the “Travel health” section of the NPA website; this can then be printed off if access to a hard copy is required. To download go to: https://bit.ly/3F7j4UB
Healthy Living Champion and HLP Leadership training promotion
Our current promotion that offers a 50% reduction on the HLP Leadership training is only available for a limited period. If you have a staff member to train up as a Healthy Living Champion this year and another who is ready for leadership training, why not enrol them at the same time and benefit from the reduction? More details and the special enrolment form can be found here https://bit.ly/3pYVhC8
NPA briefed media and public on lateral flow test supplies
At the end of 2021 and into 2022 there was acute shortage of lateral flow tests kits and we found ourselves in a situation where neither patients nor healthcare workers could get access to testing.
Through it all the NPA was in constant dialogue with the UK Health Security Agency and Alliance Healthcare about the supply of lateral flow tests to pharmacies. We also kept the general public aware of the evolving situation in a series of TV and radio interviews, for example BBC Breakfast (which can be viewed here - youtu.be/1slcfMsLnpo). One of our key messages to the public was to be patient and courteous to pharmacy staff who are doing their utmost to help in difficult circumstances.
In an open letter to the public, jointly issued with the Company Chemists Association (CCA), the NPA asked the public to be polite, patient and safe in pharmacies, in the light of frustrations over the shortages. Patient and community groups were invited to share this message on social media. NPA members can print off and display the letter in their pharmacy. A PDF version is available here: bit.ly/3zzbcKi
We have also called on the government to prioritise essential workers including health care staff for lateral flow tests if supply cannot meet the
demand created by their policies. For further advice and support contact the NPA’s Pharmacy Services team on 01727891800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Weight management mandated health campaign
Pharmacy contractors in England will be asked to participate in a weight management campaign, which forms the third mandated health campaign for 2021/22. The campaign, agreed by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) is a requirement under the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) for pharmacy contractors to participate in six public health campaigns that have been determined to help support public health priorities.
The weight management campaign aims to support patients with the resources to take the first steps towards making positive, healthier choices in 2022. The campaign was due to start on 4 January 2022. However, this has been postponed by one week due to the delay in the delivery of the campaign resource packs. The campaign will run for five weeks from the date the campaign materials are received.
Key points for pharmacy teams:
• Campaign materials should have arrived in pharmacies between 11-14 January 2022 via Yodel
• Pharmacy contractors should contact email@example.com if campaign materials are not received by 15 January 2022. Contractors should include their name and address in the email and subject line ‘Weight management Pharmacy Packs’
• The campaign material pack will include:
º A guidance leaflet for the pharmacy team
o Display materials
• Social media and digital resources for the campaign can be accessed through the Campaign Resource Centre website - bit.ly/3zMUV4G
• Pharmacy contractors are not required to make records of the number of people to whom information is provided or any additional information for this campaign unless requested to do so by NHSE&I
• Pharmacy contractors are reminded that weight management is included in the Healthy Living Support domain of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2021/22 and pharmacy teams could consider using the campaign and campaign resources to initiate conversations with patients to meet the criteria for this domain.
o Pharmacy teams are required to proactively discuss weight management with a minimum of 25 patients and refer at least one patient (who meets the criteria for referral) to either a Local Authority funded tier 2 weight management service or the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme.
o NPA support on completing the PQS 2021/22 is available on the PQS hub here: bit.ly/3K0NI5z
Business continuity resource
Two years on and Covid-19 still remains a rapidly evolving public health situation. Near the beginning of the pandemic the Company Chemists’ Association and the National Pharmacy Association worked together to produce guidance that all community pharmacy contractors can use as they consider how to maintain the provision of pharmacy services in a crisis context. Much of its content remains relevant today.
Providing Pharmaceutical Care in Crisis Situations set out the stages of a response to a crisis for individual pharmacies and for pharmacies working together. In some circumstances this could include the sharing of staff and stock, to maintain essential services. The triggers for enacting this guidance are:
• A major emergency or incident has occurred and;
• The disruption impacts the ability of contractors to deliver pharmaceutical care and;
• The disruption lasts longer than 24 hours.
To download the guidance (versions for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland available) go to: https://bit.ly/3zA0bsn
National Pharmacy Association launches subscription access to Pharmacy Services hotline for individual pharmacists
The NPA has launched an ‘Associate Pharmacist’ subscription, to provide individual pharmacists and technicians with portable access to the NPA Pharmacy Support and Advice Service, priority news-feed and email alerts. Also included is NPA Learn, the association’s Learning and Development hub. The personal development offering to Associates includes an annual online flu refresher or discounted full face-to- face vaccination training. A similar subscription is available to become an Associate Technician.
NPA Director of Membership, Simon Tebbutt, said: “Associate Pharmacist is an offer to individuals, not to pharmacy businesses. We find that many pharmacists and technicians come into contact with NPA resources and like them, experiencing their quality as they move from pharmacy to pharmacy, either as a locum or as part of their career-building. We want pharmacists and technicians to have the option to access these fantastic tools and resources wherever they are practising. It should help build careers while also bolstering pharmacists’ day-to-day performance and resilience.”
For individuals who are insured for Professional Indemnity with the NPA, the NPA has published a value offer which is a £48 discount (inc VAT) on subscribing to be an Associate Pharmacist/Technician. The NPA can offer this only in the circumstances of either an existing policy being in place for the period of the subscription, or a new policy taken out at the same time as subscription.
Subscribe via the NPA website at https://www.npa.co.uk/Associate-Pharmacist-Subscription
NHS England winter campaign
NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched the next phase of the ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign which focuses on the NHS 111 service..
The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to use NHS 111 online first when they have an urgent but not life-threatening medical need, rather than going straight to A&E/Emergency Departments. The target audience for this campaign is all adults, with a focus on young people (20-29) and parents of children aged 5-12years. The ‘Help Us, Help You’ NHS 111 campaign will run from 1 November 2021 until the end of March 2022. You can download posters, leaflets, guides and resource packs for all NHS campaigns here: https://bit.ly/3tiS2aL
Kickstart scheme in community pharmacy: one year on
The NPA and Reed have helped to get more than 500 young people work placements in community pharmacies across the country...
Since the launch of the government funded Kickstart scheme last year, which supports 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long
term employment, the NPA has been working with recruitment agency Reed to enable independent pharmacies to take part in the initiative.
So far they’ve helped over 520 young unemployed people to gain work experience and undertake training in pharmacies. A recent survey undertaken amongst a sample of Kickstarters currently in placements within community pharmacy has revealed the following:
Almost 60% would like to work in the pharmacy where they undertook the placement/or another pharmacy once the placement finishes with just under 30% already having been offered a permanent position in the pharmacy.
Eighty per cent of Kickstarters felt more prepared for entering the world of work as a result of the placement.
Around 60% felt very well/well supported throughout the placement.
When asked why they chose to work in a pharmacy for their Kickstart placements, respondents said:
• ‘Helping people is so
• ‘ New experience and
really enjoy working in the
• ‘I wanted to work in a pharmacy after I
completed my GCSE’s and I have stuck
with this goal. Now I am currently studying
to become a qualified dispenser and move
up the career ladder. I enjoy the work
and development it provides, and I love
making customers happy and providing
Kickstarters were also asked to provide feedback on their overall experience. They said:
• ‘There is continuous support and
motivation throughout the scheme.’
• ‘Although at times it may have been
stressful, I enjoyed the experience and
gained many life-long skills.’
• ‘It’s been a pleasure working in the
pharmacy. I enjoy it. Every day is different
and I’m always learning.’
• ‘Really enjoyed it. I am very fortunate to
have been offered a permanent position.’
Training offered to Kickstarters
As part of the placement, Kickstarters are offered the opportunity to undertake Reed Employability training and the NPA’s Medicines counter assistant training course.
To date, there have been 411 enrolments onto the NPA’s GPhC accredited eLearning course. Eighty-three Kickstarters have completed the course (20%) and now have a GPhC accredited qualification, as well as transferable skills, as a result of their placement. We expect this figure to increase over the next few months as Kickstarters finish their placement.
Reed confirms that over 185 Kickstarters (just under 40%) have so far accessed its employability training. Louise Baglole, the NPA’s Director of
Professional Services and Development, said: “We know that the scheme has been beneficial to our members, but its aim was to provide young people with work experience and training to prepare them for entering into the workplace. It is therefore encouraging to see so many young people taking up opportunities in community pharmacy, enjoying the experience, completing training and gaining new skills.
“We are pleased that to see that a large percentage of those surveyed feel more prepared for entering the workplace as a result of their time as a Kickstarter in the world of pharmacy.”
Employment Law Update - Changes Coming in 2022 and 2021 Case Law Review
Hear from employment law experts at Worknest to ensure you’re up to speed and prepared for what’s coming next. During their 90-minute webinar, you’ll hear about proposed changes to legislation and anticipated future developments.
Led by Employment Law and HR Training Manager Lorna Gemmell and Employment Law Solicitor Rebekah Page, the free 90-minute webinar covers:
• Proposed employment bill: The
introduction of a single labour enforcement
agency; Passing on all tips and service
charges to employees; Introduction of leave
for neonatal care; Making flexible working
the default; Plus, other key proposals which
are awaiting further response
• Sexual harassment: Introduction
of statutory duty; New EHRC Code of
Practice; Third party harassment
protections; Timescale for Tribunal
• National Disability Strategy: New
Acas advice hub and guidance for
employers; Improving the Access to Work
scheme and introducing “adjustment
passports”; Giving employees the right
to unpaid carers’ leave; Consultation on
• Making flexible working the default:
Day-one right; Considering alternatives;
Temporary requests; Changes to
administrative processes and grounds for
• Recent case law: Interesting cases
relating to alleged discrimination on the
grounds of sex, disability, religion and belief;
Why a recent indirect discrimination claim
succeeded even though the claimant didn’t
themselves have the relevant protected
NPA members can watch the webinar for free here: bit.ly/3zACHDh
NPA fundraising for mental health charities
As part of its centenary celebrations in 2021, the National Pharmacy Association 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. This project is still underway.
The work that these charities undertake has never been more important and community pharmacy plays such an important role in supporting people with mental health problems. The covid pandemic and the associated changes to the way we have been living over the past year has put a great deal of pressure on everyone’s mental health.
Few people will have no mental health problems during their lifetime and most people will come into contact with mental illness amongst friends and family at some point. Community pharmacies are well placed at the heart of local communities to identify and help those in need of support to maintain good mental health. They are concerned with the wellbeing of the whole person - mind as well as body.
As a pillar of communities across the land, many pharmacies take part in charitable fundraising and engage with the voluntary sector in a variety of ways. From a business point of view, this can have a number of benefits, including:
• positive business reputation
• improved staff morale; and
• increased customer loyalty
Help the NPA raise funds to support the vital work of these charities – see the fundraising page here: www.justgiving.com/team/npa100years