FAQs – Covid-19

To help members find answers to common questions on operating in the COVID-19 Pandemic the NPA has put together FAQs which will be updated daily

 

Last updated 30.03.20

INSURANCE & INDEMNITY COVER

Will my NPA insurance cover me if pharmacy is to close?

  • If a policy holder with business interruption insurance receives an enforced instruction to close, our cover will respond. In addition, if the circumstances apply, NPAI will arrange a deep clean to enable policy holders to open their premises and recommence trading as quickly as possible.
  • For more information regarding circumstances for closure please speak to our professional indemnity insurance team.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Will my professional indemnity insurance cover volunteers to deliver medication to the elderly and other patients who are self-isolating and cannot get to the pharmacy or obtain their medication otherwise?

In emergency situations your professional indemnity insurance will cover volunteers to deliver urgent medications. However, if volunteers intend on using their own vehicles they will need to check they are insured for business use or they may not be covered in the result of a road traffic accident. Volunteers should also be asked to view and sign your delivery SOP. Where possible and if available, confidentiality agreements should also be signed and DBA certificates provided.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

What factors would initiate business interruption cover with NPAI?

The Business Interruption section of the Pharmacover policy will only become operative where there has been  “Closure of the whole or part of the premises by order of the relevant Public Authority”

If the policy is currently underwritten by Zurich Insurance, Zurich has confirmed they will accept a claim under the BI section of the policy. They will consider the cost of a deep clean on a case by case basis.

If policy cover is underwritten by NPA Insurance, we will identify and instruct contractors to carry out a deep clean which meets the standards and criteria required by PHE or the appropriate body. This approach is at odds with many of the major insurers in the market who have recently indicated that their Business Interruption policies will not respond to losses arising from a COVID-19 closure.

Applicable to policies underwritten by both NPA Insurance and Zurich

  • All reasonable steps must be taken to minimise the period the premises is closed.
  • Closure of a premises due to sickness/self-isolation/any other staff absence is not covered.

(correct as of 26.03.2020)

Are there any insurance companies that can offer temporary cover for medicine deliveries in private cars?

The Association of British Insurers following guidance from the FCA have advised the following in relation to private cars.

Support for those who use their cars to help their communities.

If you are using your own car for voluntary purposes to transport medicines or groceries to support others who are impacted by COVID-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer to update or extend your cover.

Support to Key Workers

If your work is critical to the national response to Covid-19 and you need to use your own car to drive to different locations for work purposes because of the impact of Covid-19, your cover will not be affected. You do not need to contact your insurer or extend your cover.

These commitments apply to private cars insured on private car insurance policies only. This does not cover use for hire or reward purposes.

(Correct as of 26.03.2020)

Will my professional indemnity insurance cover the pharmacy if other pharmacy staff are seconded to work in the pharmacy?

Yes, your professional indemnity policy will respond in such situations. However, if your staff are seconded to work in non-NPA member pharmacies they will not be covered and will need to ensure they are covered by the other pharmacy’s professional indemnity insurers.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Will my professional indemnity policy cover the pharmacy if we are required to take on retired pharmacists to carry out our employed pharmacists’ roles?

Yes, you professional indemnity policy will respond in such circumstances.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Will my professional indemnity policy cover me for breaking bulk in cases where I am unable to obtain original packs of GSL medications e.g. paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen?

Yes, your professional indemnity policy will cover you for breaking bulk into the equivalent of P packs, that is to say, no more than 32 tablets per pack, with each pack to be labelled in accordance with Pa 2 of Schedule 26 of The Human Medicines Regulations 2012. Guidance on labelling can found on our website and our recent Superintendent updates or by contacting our Pharmacy Services Team.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Will my professional indemnity insurance cover the pharmacy for the sale of products made up by the pharmacy as hand sanitizer replacements, in light of the nationwide hand sanitizer shortage?

No, unfortunately this is not something that will be covered.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Will my professional indemnity insurance cover the pharmacy for the supply/sale of out of date drugs?

No, unfortunately this is not something that will be covered.

(Correct 23.03.2020)

Will my professional indemnity policy cover me if I need to dispense MDS medication outside of an MDS due to staff shortages?

Yes, your professional indemnity policy will cover you in such circumstances.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

VULNERABLE/ AT RISK GROUPS

What advice can we give to pregnant staff members?

  • According to the Guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people pregnant women are advised to carry out social distancing
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired, must be shielded as they are classed as extremely vulnerable. Please see more information below or from Public Health England.
  • The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists state “Pregnant women who can work from home should do so. If you can’t work from home, if you work in a public-facing role that can be modified appropriately to minimise your exposure, this should be considered and discussed with your occupational health team. More detailed advice for pregnant women, including those who cannot work from home, such as healthcare workers, is being developed and will be made available as soon as possible.”
  • Members should contact Ellis Whittam in regards to pay.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

What advice can we give to staff members, including pharmacists and delivery drivers, over 70?

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

What is shielding and how should these people protect themselves?

  • Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus. Those that fall into this group, including those with specific cancers and severe respiratory conditions, must stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a minimum of 12 weeks.
  • Further guidance available from Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland and Public Health Agency NI

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Can I sell paracetamol free of charge to vulnerable adults presenting to the pharmacy for a request?

  • This would be a business decision by the pharmacy. Pharmacies should still follow legislation set out by Human Medicines Regulation 2012 and guidance by the MHRA to limit the maximum amount purchased by one person to 100 tablets.
  • Guidance on who is classed as a vulnerable adult is available on the gov.uk website.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Can an employee who has diabetes (or anyone at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus) choose to carry on working?

According to the Guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people, people with an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus are advised to carry out social distancing. For England, the Covid-19 SOP for community pharmacy states that such staff should not see patients face-to-face.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

STOCK, REPACKAGING AND MEDICINES

Can we repackage a large pack of paracetamol (e.g., of over 100 tablets) into packs of 32 tablets and sell these OTC?

Please see our detailed guidance available from the NPA website

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Should we still be doing MDS/Should we be giving out original packs instead of putting medication into an MDS?

  • Your pharmacy may be struggling to continue to provide medicines to relevant patients in MDS trays. The critical element is that patients continue to receive their medicines as promptly as these extremely difficult circumstances permit, irrespective of whether it can be loaded into an MDS.
  • The Equality Act may potentially be breached, however the pragmatic approach is to ensure that patients receive their medicines rather than forego treatment.
  • The NPA will continue to support pharmacists when exercising their professional judgement when deciding if they can supply via MDS or dispensing medicines in their original packs.
  • Any actions out of your usual procedures made should be recorded, and communicated clearly to the patients, as well as carers and family members as applicable.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Can I limit the amount of purchases on high demand items?

This will be a business decision undertaken by the pharmacy, however the NHS have advised that in general, excess purchasing or stockpiling of medicines can impact adversely on the supply chain and can result in shortages. It remains important therefore for pharmacies not to do this.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Are self-testing kits available for pharmacies to sell?

The current view by PHE is that use of these products is not advised:

  • Some of these products look for the virus while others look for the body’s immune response to the virus. Such tests are very rapid and can work on a range of specimens including serum, plasma or finger-prick whole blood
  • There is little information on the accuracy of the tests, or on how a patient’s antibody response develops or changes during COVID-19 infection. It is not known whether either a positive or negative result is reliable
  • Currently there is no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infection in a “community setting”

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

What is the guidance for decanting hand sanitisers into smaller bottles? Is this allowed?

The NPA’s legal team has advised that member’s Professional Indemnity policy does not cover them for decanting readymade hand sanitisers into smaller packs for sale.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Our pharmacy received a private prescription for patients for hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for treatment COVID-19. Can I dispense the prescription?

Please use the guidance around chloroquine on the NPA website.

(Correct as of 25.03.2020)

PROTECTING AND MANAGING YOUR WORKFORCE

What measures can we take to protect ourselves when people come in other than hygiene measures?

  • Pharmacies can display the relevant COVID-19 posters available on the NPA and Public Health England/ Health Protection Scotland/ Public Health Agency NI websites around their pharmacy.
  • In England, staff are only advised to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if within 2 metres of patients (i.e., only for close patient contact). Pharmacy teams should implement a 2 metre barrier at the pharmacy counter using tape or appropriate means. Some pharmacies are also fitting screens. – further guidance available on the SOP for community pharmacy
  • In Scotland, Health Protection Scotland advise that primary care consultations for acute respiratory infection require PPE.
  • For Northern Ireland, please follow advice on the Health and Social Care Board.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

When do the pharmacy team need to wear personal protective equipment such as face masks?

  • Currently, NHS England recommends that pharmacy staff do not generally need to wear facemasks to protect against the virus. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is only required for close patient contact, within two metres.  Pharmacy staff should be avoiding close patient contact wherever possible.
  • Pharmacies should have been sent a pack of PPE which includes 200 general use aprons, 100 pairs of examination gloves and 50 fluid repellent face masks.  This PPE should only be needed in high-risk situations – such as supporting a person showing symptoms of COVID-19 in an emergency.  Staff should assess any likely exposure and ensure that PPE is worn that provides adequate protection against the risks associated with the task being undertaken.
  • If PPE is required, it is important that it is used and disposed of correctly. Public Health England has produced two posters which provide a quick-reference guide to putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) PPE; a short video illustrating this also available.
  • Further guidance on what to do if you encounter a patient with possible COVID-19 infection can be found in the Community Pharmacy SOP and Public Health England’s COVID-19: interim guidance for primary care.
  • Pharmacies that have not received their supply of PPE, or that require more, should contact the [NHS National Supply Disruption line on 0800 915 9964 or email supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk
  • In Scotland, Health Protection Scotland advise that primary care consultations for acute respiratory infection require PPE.
  • Initial distribution of PPE to all pharmacies in Wales is almost completed.  PPE is however only for decontamination purposes and not employee screening from patients.
  • For Northern Ireland, please follow advice on the Health and Social Care Board.

(Correct as of 25.03.2020)

I have run out of PPE who do I contact to order more? (England)

  • The SOP for community pharmacy states “if a pharmacy has used their full allocation of PPE then they should order further supplies from their wholesaler.” At present this would be a pharmacy incurred expense.
  • In Northern Ireland replenishment arrangements are currently being developed by DoH.

(Correct as of 25.03.2020)

Can I limit the number of people entering my pharmacy at a time?

  • Pharmacies can limit the amount of patients entering the pharmacy and also advise patients to keep a 2 metre distance from others and use a contactless payment method.
  • Further guidance available on the SOP for community pharmacy

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

A patient has attended my pharmacy with suspected coronavirus, what should I do?

A patient who presents with a possible COVID-19 infection should be told to return home immediately, self-isolate and access NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 (NHS24 in Scotland).  Further guidance is available on the SOP for community pharmacy and government website.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

How do we carry out the supervision of methadone for those who are self-isolating?

  • Where the prescription is for a supervisedinstalment then it would only be possible to consider supplying to a third party on the prescriber’s instruction.
  • A record should be made of the conversation in either the PMR or the intervention book, or preferably both. This is because the instruction to supervise consumption is not a legal requirement.
  • A claim for payment to the Primary Care Organisation for supervision of consumption cannot be made on this occasion.
  • Pharmacies in NI should refer to guidance to step down supervision

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

What is the definition of a ‘key worker’ once schools are closed? Will this include community pharmacy staff e.g. technicians and dispensers?

  • Key workers include those who work in health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and national security, transport and utilities, communication and financial services. This also includes children of parents who work in health and social care, which covers pharmacists and their support teams, as well those working in the health and social care supply chain such as producers and distributers of medicines.
  • A detailed list can be found on the government website

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Are pharmacists increasing the rates of pay for locums?

This will be a business decision undertaken by the pharmacy.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

What do we do if the pharmacist needs to self-isolate at short notice?

  • Arrange locum cover – where no locum cover can be secured at the pharmacy, and recognising the potential effects of the current pandemic, it would be in the patient’s best interest for medicines already dispensed to be supplied from the pharmacy rather than not supplied at all, even though this may not be in strict accordance with the law as normally understood.
  • The Responsible Pharmacist needs to be available remotely (i.e., by video call) to supervise the supply
  • Such an approach should only be adopted for a short time period, where other options have been exhausted.
  • Further guidance available on the GPhC website and PSNI website.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

My employee is too sick to attend work because they have contracted the coronavirus, what should I do?

  • Your usual sickness absence policy and procedure applies including sick pay where relevant
  • Absence must be recorded using usual procedure
  • You should also assess the risk that the employee has passed on the virus to colleagues and take appropriate steps – Consider contacting Public Health England (PHE) for further guidance

Please visit https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/elliswhittam for more information

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Your employee is not sick but cannot attend work as they need to take care of a sick relative or because a school has closed

  • Employees are permitted unpaid emergency time off to arrange care for dependants. It is time off to arrange care not to take care so usually limited to 24/48hrs, although this will depend on the circumstances. This is normally unpaid, but check any contractual entitlement to pay
  • If, say, more than 2 days absence is required and/or the reason for being off is to care for the child relative rather than making arrangements for their care, alternative arrangements are needed. The employee could:
  • Take annual leave
  • Consider whether there is any entitlement to parental or other types of leave
  • Work from home if feasible considering job type and caring responsibilities
  • Unpaid leave

Please visit https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/elliswhittam for more information

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Your employee is not sick but refuses to come to work because of risk of infection

  • Speak directly with employee to understand concerns
  • If they are following advice regarding self-isolation as per below, treat as sick leave
  • Employee could be allowed to take annual leave
  • Employee could work from home if feasible
  • Employer could allow unpaid leave
  • Employer also permitted to insist on attendance if concerns unfounded but practically it will be difficult to get the employee to attend work – consideration could be given to whether this is a reasonable management instruction for which a failure to follow could result in disciplinary action, although care should be taken with this.

Please visit https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/elliswhittam for more information.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Your employee is not sick but cannot travel to work due to restrictions on travel or public transport

  • Employee is not presenting as ready willing and able to work, so there is no requirement to pay normal salary
  • Employee could be allowed to take annual leave
  • Employee could work from home if feasible
  • In the absence of annual leave or working from home this would be unpaid leave
  • The situation will change if they are subsequently required to self-isolate or fall ill

Please visit https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/elliswhittam for more information.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Your employee is not sick but has been advised to self-isolate by GP, medical professional or via 111 or is following the advice to self-isolate from Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland or Public Health Wales

  • They will be entitled to treated as sick for SSP purposes
  • Your usual sickness absence policy and procedure applies, which may include payment of contractual sick pay where relevant – check the contractual terms
  • Absence must be recorded using usual procedure

Please visit https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/elliswhittam for more information.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Employee is not sick, but employer requires worker to stay away from work for 2 weeks as a precautionary measure

  • Employer has made the decision not to allow the employee to work so the employee is entitled to full pay UNLESS
    • The employer has the contractual right to lay the employee off without pay in these circumstances
    • The employee is instructed to work from home if feasible
    • The employee agrees to take annual leave
    • Please note that even if the employee does not take agree to take annual leave you can force the employee to take annual leave from day 8 of absence by serving notice to take holidays on the 1st day of absence
  • If the employee falls ill or follows advice to self-isolate, they can be treated as sick

Please visit https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/elliswhittam for more information.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

What are the current rules around SSP?

  • The government announced that the requirement to wait 3 days before receiving SSP would be scrapped
  • As of 11 March 2020, we have no further details in that regard, so this is NOT in force yet and the waiting days are still required. It is believed emergency legislation will be put before Parliament w/c 16.3.20
  • Current rate of SSP is £94.25 per week for anyone earning over £118 per week. That rate will increase to £95.85 from 6 April 2020.

Please visit https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/elliswhittam for more information.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

In relation to the open flexibility hours, do pharmacies need to make their NHS England Area Team/NHSI aware of this?

  • The Covid-19 SOP for community pharmacy, states that;
  • If under significant pressure, at the discretion of the RP, pharmacies may close their doors to the public for up to 2.5 hours a day, including lunch (i.e., 2.5 hours in total)
  • Pharmacies should be open between 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm as a minimum, and 100 hours pharmacies should be open from 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 6pm as a minimum (if these are contracted hours). Pharmacies must put a sign on the door with contact details in case patients require urgent help.
  • Please note this does not mean that the pharmacy only opens during these hours – it should open for its normal contracted hours except it is allowed to shut for 2.5 hours each day, but the 2.5 hours cannot be taken during the essential hours above
  • Any temporary closures over 2.5 hours must be reported to NHSE&I and the NHS 111 DoS profile and NHS website must be updated.
  • For Northern Ireland, please find contact numbers on the Health and Social Care Board

In Scotland Pharmacies can close to the public for one hour in the morning or afternoon, and at lunchtime, and in addition as required. Please check your local NHS Board pharmacy website for details of local contact recommendations, or here.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

How should I submit prescriptions in light of the increased volume of prescriptions presented in light of Covid-19? (England)

  • In the event that you have to close your pharmacy unexpectedly, it is more important than ever that you try to keep on top of your claiming processes. Not doing so could lead to significant cash flow problems.
  • It is recommended that prescriptions are claimed daily, ideally more than once a day. Mark prescriptions as claimed when patients have collected their medication and submit the prescription as soon as possible; send bulk submissions where possible, to help speed up the process.
  • If you haven’t already, then you may find benefit in signing up to Manage Your Service (MYS). MYS portal allows you to complete end of month claims online and can be done so remotely.
  • For Scotland – continue electronic claiming at point of dispensing as usual.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

RE funding: will we have some grace periods and retrospective price concessions if we dispense at a loss? (England)

  • We know that all community pharmacies are experiencing huge pressures at the moment. The PSNC is in discussions with the Department of Health and Social Care regarding a range of issues affecting community pharmacies, including funding.
  • Any changes regarding funding in England will be published on the NPA website and the PSNC website.

Any changes regarding funding in any of the devolved nations will be published on the NPA website.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Am I allowed to employ someone for temporary cover that is not trained to be a medicines counter assistant/dispenser?

  • At the moment, the GPhC still require anyone undertaking dispensing activities/counter activities to be trained in/working towards an accredited qualification – this means anyone who is not enrolled in a training programme cannot dispense/give out dispensed meds/provide advice on P products
  • If you employ someone (either paid or volunteer) without prior training (and you do not plan to enrol them onto a course), you must ensure they undergo thorough training through SOPs – so they can help with:
    • Collecting prescriptions on behalf of those self-isolating/ from surgeries
    • Greeting patients and helping with non-medical queries
    • Informing patients about the pharmacy’s hygiene protocol and managing social distancing in the pharmacy
    • Helping with a robust cleaning protocol (e.g. wiping down services)
  • The NPA are producing a SOP for non-healthcare staff
  • Speak to our NPA Professional Indemnity Insurance team for more advice

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

Should taking in returned medicines from patients cease due to possible COVID-19 contamination?

  • Taking back unwanted medicines from patients is an Essential Service under the NHS English pharmacy contract, and a professional requirement in Northern Ireland and no announcement has yet been made to say that this service no longer needs to be provided.  Community pharmacies should take all practical steps to minimise the risks from taking in returned medicines. These could include:
  • Ensuring that patients remain 2 metres away from pharmacy staff when handing in medicines
  • Ensuring that handling of the medicines is kept to a minimum and that staff wash their hands thoroughly after handling them
  • Wearing gloves when handling the medicines
  • Asking patients to remove dispensing labels from the medicines themselves where possible
  • Asking patients to only return medicines at the moment if they really need to, and to consider waiting until after the pandemic is over
  • If the pharmacy has a safe and secure space to store returned medicines (completely segregated from pharmacy stock and dispensed medicines), leaving the medicines in this space for 72 hours before handling them

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Our pharmacy is small and we are unable to maintain 2 metres distance between staff.

  • If there is a shortage of space in the dispensary, staff should rearrange the dispensary where possible, for example moving non-essential drawers or shelving, to make more space. If there is still a shortage of space, staff should aim to keep a minimum of a 1 metre distance wherever possible, while following rigorous hygiene procedures. These hygiene procedures can include (but are not limited to):
    • regularly cleaning surfaces and equipment in the dispensary and on the counter
    • washing hands regularly and wearing gloves when necessary
  • If any member of staff displays signs of COVID-19, they should be sent home immediately to reduce the risk for others; following PHE guidance
  • For England, please follow guidance from the Covid-19 SOP for community pharmacy,
  • For NI follow joint guidance issued by HSCB and DoH

(correct as of 26.03.2020)

Any guidance on how to deal with abusive patients at this time?

  • Please ensure your staff are aware of the following statement from the GPhC : “We are also hearing increasing numbers of reports that pharmacy staff are experiencing abuse, disorder and even violence at the hands of some of the members of the public they are trying to help.  Abuse of pharmacy staff is never acceptable. Pharmacy is a key part of the national response and its workforce are entitled to be treated with the same respect as other key healthcare professionals. This is an especially challenging time for the pharmacy profession and we condemn any abuse.”
  • The NHS Regulations 2013 (England) permits pharmacy teams to refuse to provide medicines or appliances if they are subjected to, or threatened with, violence by the patient or anyone accompanying the patient.
  • The NPA have created zero tolerance posters, available on the NPA website.

(Correct as of 26.03.2020)

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT (TRAINING COURSES)

My pharmacy is struggling to cope with primary functions. How will the NPA be supporting members with active students?

  • The NPA has agreed with the GPhC and Pearson that coursework can be put on hold so that our members can focus on helping at the front line of the pandemic.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Can I still enrol my student onto courses?

  • You can still enrol your student onto a course but please bear in mind that it may take us a little longer than usual to process your enrolment and for you to receive your paper course in the post/to receive your details for your login for an online course.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Can my student continue working on the course?

  • Yes, your student can continue working on the course. Whilst there may be delays with marking, self-isolation may provide them with time at home to continue their studies.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Will I/my student still be able to contact the NPA for help and support with my course?

  • You will still be able to contact us via telephone or email – we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as we can, but please allow for minor delays.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Will the GPhC/PSNI Pre-registration assessment be affected? And how will pre-registration students’ training be affected?

  • The GPhC has informed training providers that as it stands, more information will be provided in the Spring Bulletin, which will be issued at the end of March. We will provide an update once we know more.
  • We are still awaiting information from PSNI.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Can we postpone flu vaccination training until 2021 and get one more year exemption? (England)

  • There is no clear guidance on this at the moment. Currently, pharmacists providing the Flu Vaccination Service need to attend face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support (including administration of adrenaline) training at least every three years.
  • This means that a pharmacist who undertook face-to-face training for both injection technique and basic life support in 2017 would need to undertake face-to-face training in 2020 in order to continue to provide the service in 2020/21.
  • As the 2019/20 service finishes on 31 March 2020, and the 20/21 service is not expected to start until September 2020, there should not be any urgent need for pharmacists to undergo flu vaccination training at the moment.
  • If the COVID-19 pandemic continues beyond the next few months, it is possible that the PSNC will gain agreement from NHSE&I and the DHSC on further measures to help contractors, which may include relaxing the training requirements for flu vaccinations. Information on flu vaccination training requirements can be found here.

(Correct as of 24.03.2020)

For more course related related FAQs

Please refer to the NPA L&D COVID-19 FAQs for course specific information

(Correct as of 26.03.2020)

 

ADVISING THE PUBLIC

Where can I find resources to display in my pharmacy? Where should these be displayed?

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Do I still need to submit patient safety incidents? How do I go submit reports to the Yellow Card Scheme? (England)

Please refer to guidance on the NPA website around patient safety incident reporting and yellow card reporting

(Correct as of 25.03.2020)

PROFESSIONAL & REGULATORY GUIDANCE

Where is the guidance for community pharmacists?

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Can pharmacists stop FMD due to capacity issues?

You will not be covered if you stop this legislative directive.

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

Would a non-practising pharmacist be able to return without having to take a return to practice course?

  • A non-practising pharmacist is not required to take a return to practice course, but it is essential to ensure that the pharmacist is competent for the roles that they will be carrying out. Competent non-practicing pharmacists who are returning to work in member’s pharmacies will be covered under the member’s professional indemnity policy, but may also wish to arrange their own cover
  • Depending on the individual’s training needs, there are plenty of resources available to help pharmacists returning to work, including a wide range on the NPA website.
  • Additional sources of information and resources include the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, Health Education and Improvement Wales and NHS Education for Scotland, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and GPhC website.
  • Guidance has also been provided by NICPLD for those returning to practice to support COVID response

(Correct as of 23.03.2020)

What do we do about contractual requirements such as the DSP toolkit/health campaign activities etc.? (England)

  • Please see Dr Keith Ridge’s Letter:“We will not take contractual action against contractors who have not, by 31 March 2020, yet competed requirements associated with their community pharmacy patient questionnaire, updating their practice leaflet, completing their pharmacy clinical audit or competing the Data NHS England and NHS Improvement Security and Protection Toolkit self-assessment”
  • In Scotland please check Community Pharmacy Scotland Covid Hub for pharmacy advice on non-essential pharmacy service provision

(Correct as of 26.03.2020)

Have GDPR requirements been relaxed during this crisis period - particularly when speaking to patients 2 metres away. We may not meet our usual data protection practices - will the ICO take regulatory action against us?

Please refer to the ICO website: “We understand that resources, whether they are finances or people, might be diverted away from usual compliance or information governance work. We won’t penalise organisations that we know need to prioritise other areas or adapt their usual approach during this extraordinary period”

Please consider the following to implement in your pharmacy:

  • Where possible, follow the advice from the Covid-19 SOP for community pharmacy, for England, and limit the number of people in the pharmacy.
  • The entrance to the pharmacy can be closed and a member of staff can manage the entry and exit to the pharmacy – allowing a ‘one in/one out’ system to minimise the number of customers in the pharmacy.
  • The staff member can also ensure that customers lining up outside are maintaining a 2m distance between them in the queue.
  • Use the posters from PHE and the NPA website to help implement this.

(Correct as of 26.03.2020)

 

Disclaimer: The information published is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of publication. However, no responsibility will be accepted for any consequences of decisions made using this information.

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