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NPA Essential: March 2021

NPA Essential

NPA Essential: March 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 31 March 2021 – this is summarised below; however, please refer to the NHS Service Specification – Annex F and further guidance that will be issued soon for full details:

• Participate in discussions; in exploring options for promoting uptake of CPCS locally with a delivery partner/LPC
• Engage with local plans by attending meetings (can be web-based) in which pharmacies and potentially GPs are briefed on referral process being implemented
• Briefing material prepared locally, for referral pathways including rollout plans are read and details understood by relevant team members
• Create an action plan for implementing the GP CPCS referral pathway, update the CPCS SOP and a process in place for required data capture and record keeping
• Relevant team members have been briefed and they have read and understood the updated NHS Service Specification and toolkit for pharmacy staff

For further information please contact the NPA Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891 800 or email

COVID-19 Vaccination Training
The NPA is committed to supporting community pharmacies who are involved in the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine. We have therefore developed practical training with our partners, Charles Bloe Training (CBT), that will be delivered in virtual online sessions.

This training ‘tops up’ and complements a pharmacy’s essential eLearning, as recommended by the government, (and practical training, if relevant) so that they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to fulfil their role in the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The sessions may be suitable for any pharmacist, healthcare professionals and unregistered support workers involved in supporting the roll-out.
Following this training pharmacy staff must self-assess their competence and knowledge and seek additional training if necessary.
For further information go to:

Surplus DHSC flu vaccines 2020/21
Pharmacies accessing the DHSC centrally supplied flu vaccines are reminded any surplus vaccines cannot be returned. If pharmacies think they may have excessive stock remaining they should contact their NHSE&I regional team, primary care network or commissioners to establish if they are able to redistribute the vaccines elsewhere. Pharmacies should ensure they have enough stock to vaccinate any eligible patients who may still come forward.
For further guidance on the NHS flu service for 2021/22 read the NPA guidance on this at

Kickstart Scheme: apply for funding via the NPA
The Kickstart Scheme is a government scheme being introduced in the UK to fund the creation of high quality jobs for young people. It is aimed at those who are on Universal Credit and deemed to be at the highest risk of long-term unemployment.
The NPA is working with Reed, a recruitment company, who are also a gateway organisation for Kickstart. If you are looking to hire 29 or fewer employees, you can apply for funding and candidates with the NPA through Reed as a Kickstart Gateway. You can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021. For further information go to

NPA Board summary

The National Pharmacy Association’s board and committees convened, remotely, on 18-19 January. Below is a report from Chair of the Board, Andrew Lane.

This was the first meeting of the NPA board in the Association’s centenary year. We are proud of the NPA’s achievements over the past 100 years, however our discussions this month were focused on the here and now, including the ever-present challenge of coronavirus. We have been able to
rapidly develop our training offer to help independent pharmacies support the expanding covid vaccination programme, whilst also generating positive publicity for pharmacy’s role in fighting the virus.
The board remains deeply concerned about the impact of covid-19 on our members’ finances. We are determined to keep up the political pressure for fair funding, which has to include making good on commitments to meet the additional costs associated with coronavirus. This is ultimately about patient care but it is also a matter of fair pay for work done, and we will be articulating this powerfully over the coming weeks.
We received a presentation from NHS England’s Director of Systems Transformation, Roger Davidson. Roger aims to develop strong Integrated Care Systems across England. He argued that covid-19 has highlighted the case for collaboration and partnership work locally and indeed at all
levels of the health and social care system.
He also advocates pushing decisions and resources as close as possible to patients, who are the ultimate centre of all our efforts. We emphasised that community pharmacy should be appropriately represented in all emerging leadership and accountability arrangements. For the public to get
the maximum benefit from community pharmacy, the sector needs to be embedded in decision making – both having visibility and being visible.
As usual, we received reports from our managers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Colleagues in NI are keeping a close eye on the potential impact of Brexit on the smooth supply of medicines, in particular niche lines.
Other topics for the board this month included hub and spoke dispensing, pharmacy supervision and workforce, plus our ongoing support for the All Party Pharmacy Group and other advocacy activity, inside and outside parliament.

COVID-19 testing: new GPhC guidance removes pharmacy anomaly

The General Pharmaceutical Council says it will allow pharmacies to provide Covid-19 tests in certain circumstances, in a move welcomed by the National Pharmacy Association.

In an open letter dated 15 February, GPhC states that the regulator is no longer barring community pharmacies from providing point of care or near-person antibody tests. Instead, they expect any pharmacy owner or pharmacy professional to “carefully consider” Public Health England guidance and other relevant guidance when deciding whether it is appropriate to offer this type of test, or other type of Covid-19 test.

NPA Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “We are delighted that the GPhC has joined Public Health England in updating guidance on COVID-19 testing, following repeated representations by the NPA.

“Community pharmacies are no longer explicitly prohibited from providing COVID tests, which was a clear anomaly in the initial position. We believe our persistence helped bring about this levelling of the playing field in relation to testing, as well as a big dollop of common sense. We are
now examining the detail of this modified guidance – PHE and GPhC – so that the full implications can be properly understood.”

GPhC’s updated position also emphasises that any pharmacy offering COVID-19 tests must carry out a full risk assessment and check whether they need to be accredited with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. NPA support to help its members with test kit sales and testing services will be available soon.

Disclosure Scotland Guidance for medicine delivery drivers

To support the COVID-19 community pharmacy NHS medicine delivery service, many pharmacies in Scotland are reviewing their pharmacy delivery services, or considering how to start medicine deliveries.
The NPA has recently published a new prescription delivery poster, an SOP for the COVID-19 medicine delivery service, and are responding to queries on how to use the Pro Delivery manager (PDM) system to support the service implementation...

The service level agreement for the new COVID-19 service stipulates that the pharmacy team member, even if temporary, requires a valid Basic or Standard Disclosure certificate. A basic Disclosure Scotland check includes information on any “unspent convictions” pertaining to the person.
Until the 25th March 2021, coronavirus response workers do not have to pay for Disclosure checks and their applications are treated with priority. To be considered a coronavirus response worker, the person must only need a disclosure because of their coronavirus work and their role must only exist in response to coronavirus such as the operation of the COVID-19 delivery service.

• A coronavirus response worker can apply
for free Basic Disclosure here: www.
• A normal Basic disclosure is £25, applied
for here:
• If you are considering volunteer delivery
drivers please see NPA guidance here:

In line with new education and training requirements for pharmacy support staff announced by the GPhC in 2019, staff recruited by a pharmacy to deliver medicines from 1st October, 2020 must enrol onto a GPhC accredited training course as soon as is practical and within three months of commencing their role.
Some drivers may already have a valid Disclosure Scotland certificate, or indeed an enhanced Disclosure Scotland certificate as required by the specification of requirements for the community pharmacy stoma service. The Dispensing and Supply of stoma appliances to patients in the
community NHS Scotland service, stipulates that drivers delivering stoma products to a patients home should have an enhanced
Disclosure Scotland certificate. Enhanced Disclosures cost £25 and must be applied for by a registered body or through an umbrella body.
If you have any queries on the COVID-19 Community Pharmacy NHS medicine delivery service please contact

Pharmacy Stories
NPA members tell us about their life and times in community pharmacy, as part of the Association’s centenary celebrations. This time: Wicker Pharmacy...

Being known as the pharmacy that has been open every day for almost 70 years is a big reputation but the award-winning Wicker Pharmacy staff take it in their stride.
The famous Sheffield pharmacy was established on 21 January 1952 and has been open every day ever since. The company was formed in 1951 (as Associated Chemists Ltd) to provide the people of Sheffield with an extended hours pharmacy service.
The pharmacy continues to be owned mostly by Sheffield pharmacists, but in 2012 ownership of part of the company was transferred to the staff via an employee ownership trust model. This means that over 75% of the business is owned by current or past employees, creating a deep connection and passion between the pharmacy, its staff, and most importantly, its community.
The company’s Chairman and Director of Wicker Pharmacy, Martin Bennett, joined the pharmacy in 1973, soon after becoming a pharmacist himself.
Martin, who was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to pharmacy, says the employee ownership model encourages staff to become more involved in “their” pharmacy.
“We’ve always been a very open company and staff were always involved in decision making. The employee ownership scheme is to everyone’s benefit, so we do everything we can to make the pharmacy work.”
The pharmacy has 50 staff and expanded the premises which now covers numbers 55-67 in its street. Martin says there are some logistical challenges to be open every day, but their “dedicated” staff make it happen.
“There are many occasions that staff have come in to fill in for another colleague. We’ve had a lot of dedicated staff including colleagues who have been here for a very long time, so they’ve kept it going.”
Wicker Pharmacy have been NPA members for nearly 70 years and Martin, who has had a spell as an NPA board member, knows full well the benefits he gets for “being part of the club”.
“Back then it was almost inconceivable not to be an NPA member. You couldn’t run the pharmacy as an independent without being a member.”
Martin says that this still remains the case today as the NPA provides “indemnity cover, expertise, a link to the sector, and feeling of being part of the club”
“You know that the NPA is looking after your interests as far as it possibly could,” he adds.
When Sheffield experienced a major flood in 2007, Martin felt the help they got from NPA Insurance was invaluable.
“They managed to sort it out and we got compensation early on. We were underwater and staff had to be rescued by boats but we were open by 9am the following day! We had a generator ready to keep things going, and our staff were magnificent arriving early to help clear the mess.
“With other insurers you feel they’re looking after their own interests, but the NPA always looks at your side of the problem, without looking at how they can minimise the payment.”
When Martin had his two spells as an NPA board member in the 90s and the early 2000s, he says he was surprised to see the amount of NPA work that goes on behind the scenes.
“I was amazed at all the things that happen that you’d never hear anything about as a member. Representation to government and policymakers in Europe, feeding into official consultations process and changing things before they ever became public. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes and I think some members perhaps don’t know this.”
In Martin’s office there is a picture of the original Wicker Pharmacy and how it looked before he joined nearly 50 years ago.
“It was just one little shop unit,” says Martin. “The whole of the dispensary had liquid and powders and one little cupboard that contained tablets and capsules. Everything was made from scratch. My first job in the morning was making stock mixtures and that took up quite a lot of time. We didn’t have typewriter or a calculator. It was a different time.”
As the pharmacy and technological landscape changed over the years Wicker Pharmacy made sure it adapted and was at the forefront.

“We introduced typewriters and then had mechanised shelving units. We were one of the very first pharmacies to get a labelling machine.
“Now we have two robots, 11 terminals, 11 workstations - everything’s up to date. It’s still got to go further and be more integrated with the rest of the NHS but we’ll soon get there.”
Want to tell your own story, as part of the NPA’s centenary celebrations? Contact

Data tool for NPA members

The ‘My Pharmacy Insights’ service has been rolled out to all NPA members. In partnership with data company Real World Analytics (RWA), the tool gives members the ability to gauge their own pharmacy’s performance, compare it to other pharmacies (and against the national picture), to make better business decisions as a result.

How it works
Reports distil individual pharmacy performance onto an easy-to-view single page PDF, giving pharmacists immediate insight that allows them to compare themselves against a range of metrics.
While not all of the datasets distilled by RWA are updated monthly, a My Pharmacy Insights report will still be emailed each month, updated with the most recent available information.
Adele Curran, Chief Customer Officer at RWA, says: “When we started this project, it was a huge undertaking. But we needed to make sure all the systems behind it worked. “The pilot partly tested user engagement, but was also to test that we could cope with projected send-out volumes.”
Adele adds that each email has an opt-out function. She says: “I’m delighted to report that not a single pharmacy has decided to opt-out of receiving this very valuable information.”

Supplementary data

While the base report is free, a supplementary data service includes more detailed analysis on other local pharmacies, GP practices and services. This costs £60 annually. Simon Tebbutt, NPA Head of Member Relationships, says: “Our successful pilot to 500 pharmacies in September has given us the confidence to proceed with a full roll-out."
He added: “The supplementary data provides extra clarity around key performance indicators. Its data increases individual members’ knowledge and equips them to make better decisions about their business.”

Discharge Medicines Service (DMS)

All NHS community pharmacy contractors in England are required to provide a new Essential Service – the Discharge Medicines Service (DMS), which started on 15 February.
The service will allow referrals to be sent from NHS Trusts to community pharmacies. Full details on the service can be found in the DMS section (Chapter 8) of the NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) guidance.

It is a requirement for pharmacy contractors to meet the below criteria as a prerequisite, in order to provide DMS, as stipulated in the NHSE&I guidance:

• Staff training
• Premises requirements

Pharmacy contractors are eligible for a £400 set-up fee and all pharmacies that are on the NHS pharmaceutical list on 1 February 2021 will automatically receive this on 1 April 2021; this will be itemised in the Schedule of Payments. A fee is also payable for each stage of the service. Every month, DMS claims will need to be submitted via the NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS) portal.

Key points/actions to take
• The NHS DMS is an Essential Service; all pharmacy contractors in England with an NHS contract must provide it
• Pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians, including locums, should read the NHSE&I guidance and the NHS DMS Toolkit
• Read the NPA DMS Overview and NPA DMS Checklist to support pharmacy teams in preparing for the service – both can be accessed from the NPA dedicated DMS webpage here -
• All staff involved in the provision of DMS are to be trained depending on their role in the pharmacy – please refer to the NPA DMS Checklist
• A SOP must be in place outlining the process for the provision of the service – a template DMS SOP has been developed by the NPA to support members in implementing this service which can be accessed from the NPA dedicated DMS webpage
• Discuss with your Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) or regional NHSE&I teams to find out:
• Which trusts are providing referrals and those which are going to be doing so in the future
• The electronic referral platforms that are currently being used by Trusts that are providing referrals
• From 15 February 2021, when DMS becomes an Essential Service, to 31 March 2021, when Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) are decommissioned, the MUR target groups will change
• Pharmacy teams should ensure that 70% of remaining MURs conducted after 15 February 2021 are targeted at patients taking high-risk medicines only

NPA Support
The NPA has produced a DMS Overview and DMS Checklist to support pharmacy teams in preparing for the service. A template DMS SOP is also available; pharmacies are required to tailor this to their pharmacy business. A dedicated NPA DMS webpage gives access to these resources, including other important information. Go to

History and Future – NPA centenary
This year marks the NPA’s 100th birthday. As well as commemorating the past, we will also be 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. Please email your thoughts to

NPA Core Beliefs in brief.
Are these 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.

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