You’ll be our anchor, First Minister of Wales tells NPA members

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, and Wales’ Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Andrew Evans were among guests to gather at Cardiff Castle on Monday to celebrate the centenary of the National Pharmacy Association.

Mark Drakeford told the assembled NPA members:  “The word ‘community’ in community pharmacy means something. As well as being an essential clinical resource, community pharmacy is an economic driver.  As we rebuild after the pandemic, you will be one of the anchors that help maintain the vitality of local high streets.” He praised the work of pharmacy teams during the pandemic, saying: “You have been on the frontline of the extraordinary experience we’ve all been through. Without you we wouldn’t have got through this together… that’s why there is support for community pharmacy across the political spectrum in Wales.” Making a formal toast, Andrew Evans said: “We have ambitions for a reinvented community pharmacy service – one that is thoroughly modern but built around the values and behaviours that are intrinsic to independent community pharmacy. The NPA and its members will have an invaluable role in that future.” Health & Social Services Minister, Eluned Morgan, told guests, via a recorded video message, that the lessons of the pandemic will “help us further develop the role of pharmacies” and promised ongoing support. She looked forward to “a positive agreement [with Community Pharmacy Wales] later this financial year, which will reflect our shared ambition that every community pharmacy in Wales will provide an extended range of services, available consistently across the country.”…

NPA’s Online Pharmacy Services Group event

The NPA’s Online Pharmacy Services Group, which hosted its third event in April, discussed the issues that crop up when members provide online pharmacy services.

The event, which was open to all NPA members with an online pharmacy offering inside or outside the NHS, asked participants what further support they’d like to see with some examples of best practice highlighted. Nick Kaye, Vice Chair of the NPA, who hosted the session said: “Online pharmacy services are areas which are continuously pioneering and we often have a situation where regulation is catching up with innovations from a technical point of view and a patient point of view. “The NPA is keen to work with the right business partners to provide solutions for community pharmacies as the diversification of online pharmacy services is an important income stream for our members going forward. “We have this already in offers like Pro Delivery Manager which came from member ideas and member suggestions.” Lynda Scammell, Senior Policy Manager for the MHRA, attended the forum and spoke about regulatory matters concerning online supply of medicines. She gave a presentation which touched upon the legal position of online medicines, prescribing and prescription requirements and tackling illegal online sales. Jasmine Shah, Head of Advice and Support Services who was also present during the event, spoke about the importance of compliance and regulation and putting in online digital mechanisms and safeguards.…

Superintendent update: End of month update (July 2021) (England)

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED BY NPA MEMBERS - submit your claim for additional COVID-19 costs you have incurred during the pandemic – with less than 2 weeks to go, the CLOCK IS TICKING, TAKE ACTION NOW

  URGENT ACTION REQUIRED – deadline approaching – take action now With less than two weeks to go, you are urgently reminded to submit your claim for the extra costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for claiming reimbursement of additional costs incurred related to COVID-19 pandemic is 23:59 on 15 August 2021. Call us today for advice, support and to discuss – 01727891800 (Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 1pm) You are strongly advised to take action today – use the NPA resources for information and to collate the required information to submit your claim for eligible COVID-19 related costs – click on the links below: Step-by-step guides for NPA Members including reimbursement of additional costs related to COVID-19 and calculating amount repayable for recovery of uplifts to advance payments by NHSBSA A list of examples of the types of costs you may wish to take into consideration when collating information for the claims submission – please note that this is not a definitive list; it is only a list of suggestions A worksheet to support you in collating costs calculations for the additional costs you have incurred in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic Webinar: Claiming your COVID-19 costs – hosted by Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive Officer at NPA and joined by Simon Dukes, CEO of PSNC and Anil Sharma NPA Board Member to explain the deal recently agreed with HM Government/DHSC to allow community pharmacies to claim COVID-19 -related costs.…

Superintendent Update: IMPORTANT REMINDERS – ACTIONS REQUIRED (ENGLAND)

COVID-19 additional costs claims process – NPA support resources available (updated 30/6/2021), and details on the COVID-19 vaccination booster programme, including update on professional indemnity

Dear NPA Member, This is an urgent reminder for NPA Members on two key topics: 1) COVID-19 additional costs claims process and deadline – NPA resources to support you now available NHS pharmacy contractors in England can claim for additional costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic for the provision of NHS pharmaceutical services over a 13-month period from 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021. All claims must be submitted to the NHSBSA between 5th July and  11.59 pm on Sunday 15th August 2021 by completing and returning the claim form  available from the NHSBSA website. The NPA are here to help members claim all eligible COVID-19 costs following the claims process announced by DHSC. Our Step-by-step guides for NPA Members include reimbursement of additional costs related to COVID-19 and calculating amount repayable for recovery of uplifts to advance payments by NHSBSA, don’t miss out on your reimbursement by working through your claim in good time, ahead of the 15th August 2021 deadline. Our informative webinar recording, where Anil Sharma (NPA Board Member) shares a contractor’s perspective, may also help you plan your claim. Watch our short video here where our Finance manager, Bijal Shah, explains some of the key points to take into consideration regarding tax and VAT aspects of the claims process and recovery of uplifts to the advance payments.…

Northern Ireland protocol: NPA calls for medicines deal

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) today issued a fresh appeal to Brexit negotiators to reach an understanding that will allow manufacturers and suppliers to continue to supply medicines as normal to Northern Ireland.

Under the Northern Ireland protocol, part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, medicines made in UK have to be licensed separately for use in the country including separate safety inspections and other checks before they can be given to the public. It came into force on 1 January 2021, and is now part of international law. The NPA board discussed this issue during its board meetings on 28-29 June. NPA board representative for Northern Ireland, Michael Guerin, said: “This situation, if unresolved, will be intolerable for NPA members and patients in Northern Ireland. We are deeply concerned that the additional cost and complexity of getting medicines into Northern Ireland will result in some manufacturers and suppliers not bringing products to the market. This could result in reduced stock being available, leading to medicine shortages and an increase in the procurement costs. “The medicines supply to Northern Ireland is integrated into the UK market and works on a just in time basis. Close alignment of regulations would help to limit future disruption. We urge the EU and the UK to address this issue urgently and not leave it for patients, carers, pharmacists and GPs to pick up the problem further down the line.…

New health secretary committed to pharmacy, NPA conference told  

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) conference heard today (5 July) that Sajid Javid, the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is committed to community pharmacy and has already had talks on the subject with Public Health Minister Jo Churchill.

Jo Churchill told the audience of independent pharmacy owners and health service stakeholders: “The new secretary of state and I have already had conversations about pharmacy and its value to the system, so I’m sure that commitment is there.  As a government, we are committed to the idea of community pharmacy as the first port of call for minor illnesses and having a key role at the heart of primary care and prevention.” “I believe you have an essential role as part of the NHS family and bring amazing value to local communities”, she added. During her 30-minute address, the Minister thanked pharmacies for going “above and beyond” during the pandemic. She said that she, Sajid Javid and his predecessor Matt Hancock were all grateful for the work of pharmacies in supplying vital medicines and keeping people safe. She expected the number of pharmacist-led Covid vaccination sites to go up “by hundreds”. The NPA conference continues online until Thursday. …

Pharmacy Minister backs new plan to beat COVID and rebuild NHS  

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) today launched “a bold plan” for England’s community pharmacies to protect the population from COVID-19, improve access to primary care and prevent ill health.

Speaking at this week’s NPA conference, Public Health Minister Jo Churchill MP said she is “encouraged” by the plan and wants to see community pharmacy sitting at the heart of primary care. The plan, called How We Can Help, argues that pharmacies are well placed for a central role in delivering booster COVID-19 vaccinations, allowing GPs to focus on clearing the care backlog in the NHS. It highlights pharmacists’ strong face-to-face relationships with patients and years of experience delivering flu vaccines.  It also covers pharmacy’s broader potential in preventing ill health, managing long term conditions and providing access to care near to where people live, work and shop. NPA chair, Andrew Lane, said: “Today we’re launching the National Pharmacy Association’s bold plan to unleash the potential of community pharmacy in England. Provided there’s sufficient ongoing support from government and NHS, pharmacies can help get the country through the pandemic, help the NHS catch up on lost ground and be a foundation stone for better care in the future.  Pharmacies have been central to the NHS response to Covid throughout, and you can be sure that the end of lockdown won’t be the end of the story of our sector’s epic contribution.…

PSNC announcement on covid costs: NPA response

Responding to PSNC’s announcement today that they have reached a deal with HM Government about Covid costs incurred by community pharmacies, NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “It’s good that the government has finally listened to our repeated appeals for a decision about how Covid costs will be repaid to pharmacies in England.  We look forward to examining the fine print of these arrangements. “It shouldn’t have taken battle buses, petitions, newspaper campaigns and public protests by NPA members to get us to this point.  “We have persistently pressed the government in private and held them to account in public on this matter. “We also acknowledge the many MPs who have backed us in parliament, including the All Party Pharmacy Group. “This is no more than our members deserve – after all pharmacies bore Covid costs in good faith that they would be repaid, in the service of the nation. “It’s now really important that contractors claim all that is due to them within the July 5 – August 15 window.  The NPA will provide support and guidance to our members, most of whom do not have a big back-office to carry out the task of accounting for costs. “We’re pleased that the issue of Covid costs is at last being addressed, but attention must also be given to fixing the pharmacy contract in England, which remains seriously underfunded.”…

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.…

Mayor of London in awe of community pharmacy

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has described community pharmacy teams as “unsung heroes” during the pandemic and said it was in the interests of government to inject more funding into the sector.

The comments were made during a In Conversation with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London event organised by the Asian Media Group and Eastern Eye newspaper on Thursday (29 April). NPA chief executive, Mark Lyonette asked the Mayor, “Would the Mayor like to take this opportunity to thank the capital’s 1800 community pharmacy teams for staying open throughout the pandemic, thereby keeping the wheels on the NHS and maintaining access to advice, medicines and vaccines?” Mr Khan responded that he was “in awe and grateful for our pharmacy teams across London” and described them as “unsung heroes.” “I’ve been to pharmacies in many occasions over the last few weeks and months, not least receiving my flu jab. I have asthma so I go to a pharmacy regularly. Many people couldn’t go see their GP, they couldn’t get an appointment they didn’t have the confidence to use technology. The human beings that were available, that were the experts, were pharmacists. “I’m so in awe and grateful of pharmacies across our city. Many of them are small independent family businesses and they have shown the public how brilliant they are.” Jignesh Patel, from Rohpharm pharmacy in Newham, asked the Mayor about pharmacy funding. The Mayor responded that there is a strong economic case for investment in pharmacies and that London needs a strong network of pharmacies to help handle the next pandemic, when it comes.…