New plan for Health MOTs: National Pharmacy Association response

NHS England has announced that there will be ‘Health MOTs’ at NHS vaccination services, pharmacies and clinics this autumn

The NHS will offer a range of targeted tests including blood pressure, heart rhythm and cholesterol checks when people drop in for top-up Covid jabs or flu vaccinations. Further details are awaited. NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “We don’t yet have the details, but it makes sense for pharmacies to be part of any new initiatives to monitor heart health and cholesterol, given how accessible they are and their proven track record in preventative care. “It looks like a chance to identify underlying health problems which may have been missed during the coronavirus lockdown, and highlights the important role pharmacies will have in the nation’s post-pandemic reset. “We hope it’s not a one-off scheme limited to a select few pharmacies, but something that can be scaled to turbo-charge access to cardiac support through community pharmacy. “Given the magnificent contribution of pharmacies throughout the coronavirus pandemic, it’s natural that they should be seen as a solution in other areas of prevention and public health too.” The announcement was made by NHS England’s Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Pritchard, at the NHS Confederation conference this week.…

Community Pharmacies can now provide free lateral flow tests to people in Scotland

  The new optional pharmacy service requires pharmacy contractors to order LF test kits from Alliance wholesaler, for supply on request in boxes of 7 tests. Record of the delivery date and the batch number of tests must be retained  The universal claim form should be used to claim each supply and a PMR record made of the lot number supplied. Specific COVID-19 self-testing advice must be provided to people collecting tests, including the purpose of the tests and how to use and report results. Remuneration is detailed in the circular as £2 distribution per kit, which can be collected for use by other household members. There is a one off participation fee to be claimed by email submission of Annex B of PCA(P)(2021)08 to National Services Scotland Practitioner Services at nss.psd-sgforms@nhs.scot An SOP is required for the service. NPA SOP for COVID-19 lateral flow test distribution from community pharmacies in Scotland, and accompanying risk assessment and FAQs are available here.  …

URGENT REMINDER: Claiming for the NHS Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device Distribution Advanced Service (Pharmacy Collect)

All pharmacies participating in the Pharmacy Collect Advanced Service must ensure that they submit the data and claims on the MYS portal each week.

  This is an urgent reminder to all pharmacies across England that are providing the Pharmacy Collect Advanced Service – you must ensure that you submit the dataset and claims on the MYS portal each week. The service aims to improve access to COVID-19 testing by making lateral flow device (LFD) test kits readily available at community pharmacies for asymptomatic people. Recording data and claiming payment All participating pharmacies must ensure they are recording the appropriate data to claim payment for the service as required under the service specification. A service fee of £1.50 + allowance for VAT per transaction can be claimed. To claim, you must enter the dataset listed below on the MYS portal by close of business on the pharmacy’s last trading day of the week: Information on LFD test kits received which includes: LOT number of each LFD carton received Quantity of cartons Supplying wholesaler name Invoice/delivery note number Answers to question 2 and 3 obtained from the individual requesting the LFD test kits: Why do you need tests? (only in relation to the first person requesting a test) What is the age range of the person using the kit? (for each box supplied)   Please note that the MYS portal opens every Friday at 00:01.…

Superintendent update: NHS Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device Distribution Advanced Service (Pharmacy Collect) (England) (UPDATED 14/05/2021)

  On 29 March 2021, a new Advanced Service, ‘NHS Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device Distribution Service (COVID-19 LFD Distribution Service)’, was commissioned to allow asymptomatic individuals to collect COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits from community pharmacies. The service is referred to the public as ‘Pharmacy Collect’ by NHS Test and Trace marketing and communications. The LFD test kits are to be provided free of charge to asymptomatic individuals to identify more people likely to spread the virus; therefore, breaking the chain of transmission, as part of the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap out of lockdown. On 5 April 2021, the Prime Minister announced that everyone in England should have access to free, regular rapid COVID-19 testing from 9 April 2021. In this update we cover: Brief overview of the new advanced service UKAS registration NPA support and resources Other support available Funding and claiming payments Ordering and managing stock (updated 14/05/2021) Brief overview of the new Advanced Service The COVID-19 LFD Distribution Advanced Service is for the distribution/supply only of LFD test kits to asymptomatic patients. Asymptomatic individuals may need to undertake COVID-19 testing using LFDs for the following reasons: To leave the house for work To attend school (either being a child, or they work at a school), or in a bubble with school children/staff Their council/GP/healthcare professional has advised them to get a test done. The LFD test kits may be supplied provided the asymptomatic individual requesting them is able to answer three questions.…

COVID 19 – NPA Community Pharmacy Covid-19 vaccination service SOP and Individual Pre-screening Questionnaire for Scottish NPA members

The NPA have produced a COVID-19 community pharmacy vaccine service Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and Individual Pre-screening questionnaire suitable for Scottish members to use if they are provided the opportunity to provide COVID vaccinations in their pharmacy.

  We are aware of one NHS Board which has already requested support to provide COVID vaccines from specific pharmacies where GP or mass vaccination centre access are difficult. To support NPA members provide COVID vaccines promptly at the request of their NHS Boards where required, we have produced a template NPA SOP suitable for Scottish members providing COVID vaccine services now or in the future. The SOP template can be adapted for individual service level agreements or different vaccine manufacturers. To complement this resource we have also provided an NPA individual pre-screening questionnaire template for patients accessing community pharmacy COVID vaccination services. If you intend to provide COVID vaccinations, and have your NHS Board agreement please contact the NPA Insurance department to discuss your professional liability. In Scotland we understand state indemnity for clinical negligence is not being provided to pharmacies. The NPA is able to provide an endorsement to member’s professional indemnity policies to provide cover against the risk of clinical negligence claims arising from COVID vaccination services at a cost of £150 plus insurance premium tax per branch. Members in Scotland who intend to provide Covid-19 vaccinations should email vaccineinsurance@npa.co.uk with their name, address details of the branches who have been contracted to provide the vaccination service and corresponding NPA membership numbers, start date and the number of vaccinations they have been contracted to carry out per week, so that cover can be arranged.…

COVID 19 – Community Pharmacy: NHS Scotland Medicines Delivery Service Extended to 30 April 2021

The COVID-19 Community Pharmacy NHS Medicines Delivery Service initiated in January this year, has been extended to 30th April 2021 as announced in PCA(P) (2021) 6

  In preparation for the end of the service, members can advise patients to arrange medicine collection by themselves or a trusted person, or if applicable and available be provided medicine delivery using existing pharmacy non NHS pharmacy delivery systems.  If necessary, patients can be directed to the Local Authority Resilience partnerships national helpline on 08001114000.  If the NHS Community Pharmacy NHS medicine delivery service is deemed necessary to continue beyond 30th April due to the COVID-19 recovery situation, further communications will be provided.  …

COVID-19 vaccination programme: designation process for community pharmacy contractors – extended in specific areas (England)

  On 12 April 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) cascaded a letter to all contractors on the contractors on the NHS England Pharmaceutical list for a further opportunity for community pharmacies to contribute to the COVID-19 vaccination programme – whereby the designation process from February is now being extended in very specific areas of the country. A list of priority location has been published and NHSE&I will only be accepting expression of interests (EOI) for these locations; however, the commissioning of a pharmacy-led site is not guaranteed in those areas. Pharmacy contractors should only submit an EOI if your proposed site is to be in a location listed in the priority list; submissions for sites in other areas will not be reviewed. Where any additional priority locations are identified, or deadlines extended, this information will be communicated via your Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) and published here. Key points of the extended designation process (April 2021) All EOIs must be submitted by completing the online form: https://cv19pharmacyeoi.necsu.nhs.uk/ — the document HERE lists all the fields on the form to assist you in preparing your response. Expressions of interest must be for a site within a specified location listed HERE. The deadline for submission of the EOIs is before midnight on Sunday18 April 2021.…

IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19 testing, UKAS registration (England, Scotland, Wales)

Update on latest PHE guidance for private service providers of COVID-19 tests, GPhC’s updated guidance, UKAS registration process, NPA Insurance information and key actions

   Update 18/03/2021 Access NPA COVID-19 testing and UKAS registration webinar (originally aired 11th March 2021) : https://www.npa.co.uk/news-and-events/past-events/    NPA partners with Medicspot to allow members to sell Covid-19 PCR tests. Access NPA business partner Medicspot page for further information: https://www.npa.co.uk/businesspartners/medicspot    COVID-19 testing: Group providers’ UKAS registration Following a number of queries regarding pharmacies signing up to Group Providers and seeking to provide private COVID-19 testing under the Group Provider’s UKAS registration, UKAS advice is: Pharmacies using a ‘group provider’ may not need to register. However, pharmacies must ensure that the group provider is ‘contracting you in’, and taking full responsibility for the results that you provide. That central provider must take legal responsibility for the results, and for ensuring that the requirements of the relevant standards are met for the sampling and/or point or care testing activity. UKAS will need to assess that the standards are followed at all locations involved in the process. If the group provider is taking responsibility for the entirety of the activity, a selected sample of pharmacies under that provider will be assessed, so that we can ensure the relevant processes and procedures are being followed from the point of sample-collection. In these instances, to ensure you are compliant with the legislation, UKAS recommends that you communicate with your provider to better understand: Whether they have successfully completed or are in the process of completing Stage 2 UKAS Appraisal Explain to them that you understand that they need to take legal responsibility for the sampling activities and POCT testing and ask how they intend to cover this  What does this mean for NPA members?…

MPs debate pharmacy and the impact of Covid-19

MPs discussed the impact of Covid-19 on community pharmacy and funding arrangements for the sector, during a House of Commons debate this week (Thursday 11 March).

Led by the chair of the All-Party Pharmacy Group, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, the debate drew on the findings of the December 2020 All-Party Pharmacy Group Covid-19 Inquiry Report which showed that many pre-existing challenges had been amplified by the pandemic. Seventeen MPs took part in the debate, including Pharmacy Minister Jo Churchill and her Labour Party opposite, Alex Norris. Jackie Doyle-Price and several others argued for a more secure financial footing for the community pharmacy sector. “My challenge is for DHSC and the NHS to properly look at how they can make sure pharmacies get a fair deal,” she said. Several MPs cited an Ernst and Young report commissioned by the NPA in 2020, which predicted that the average pharmacy will be making an annual loss of £43k by 2024, under current arrangements. Jo Churchill acknowledged that pharmacy teams have “worked unbelievably hard for the past year” and said she is “aware of concerns that current funding isn’t enough”. She continued, “We are still in discussions with the PSNC about the reimbursement of Covid-19 costs incurred by community pharmacy and I can reassure the house that the government will take a pragmatic approach.” Mark Lyonette, NPA Chief Executive said: “The level of parliamentary support for community pharmacy is at an all-time high, which is testament to the heroics of pharmacy teams during the pandemic as well as determined advocacy by NPA members and others.…

NPA members take funding campaign to ministers’ own backyards

Pharmacists in the constituencies of Treasury Ministers and Health Ministers today warned the government not to backtrack on promises to cover Covid-19 costs.

They are displaying posters and distributing leaflets, which warn that funding cuts and Covid costs have taken many pharmacies to the brink of closure. Meanwhile, the NPA has placed adverts in local newspapers and influential political websites, highlighting the £370m-plus Covid costs which the government has so far refused to reimburse pharmacies – despite a clear promise from the Prime Minister. Jonathan Cooper, owner of Coopers Chemists in the Richmond constituency of Chancellor Rishi Sunak in Yorkshire, is joining the protests. He said: “My pharmacy and many others like it have continued to see patients in the community while other parts of the health system could not offer this vital service. Had community pharmacies not worked so hard to keep their doors open during this national crisis, things would have been far worse. As a result we have incurred massive extra costs and the government needs to cover this as promised. We want to give a message to Mr Sunak: our door is open – please let us keep it that way by reversing these devastating cuts!” National Pharmacy Association chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “The government continues to drag its feet over offering proper financial assistance for pharmacies, so this latest campaign initiative brings the matter close to home for the decision makers, in their own constituencies.…