National Pharmacy Association (NPA) - News updates

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National Pharmacy Association welcomes second wave of pharmacist-led covid vaccination sites

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) today welcomed the expansion of the vaccine programme, and again claimed that thousands of pharmacies could eventually be involved, to accelerate the roll out. The first six pharmacy sites went live on 14 January, including four independent pharmacies.  Many of this second tranche of sites are also run by independent pharmacists, although some national chains are also bringing sites on stream. Andrew Lane, chair of the National Pharmacy Association, said: “This represents a significant expansion of covid vaccination sites, but pharmacies can ultimately go a lot further to protect the population. England’s network of 11,500 community pharmacies is a formidable asset in our collective response to the covid-19 pandemic. They are collectively capable of protecting millions of people if given the chance. “I believe pharmacists are going to be sprinters and marathon runners in the race to vaccinate the whole adult population by the autumn and then keep people protected into the future.” Olivier Picard, owner of Newdays Pharmacy, is opening a vaccine site in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  He said: “I’m doing this to help kick covid into touch. By offering more choice, in a convenient location, we’ll be making a big contribution locally.  As soon as bookings were enabled through the National Booking System, we quickly became fully subscribed so there’s no doubt that people trust pharmacists to protect them. …

New Scottish COVID-19 – Community Pharmacy : NHS Medicines Delivery Service from 18th January

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced an SG investment of £5million for the new NHS COVID 19 Community Pharmacy NHS Medicine delivery service at her daily briefing on Monday 18th January, stating that although “many pharmacies already offer deliveries”, SG want a “more consistent and comprehensive service” available to “approximately 1.5 million people across Scotland”. The service is available immediately and review of the service in March will inform whether the service will continue for further months.  Details of the service were published in NHS Circular PCA2021(P)01. The prescription medicine delivery service, which is optional for contractors,  will have two elements of funding: an initial one off payment £1460 per contractor with submission of the declaration form included in the circular to Practitioner & Counter Fraud Services. This initial payment is for set up costs of the new service and in recognition that there will be medicine deliveries that will not be accounted for within the service level monthly payment for contractors a monthly payment share based on delivery volume claims made by using the electronic “other” endorsement function, using the codes LDD to denote a delivery more than 10 miles from the pharmacy and SDD for shorter deliveries journeys Patients eligible for the service include: aged 65 and over with an eligible health condition pregnant young and unpaid carers Shielding or self-isolating as SG guidelines Any others whom a pharmacist believes would benefit from the service  Requirements for the service: Completion and submission of the Declaration form Annex B to PCFS COVID compliant prescription medicine delivery Standard Operating Procedure (NPA Scottish SOP will be available shortly) Indemnity Insurance to cover your delivery service (If you have queries regarding your PI contact NPA insurance 01727 858687) Suitably trained staff (The NPA Delivery Medicines Safely and Effectively course is GPhC accredited to upskill pharmacy teams to provide medicine delivery services Compliance with Annex A Service Level Agreement Maintain appropriate records of delivery attempts, including patient details and date of delivery (The ProDelivery Manager system used by many members to manage prescription deliveries can support with the reporting.…

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Temporary VAT zero rating for PPE ended on 31 October 2020 (updated 11/01/21)

The temporary Value Added Tax (VAT) zero rate for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) ended on 31 October 2020. Since 1 November 2020, standard rate of 20% has applied on purchasing such supplies from wholesalers. Action points for pharmacies We would advise pharmacy teams that acquired PPE during 1 May 2020 to 31 October 2020, to check their invoices to ensure that no VAT has been charged for any supplies Pharmacies can now order, for free, personal protective equipment (PPE) they need for their staff to use, to support them working in a COVID-secure manner when delivering NHS pharmacy services – for details, including claiming for PPE purchased, please read the full NPA update Details on the temporary VAT zero rate for PPE applicable for supplies made by 31 October 2020 The VAT zero rate applied to all PPE which were recommended for use by Public Health England (PHE) in its guidance dated 24 April 2020 titled ‘Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)’. The other UK governments, Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland and Health Protection Scotland (HPS), have followed the PHE advice on PPE. Products covered by the temporary VAT zero rate included: Disposable gloves Disposable plastic aprons Disposable fluid-resistant coveralls or gowns Surgical masks – including fluid-resistant (Type IIR) surgical masks (FRSM) Filtering face piece respirators Eye and face protection – including single or reusable full face shield/visors or goggles Please note: non-surgical facemasks and hand sanitisers were not included in the PHE recommendations for PPE and therefore, were not covered by the VAT zero rate.   References and further reading: UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-zero-rating-for-personal-protective-equipment…

New monthly survey of Scottish pharmacy team members who are self-isolating or shielding

During last year, CPS surveyed samples of contractors on the number of days that were being impacted by employed members of their pharmacy teams being required to self-isolate or shield due to the coronavirus pandemic. This information was used to inform CPS funding discussions on the impact of the pandemic on the pharmacy network. CPS will widen this survey to all Scottish contractors in the form of an online survey which will be emailed to all Scottish pharmacy contractors on a monthly basis from January 29th. Information on employed pharmacists and non-pharmacist team members, absent from the workplace due to shielding or self-isolation in each month will be gathered, again for the purpose of informing CPS discussions.…

NHS Scotland ePharmacy Message store and Pharmacy Care Record unavailable

When the ePharmacy system is unavailable to pharmacy teams, electronic messages will not be able to be scanned or received from the ePMS or PCR. Guidance has been published on the Community Pharmacy website which details tasks to complete prior to the weekend and procedures to follow during and after the weekend. The ePharmacy guidance includes: Prior to the weekend: complete Smoking Cessation Minimum Dataset submissions due to expire at the weekend Scan all available prescriptions before 6pm on Friday evening Prepare any Serial Prescriptions (SRx) before 6pm on Friday evening if they are due for dispensing on Saturday or Sunday During the weekend: Continue to scan and send claim electronic messages throughout the weekend Manually enter patient details and items into the PMR Continue to enter Pharmacy First Scotland eligibility checks, and select to continue with the consultation as the PMR prompts On Tuesday-Thursday next week: Check for and re-submit any failed claims, failed MCR registration requests, failed PFS and UCF consultation claims from the weekend If you have any queries, ePharmacy Helpdesk can be contacted on 0131 275 6600 or contact your Health Board Community Pharmacy IM&T Facilitator.  …

Letter to landlord requesting rent-free period

One way for pharmacy owners to try to ease the financial pressure on them during this pandemic is to ask their landlord if they would consider granting them a temporary rent-free period. One of our members has tried this and was offered a three-month rent-free period. If you decide that this approach is right for you, we suggest that you may like to make a number of the following points in the letter: · Independent community pharmacies are under enormous pressure as they step up to keep Britain healthy in the face of coronavirus. The team is putting themselves at risk every day, in a premises where maintaining social distancing is difficult · In the pandemic, especially in lockdowns, there has been a massive rise in patient demand, together with increases in wholesale medicine costs, squeezing margins to zero, or even a deficit to the price of reimbursement by the Government, in many cases · Pharmacies have also incurred significant increases in the costs of staffing, safety and security, and providing free delivery services to the community, as patients and residents self-isolate. We expect these additional costs of doing business to persist throughout the period of the crisis A recent independent study by EY found that pharmacies are under-funded to the tune of £497m – with 72 percent forecast to be loss-making within four years if the current contractual arrangements carry on unchanged.…

COVID-19: IMPORTANT UPDATES and FAQS on COVID-19 antigen testing, COVID-19 vaccinations, and lockdown actions (England)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown for England on 4 January 2021 and instructed the public to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We issued an update earlier this month of key points for our members including key actions to take to ensure safety for pharmacy teams. In this COVID-19 update: Lateral flow antigen testing and FAQs COVID-19 vaccinations and FAQs, including professional indemnity and insurance COVID-19 vaccination – legal mechanisms for administration Stay at home guidance Shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable NHS Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service   1) Lateral flow antigen testing and FAQs On 16 December 2020, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) issued a letter to all primary care contractors, including community pharmacy, with information on how to order lateral flow antigen testing kits for patient-facing staff. Primary Care Services England (PCSE) will be managing the ordering and delivery of the tests. For details, please read the NPA news story on Lateral flow antigen testing for community pharmacy staff. Key FAQs raised by NPA members with the Pharmacy Services team on lateral flow antigen testing (LFT) for community pharmacy staff and self-isolation. FAQ Answer 1) Is it compulsory for pharmacy staff to do the LFT test?…

Lateral flow antigen testing for community pharmacy staff

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) issued a letter to all primary care contractors, including community pharmacy, with information on how to order lateral flow antigen testing kits for patient-facing staff. Primary Care Services England (PCSE) will be managing the ordering and delivery of the tests. Access the letter here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/asymptomatic-staff-testing-for-covid-19-for-primary-care-staff/ Update 15/01/2021: Primary Care Support England (PCSE) has sent out the final emails inviting pharmacies to order lateral flow testing devices for pharmacy staff on 24 December 2020. NHSE&I has stated community pharmacies can log onto their PCSE portal and order the required tests – see below for quantity. Please note: You should log onto the portal as soon as possible to place the order by Sunday 17 January 2021 in order to start receiving deliveries the following week.   Action points for pharmacy teams: Place your orders via the PCSE online portal as soon as possible after receiving the invitation to avoid missing the closing deadline Pharmacy contractors who do not have access to the PCSE online portal should contact the PCSE: https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/contact-us Pharmacy contractors should order one box for each patient-facing staff member who is providing NHS services, including any temporary staff, for example, locums COVID-19 vaccination sites will not be required to order lateral flow testing kits for vaccinator staff because they will receive these automatically; however, they will need to be ordered for other patient-facing staff working at vaccination sites Preparation for the arrival of tests: Tests ordered before 30 December 2021 are expected to arrive in pharmacies by 19 January 2021.…

National Pharmacy Association welcomes first pharmacy COVID jabs and predicts millions more to follow

NPA members in Macclesfield, Widnes and London are among the independent pharmacies to come on stream in this first cohort. NPA chair, Andrew Lane, said: “Community pharmacists are eager to play their part in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, and as trusted health care professionals they will have a key role in achieving widespread uptake. “We are delighted that National Pharmacy Association members – who have been on the health service frontline throughout the pandemic – are joining this great national effort to defeat the virus. “This is a proud moment for community pharmacy and a moment of hope for all. “We look forward to working with the NHS on the further mobilisation of pharmacies, right across the country. “There are thousands of potential local pharmacy sites for vaccinating against COVID, capable of protecting millions of people. “Having been in very constructive talks with the government and the NHS, we are now confident that they understand the role pharmacies can play, which includes increasing uptake of the vaccine among deprived communities and significantly improving access to the vaccine overall.”…

PureGym offer Community Pharmacy Vaccination Centres

Over 270 sites in the UK: 236 in England, 25 in Scotland, 8 in Northern Ireland and 5 in Wales, PurGym sites are large with the majority being between 13k – 20k sqft (approx. 4-5 tennis courts in size). Locations vary from town centres, to retail parks with 200 of the locations having parking provisions. They are all ventilated, heated and well lit. They are well prepared in terms of hygiene and cleanliness having invested significantly in cleaning since re-opening in July. All sites all fully DDA compliant, with lifts for wheel chair access where required. There are male and female changing rooms, a small staff room (fridge / microwave etc) and lockers for staff / volunteers to store their belongings safely. The sites can be available within a matter of days, subject to an on-site review with the relevant party to understand requirements. And PureGym can support in the necessary amendments to space to ensure fit for purpose. Their 3000 operational colleagues who work within the clubs are currently furloughed. They are all first aid qualified. More information is available here or via vaccinationcentres@puregym.com…