NPA Essential: September 2022
This month's key notes...
Expansion of the flu and Covid-19 vaccination programmes
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced that adults aged 50-64 years old will be eligible for the flu vaccination and Covid-19 booster vaccination under the upcoming autumn and winter vaccination programmes. This is a reversal in the Government’s previous decision not to include individuals in this age group and aims to increase protection against respiratory viruses ahead of the winter season. NHS England & Improvement (NHSE&I) has subsequently issued a letter to outline the next steps for the vaccination programme expansion (see https://tinyurl.com/23tu9973).
Further information has also been published on the reimbursable vaccines and eligible cohorts for this year’s flu vaccination programme (see https://tinyurl.com/5cxvf9sm). A full superintendent’s update covering the Covid-19 booster vaccine (autumn booster) update, expressions of interest to support the future design of Covid and other vaccination deployment models, and the flu vaccination service 2022/23 update are available on the NPA website at https://tinyurl.com/y2a2d692
ALSO THIS MONTH
NPA New Medicine Service pack
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 manage 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 or 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 as a complete resource or as individual resources.
For more details go to https://www.npa. co.uk/services/the-new-medicine-service-nms/
Pharmacy placements for students in England
Universities which teach pharmacy will want to provide local placements in community pharmacies for students. If you would like to offer clinical placements and would be happy to have a pharmacy student work in your premises, fill in the form which can be found at https://www.npa.co.uk/undergraduate-recruitment
The NPA will then share your details with the universities. Please note: if you are based in the south and have already filled in a form for Portsmouth university placements there is no need to do this.
New updated NPA malaria chart now available
The NPA malaria prophylaxis information leaflet has been updated and is available to download from the travel health section of the NPA website. There have been no major changes made to the malaria prophylaxis recommendations from the previous leaflet; however, minor changes to the wording have been made to aid clarification. The updated chart can be found at https://tinyurl.com/2p82c5hh
NPA co-hosts Future of Pharmacy event in Parliament
The National Pharmacy Association has co-hosted a Future of Pharmacy event in Westminster to highlight the significant contribution made by pharmacies to the health of the nation and their potential to do more to address ongoing healthcare challenges.
At the same time a delegation of pharmacy representatives handed a letter to the Prime Minister warning of possible closures if pharmacies are not given the necessary support and resources.
Fifty-three Parliamentarians attended the event, which took place on 5 July in the Palace of Westminster. They heard directly from frontline pharmacists and representatives of pharmacy bodies about the potential for community pharmacies to help the NHS address current challenges such as healthcare backlogs and waiting lists in primary care.
Pharmacists are highly trusted, medically trained professionals sat at the heart of their communities. They should be better utilised to ease pressure on GP surgeries, urgent care centres and A&E departments, MPs were told. However, recent figures from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), for example, show that 639 local pharmacies have been lost in England since 2016.
Parliamentarians attending the event were warned about the threat of pharmacy closures and urged to push for support for the sector so as to prevent the loss of such a valuable healthcare resource. Following the event, a letter calling for support for pharmacies was handed into the Prime Minister by a delegation representing pharmacy teams.
The letter had been signed by 24 Parliamentarians. The event and letter were organised by the NPA, the Company Chemists’ Association, Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the PSNC, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Nick Kaye, vice-chair of the NPA, said: “Chronic underfunding has resulted in hundreds of pharmacy closures and MPs from all parties are clearly saying this can’t go on. “Closures mean less capacity at a time when healthcare needs are growing, the NHS is under pressure. Community based provision needs to step up, not shrink.
"There are many more pharmacies holding back investment in staff premises and services, as they struggle to make ends meet. Without sustained investment, community pharmacies like mine will be unable to play their full part in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic, and an historic opportunity for transforming primary care will be lost.”
New leadership training
The NPA has recently launched its leadership training programme. This training is different to the HLP Leadership training that has been available to members in England for some time. It focuses on enhancing leadership behaviours through examples of thought-provoking models and theories and is suitable for pharmacy teams across the UK.
Developing leadership behaviours is a crucial component for pharmacy professionals, so that they can contribute to the effective running and future focuses of their pharmacy. The training is suitable for anyone with management or supervisory responsibilities, as it will enhance their skills, enabling them to work as an effectiv leader and collaborate with their teams. It is particularly beneficial to newly qualifie pharmacists who need an introduction to strengthening their role as an evolving leader.
The leadership training is delivered as a webinar. A workbook will be provided with activities to complete. Participants will undertake a multiple-choice assessment at the end of the training. The webinar will cover:
• Understanding what good leadership is, why it is important, and how it benefits the pharmacy
• Understanding the responsibilities of a leader
• Learning how you can maximise on your team members’ skills and improve services
• Looking at leadership theories, models and styles
• Learning how to create a supportive environment and mentor team members
• Communication skills and how to give feedback.
Participants will receive an e-Certificat at the end of the training, which can count towards continuing professional development (CPD). The NPA member price is £60 ex VAT. More details can be found at: http://www.npa.co.uk/training/training-a-z/npa-leadership-training
Vaccination training and PGDs
Face-to-face vaccination training: The practical sessions delivered by our partner, ECG Training, sold out in July and August, but they will continue to run sessions on Sundays around the UK during September. Pricing is unchanged from 2021 and includes the Flu eTool. Pharmacists can see the locations and dates available when selecting the relevant course on the ECG website at: https://ecgtraining.co.uk/npa/
Refresher flu training: For those pharmacists who do not need to undertake practical face-to-face training for this year’s flu season, we offer online refresher training which includes the Flu eTool within the preferential member price (unchanged from 2021). To find out more, visit: https://www.npa.co.uk/pgd
Local Market Insight: Benchmark your pharmacy within your locality and see how you compete
Local Market Insight (LMI) is a well-established service available at a minimal – and significantly discounted - rate to NPA members.
LMI lets you see how your local marketplace is performing and how you compare within your area, providing you with the crucial insight to make decisions, about where you could focus and drive further improvements across delivery of your key services and by doing so grow your market share.
By subscribing to this service through the NPA, you will receive easy to read and clear reports direct to your inbox monthly (Scotland quarterly) - and all this for just an annual fee of £10. England subscribers will also receive a Weekly Nominations Report which summarises total and weekly variations across the latest 11 weeks of the data for your postcode area.
This additional report enables you to review changes almost as they are happening, and this is supplied at no extra cost to subscribers. We are actively seeking further data we can include for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland subscribers.
Sign up to Local Market Insight
NPA members can subscribe at https://tinyurl.com/mubmvn47
Non-NPA members can enquire at: https://tinyurl.com/mr3pav5t
Launch of the updated NPA Serious Shortage Protocol SOP template and decision-making flowchart
We are pleased to launch an updated SOP template for serious shortage protocols (SSP) and a decision-making flowchart to support you with dispensing according to SSPs.
- To access the SSP SOP template, visit: https://www.npa.co.uk/services/sops
- The decision-making flowchart can be accessed at: https://www.npa.co.uk/information-and-guidance/ssp-flowchart Guidance on the SSPs issued for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is available in the Superintendent Update, which was published earlier this year. Go to: https://www.npa.co.uk/ information-and-guidance/ssps-issued-for-hrt-medicines/
Key points for pharmacy teams:
• Please note the SOPs are templates and should be adapted to individual pharmacy processes
• A declaration page has been added at the end of the SOP, which should be completed by each member of the pharmacy team involved in the process
• It is advisable for SOPs to be reviewed by the pharmacist at regular intervals and where appropriate after a dispensing incident
Links to further reading can be found on the NPA website at: https://tinyurl.com/3ee7xreb
Safety review on topiramate
The MHRA has launched a safety review of topiramate to assess all relevant data following the publication of an observational study suggesting an increased risk of neurological disabilities in children exposed to topiramate during pregnancy.
It is already associated with an increased risk of congenital malformations and effecting foetal growth if used in pregnancy. MHRA has provided advice for healthcare professionals and patients – pharmacists are reminded to continue advising patients of the known risks and patients are advised not to stop taking it without discussing it first with their doctor. For full details on the scope of the review and the current advice please go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ safety-review-to-begin-on-topiramate
New account identifier document for submission of paper prescriptions
From August 2022 (for July 2022 prescriptions), pharmacy contractors are no longer required to submit a paper copy of their FP34C with their paper prescription bundle. Each month, NHSBSA will send an account identifie document, along with the red separators and pharmacy address labels, by post and this must be submitted along with the paper prescriptions bundle for payment.
The account identifier document can be completed before the Manage Your Service (MYS) submission so the bundle may be sent in advance and EPS claims can be submitted until the 5th of the following month and included in the MYS portal monthly submission. The account identifier document may also be downloaded from the MYS portal if it is misplaced or lost.
NPA commissions cost of doing business study, as inflation hits modern record
The NPA has commissioned Professor David Taylor of University College London to investigate the implications of record high inflation rates for community pharmacy. Professor Taylor will:
• assess rates of inflation affectin community pharmacy across the UK, using public data sources
• examine inflated costs in the context of the current five-year contractual framework in England (2019-2024)
• review the Ernst & Young report into pharmacy funding, to identify whether current inflationary pressures could change any of the finding
• consider the policy implications and impacts of inflationary pressures, including pharmacy’s ability to prepare for a more clinically focused future and maintain current core services.
NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “Inflationary pressures are eating into the limited funds provided by the NHS for pharmacy services. We believe the real level of inflation for pharmacy businesses could be higher than the CPI inflation rate, which itself is at a 40-year high. Staff and locum costs in the sector as well as medicines costs have risen dramatically. “Everyone accepts there is a cost of living crisis; it’s time for government and NHS to acknowledge that our members are facing a ‘cost of doing business’ crisis. We believe that is standing in the way of service improvements and our ability to engage with a clinical future.
“By asking a distinguished academic to test our assumptions, we will have credible independent data to present to commissioners and pharmacy negotiators across the UK. Naturally we want this to lead to fair and realistic financial settlements for NPA members right across the UK.”
Work has started on the report, which is due for publication this autumn.
Ask Your Pharmacist Week 2022 - dates announced
The next Ask Your Pharmacist Week will run from 31 October to 7 November, the National Pharmacy Association has announced. AYP Week, held every year across the UK, aims both to raise awareness of pharmacy services and to prompt conversations with key stakeholders at a local level about community pharmacy’s role and benefits.
Activities in previous years have ranged from public exhibitions and window posters to social media campaigns, projects with patient groups and visits to pharmacies from local dignitaries and politicians. NPA head of communications, Stephen Fishwick, said: “AYP Week is an important fixture in the pharmacy calendar, as it creates a space for focused public awareness activities to help customers, patients and stakeholders understand more fully the community pharmacy offer “We want people to be more aware of long-standing and new NHS services plus the skills and expertise on offer in pharmacies across the UK. AYP also aims to cultivate a richer dialogue with key stakeholders, which in England now includes leaders in integrated care systems.”
More details will be published soon. Meanwhile, any NPA member or pharmacy stakeholders wishing to get involved should contact the NPA’s head of communications, Stephen Fishwick, at email@example.com
Chief pharmaceutical offic pledges ‘wholehearted support’ for community pharmacy
England’s new chief pharmaceutical officer (CPhO), David Webb, attended the board of the National Pharmacy Association in June and promised his “wholehearted support” for the community pharmacy sector. NPA chair, Andrew Lane, declared afterwards that “David is someone we can do business with”.
The CPhO listed his priorities as head of profession, as:
• Independent prescribing as part of pharmacy practice by 2026
• Inclusive pharmacy practice
• Assurance of post-registration practice
• Developing the role of pharmacy technicians
• Support for integrated care systems and primary care network pharmacy teams (including community pharmacy) and medicines optimisation
• Strengthening pharmacy professional leadership.
He also reported that NHS England has recently increased its team of regional pharmacy integration leads from seven to 14, creating seven new senior posts.
Mr Lane said: “This is the first visit of a chief pharmaceutical officer for England to an NPA board meeting for many years, and it was a very warm and constructive exchange. David certainly appears to be someone we can do business with. We take him at his word that he wants to go on a journey with us into a sustainable, clinical future.”
Launch of Medicines Adherence Service in Northern Ireland
The new Medicines Adherence Service in Northern Ireland was launched in July. It will help to ensure that people at high risk of harm from poor adherence to their medication will receive tailored support to assist them to take their medicines on time and as prescribed.
This is a core service to be provided by all pharmacies so there is no need to submit a contract to SPPG. The NPA has prepared an SOP to assist in the delivery of the service. For more information visit: https://www. npa.co.uk/services-and-support/nhs services- northern-ireland/
Primary care electronic prescription service for Wales
A Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio (DMTP) has been established by the Welsh Government to transform the way medicines are prescribed, administered and dispensed across Wales. It will also modernise the way medicines information is stored, shared and viewed.
This includes introducing electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP) in primary care, electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) in secondary care, a shared medicines record and medicines-related functionality such as ordering repeat prescriptions, pharmacy nomination and viewing the medication record in the new NHS Wales app.
For more information please email PC.EPS@wales.nhs.uk