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NPA Essential: November 2022

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NPA Essential: November 2022

All the news this month from the National Pharmacy Association...

Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey 2022 - mandatory

A change in regulations now requires pharmacy contractors in England to complete the annual workforce survey which will close on Wednesday 30th November.

This new requirement recognises the importance of collecting consistent, accurate data on the size and shape of the workforce to inform future investment in education and training, and effective workforce planning across all sectors of pharmacy both nationally and in integrated care boards.

It is led by Health Education England (HEE), working with NHS England (NHSE). The survey is being delivered with research and evaluation specialists, ICF. The survey follows the same format as the 2021 Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey:

• Pharmacy contractors will be contacted via email from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to prompt them to complete the survey online.

• Pharmacy multiples will be able to submit data through their head offices. ICF will collect the data on behalf of HEE, in accordance with information governance policy. Once collected, results will be anonymised and aggregated at integrated care board level by HEE. Contractors who do not return the survey will receive reminder emails from NHSBSA encouraging them to complete it before the closing date. The anonymised and aggregated data set will be published on data.gov.uk in early 2023.

For further information go to the HEE website: bit.ly/3V985D8

ALSO THIS MONTH

GPhC-accredited accuracy checking for dispensers course

The NPA has released its accredited accuracy checking for dispensers course. This means that the course is accredited to the standards approved by the GPhC for accuracy checking. On successful completion, the award of the course certificate means that dispensers can check the final accuracy of dispensed products, allowing their pharmacist more time to conduct clinical services and support patients.

Read more and view the introductory video: bit.ly/3VkEl6J

Changes to notice periods for supplementary hours

Following Year 4 negotiations on the community pharmacy contract, the DHSC and NHS England have agreed to a reduction of the notice period required for changes to supplementary opening hours. The changes are effective from October 2022. The amendments introduced are:

• If the pharmacy contractor intends to increase the supplementary opening hours at the pharmacy, no notice period is required but notification of the change must still be given to NHS England.

• If the pharmacy contractor intends to decrease the supplementary opening hours at the pharmacy, the contractor must give at least five weeks’ notice to NHS England. Pharmacies can modify their supplementary hours without the approval of NHS England, provided that sufficient notification has been given. Any changes to the opening hours should be updated on the pharmacy’s NHS website and Directory of Services (DoS) profiles using the NHS Profile Manager tool.

For further information go to: bit.ly/3yty2Uh

Pharmacies at risk: take action

A new NPA-commissioned report, Protecting the UK Public Interests in NHS Community Pharmacy, warns that thousands of pharmacies could be forced to close unless there is a swift financial intervention by the Government and NHS England.

The authors, Professors David Taylor of University College London and Panos Kanavos from the London School of Economics and Political Science, describe this an emergency caused by rising costs coupled with ‘flat’ NHS pharmacy funding.

They warn: “The cumulative impacts of inflation could well mean that several thousand pharmacies will soon be forced to close. An ‘over-the-cliff’ drop in pharmacy numbers would disrupt NHS medicines supply and damage prospects for extended clinical services in the community setting.”

A network-wide collapse would also increase health inequalities and slow the provision of enhanced clinical care from community pharmacies, the report predicts.“Were the existence of an emergency to be recognised” and the contract sum to be effectively increased by £250 million in 2023, this would still represent no more than 1.8 per cent of total English health spending in 2023, the authors calculate.

Funding cuts combined with inflation mean the value of the pharmacy contract with the NHS in England has shrunk by a quarter since 2015. It currently stands at £2,592 million. In England, community pharmacy now accounts for a lower percentage of total health spending than at any point since 1948.

NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “Inflationary pressures are depleting the already limited funds provided by the NHS for pharmacy services. Our members are facing a cost-of-doing-business crisis that is standing in the way of service improvements and ultimately threatens pharmacy closures on a disastrous scale.

"By asking two distinguished academics to examine the extent of this emergency, we now have independently-compiled data that we hope will underpin realistic financial settlements for pharmacies that sustain vital health services.”

Meanwhile, an NPA-commissioned opinion poll revealed that 60 per cent of people would have to visit their GP more frequently if their local pharmacy closed. Just under half (47 per cent) admitted that closures would reduce their quality of life, and 85 per cent would support more investment in pharmacies if it improved access to NHS services.

The survey was carried out at the end of August. Take action now. You can help by:

1.Writing to your local MP

2.Writing to your local newspapers

3.Using social media to spread the message that more investment is needed to secure vital health services (#pharmaciesatrisk).The NPA has created resources to help you take action – go to: bit.ly/3EyFjGjt

NPA bursary funds breakthrough research into medicines adherence

The NPA’s Health Education Foundation (HEF) has helped fund a major study into medicine adherence, which has been published in the prestigious British Medical Journal Open.

Dr Joshua Wells, a fourth year PhD candidate at Kingston University, who was awarded the NPA bursary, was the lead researcher for the SPUR UK study, under the guidance of Professor Reem Kayyali.The aim of the study was to test the SPUR tool and evaluate how effective it was at measuring adherence.

Created by Observia, a health research group, SPUR is a self-assessment questionnaire which helps to detect a patient’s risk of medicine non-adherence and aims to accurately articulate the reasons for health behaviour.As well as funding from HEF, the study was made possible via a partnership with Kingston University and Kingston Hospital.

HEF chair of trustees, Dr Ian Cubbin, said: “We are delighted that NPA’s Health Education Foundation has played a part in such an important study. This research could lead ultimately to a far more personalised, tailored approach to medicines optimisation – recognising that people’s medicines behaviour can be highly individual to them.”

The NPA’s HEF was established in 1989 to advance public education in the prevention and proper treatment of disease and ill-health. HEF has been successfully supporting community pharmacy practice research for 13 years. The annual bursary aims to encourage pharmacists to undertake research in this area.

For further information about HEF go to: bit.ly/3MiYxBw

The BMJO article can be found at: bit.ly/3CjgM5j

NPA New Medicine Service (NMS) hub

The NPA has created a new all-in-one resource to help deliver the New Medicine Service. The newly launched NPA NMS Pack is an all-in-one resource pack to assist members in delivering the NMS to patients.

The NPA recognises that the NMS remains a highly valued service offered by pharmacy contractors to patients in the community. Individuals are able to get the best advice on their newly prescribed medicine and help with managing their long term condition.

The pack contains:

• Service overview• New style standard operating procedure (SOP)

Lifestyle advice crib sheet to help encourage patients on health choices

• Crib sheets for all 16 eligible conditions to assist pharmacy teams in counselling patients on their new/existing long term condition

• Self-care and signposting directory for telephone advice lines and support for patients

• Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The pack can be downloaded from the NPA website at: bit.ly/3T8LIMI

NHS profile manager

NHSX and NHS Digital launched the NHS Profile Manager, to replace the two information updaters used by pharmacy contractors: NHS website profile editor and Directory of Services (DoS) profile updater.

It is anticipated that, by preventing pharmacy contractors and their teams from having to input the same information onto two different platforms, the tool will save contractors time, improve the accuracy and consistency of data. It will also improve the quality of information given to NHS 111 and NHS Service Finder.

Contractors can use the tool to update service information, including opening times and contact details, once every financial quarter, in line with the pharmacy’s contractual duty.

The new NHS Profile Manager tool requires contractors and their teams to log in using the pharmacy’s NHSmail email account in order to improve information security. During November and December last year, NHS Digital contacted NHS website profile editors who did not have an NHSmail email address recorded in their profile editor account and explained how they could update their log in details to include an NHSmail address.

Key points for pharmacy teams:

• Pharmacy teams should register for the new NHS Profile Manager with their personal NHSmail address, if not already done so

• Pharmacy contractors who do not yet have a personal NHSmail email address linked to the pharmacy shared NHSmail box can set one up following NHSmail-NHS Digital guidance

• Pharmacy contractors should use the new tool to make changes to their DoS or NHS website pharmacy profiles as required by NHS Terms of Service

• NHS Digital has launched a range of video tutorials, available via YouTube, to support pharmacy teams using this digital tool

• The new tool will include application programming interface (API) compatibility to allow the continuation of mass-updating for larger pharmacy organisations. However, there may be some changes to this process

• Note that distance selling pharmacies (DSP’s) cannot use the NHS Profile Manager at present. They can contact DoS leads when changes to their profiles are required

• Additional profile settings such as facilities and services will also be available in due course. NHS England has confirmed that these are not required to be updated while the settings are in development

Contact the Pharmacy Services team for further advice and support:

• Telephone: 01727891800 (Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 1pm)

• Email: pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk

NPA’s weight management hub

The NPA and Novo Nordisk are working collaboratively to support independent community pharmacies in delivering services to help their patients with weight management and obesity.

The Weight management hub contains the information, training materials and support you will need for setting up weight management and obesity services in your pharmacy.

For more information, visit the NPA’s ‘Getting started’ page and the ‘Setting up your service’ page which gives you all the necessary steps to consider when setting up your service.

If you set up a weight management service you will receive further support from a business development manager at Novo Nordisk. For more information go to: https://bit.ly/3O0exbi

Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway

The Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway aims to support newly qualified pharmacists in experiencing a smooth transition to being an independent practitioner. There are four core elements of the pathway:

Access to the RPS e-Portfolio: Developed to support learners assess their learning needs, develop an action plan, and reflect upon their experiences.

Curriculum: The RPS Post-Registration Foundation Pharmacist Curriculum is designed to support pharmacists grow from meeting the initial standards of education and training through to being confident practitioners who can provide increasingly complex care.

Learning resources: Curated resources have been mapped against the new curriculum domains. This virtual library will support the professional development of newly qualified pharmacists, based on their individual learning needs, and can complement resources available locally. The learning resource library is available online.

Access to supervision: We will support access to supervision for all pharmacists on this pathway. The RPS Post-Registration Foundation Pharmacist Curriculum learning outcomes have been designed to develop prescribing competence. This means that the HEE Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway, using these learning outcomes, helps newly qualified pharmacists to develop the skills and competence they need to prepare for a prescribing course.

Further information about eligibility, timelines, funding and registration can be found on the Newly Qualified Pharmacist pathway webpage: bit.ly/3VeaL2C

End-of-Life Care For All now available for everyone

The End-of-Life Care For All (e-ELCA) e-learning programme is now available for everyone to access. Developed by Health Education England e-learning for healthcare (HEE elfh) in partnership with the Association for Palliative Medicine, the programme features over 170 resources and 30 learning paths for doctors, nursing staff, medical students, healthcare assistants, admin staff, and volunteers, to support individuals who are approaching the end of life and their families. Previously this programme was only accessible on the elfh Hub for individuals with an NHS email address, but wider access means everyone, regardless of their employment status, can access this advice on how best to offer end-of-life care.

To date, there are more than 73,000 active users of the programme and since it launched in 2009, there has been more than 1.2 million sessions launched. Usage of the programme has trebled since the Covid-19 pandemic.Note that the programme covers sensitive topics including death, dying, the different stages of end-of-life and bereavement, which may be distressing to some learners.

For more information and to access the programme, go to: bit.ly/3RQA73I

Ask Your Pharmacist (AYP) week assets

Ask Your Pharmacist Week, the flagship annual awareness-raising campaign organised by the NPA, took place from 31 October to 7 November. You can still use the campaign assets, even after the Week itself has ended.

Pharmacies and pharmacy stakeholders can access a suite of free-of-charge campaign materials on the NPA website at: www.npa.co.uk/ask-your-pharmacist-week-2022

Gambling harm amongst women - advice for frontline staff

GambleAware, an independent charity on a mission to keep people safe from gambling harms, is launching a major public health campaign to raise awareness of women’s experiences and get people talking as a first step to seeking support.

The campaign will also help people spot the early warning signs of harmful gambling and signpost the BeGambleAware website for free support and advice.

What you can do

The road to recovery starts with a conversation. If you think someone you’re supporting is experiencing gambling harm, you can encourage them to speak to a supportive family member or friend. Women can be particularly reluctant to talk about gambling harm due to shame and embarrassment.

They might find one of these conversation starters helpful:

• ‘I started playing this game and it’s really easy to lose track of everything around you. Do you ever feel that?’

• ‘These games really follow me around, the adverts and notifications are everywhere. What do you think I should do about that?’

• ‘I’ve not been feeling like myself lately.’

If you think someone could require more urgent support, you can direct them to the National Gambling Treatment Service helpline, where they can speak to an advisor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number to call is 0808 8020 133 or they can use the live chat function if preferred. They can also begin the referral process for treatment here, too.

For more information go to: BeGambleAware.org

NHS Help Us Help You campaign

NHS England is re-launching the ‘Help Us, Help You’ lung cancer campaign to encourage people with a cough lasting three weeks or more to contact their GP practice.

The campaign targets men and women over the age of 60, as this age group is more at risk of lung cancer, and particularly those from C2DE socio-economic groups as they are often more reluctant to visit their GP. The NHS will also be targeting friends and family members to ensure they are clear on the symptoms and can encourage loved ones to contact their GP practice if they have had a cough lasting three weeks or more.

You can download social media assets and posters to support the campaign. Go to: bit.ly/3ytWvZX

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