Safe Spaces and the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword

The National Pharmacy Association is in discussions with the government about the implementation of a new codeword scheme to enable victims of domestic abuse to access support from the safety of their local pharmacy. It is a voluntary scheme and pharmacies are now being invited to register their interest in participating. “Ask for ANI” (Action Needed Immediately) has been developed by the Home Office to provide a simple and discreet way for victims to signal to pharmacy staff that they need help accessing support from the police or other domestic abuse support services. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, ability, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. This is why the Home Office considers pharmacies, used by people from all walks of life, as a suitable setting for the Ask for ANI scheme. What to do if someone uses the codeword? The scheme has been designed to enable pharmacy staff to respond to the use of the codeword using a simple and straightforward process: Offer to accompany the person to the consultation room or private space. Ask if they are in danger or in need of immediate help and want the police to be called. a.…

The big question

After a TV pundit called pharmacists “pretend doctors”, we ask three pharmacists what they perceive their role to be.

Johnathan Laird Title: Pharmacy Manager Pharmacy: Turriff, Aberdeenshire The notion of what a pharmacist is and what activities or behaviours that word evokes really needs to be completely re-imagined. Our collective relationship with patients and their medicine is central to this future tale. Hepler and Strand told the story of pharmaceutical care back in 1990. This concept and associated story sought to position pharmacists as the guardians of medicines. Safety was the watch word. It never happened as they believed it would I feel. I believe that was down to the lack of digital communication technology capability at the time. We need to re-imagine the story we wish to tell and I think the identity should be built around pharmaceutical care in a digital age. Let’s carve out this new cloudbased guardian of medicines role and find our place once again. It’s about data and what we do with it to make things safer for patients. If we don’t achieve this, then the tech start-ups will steal a march on us and then the pharmacy funding crisis will be the least of our worries. Lee Williams Title: Owner and Pharmacist Pharmacy: Prescription Service, Knutsford So what is a pharmacist? It’s a good question.…

Digital engagement through patient apps

Two digital healthcare companies have become NPA business partners, helping independent pharmacies to improve medicines use and meet consumer demand for mobile health apps.

MedAdvisor and Healthera provide apps that allow community pharmacies to complement, via a digital platform, the face-to-face dialogue that takes place on the pharmacy premises. Through the apps, community pharmacists can support their patients to manage their own medication on their mobile devices. MedAdvisor, a digital medication management company presently in Australia, the USA and Asia, is getting ready to launch its app in the UK. Its NHS-accredited app allows customers to get convenient script refills and renewals, see an up-to-date list of all their medication, pre-order medications from the comfort of their home and set reminders on when to take their medication. There is also a Digital Adherence Programme within the app, which helps patients to take their medication safely, effectively and on time. Healthera has been operating in the UK since 2016 and has been accredited by the NHS. It too helps patients to manage their repeat prescriptions and medication, book appointments and contact their pharmacist for clinical advice. The digital connection adds to the convenience of the pharmacy service and helps to optimise medicines use. Laura Sims, Head of Membership at the NPA, said: “We want to help NPA members provide excellent patient engagement using digital tools that can offer real efficiencies for community pharmacy as well as convenience for patients.…

The NPA to respond to the parliamentary committee inquiry on automation

The NPA will be providing a written submission to the Business, Energy and Industrial strategy parliamentary committee inquiry on automation

We would like to hear about your automation innovations in this area to include in our written submission. Some questions include: What impact has automation had on your business productivity to date/ What sort of tasks are most and least likely to be replaced by automation? Is there enough advice and support available for businees who want to automate? Does the Govt. industrial strategy offer the right support to businessess for automation? On workers: What other actions should the Government be taking to support those affected by automation, such as a “robot tax” Find out more information about the inquiry launch here Please send your thoughts and comments to our Policy Manager, Helga Mangion, at independentsvoice@npa.co.uk by 21st August 2018…

NICE tells local authorities and the NHS to integrate community pharmacies into care pathways

Following representations by the NPA and other pharmacy bodies, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has advised local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and health & wellbeing boards to ‘work together to help all community pharmacies gradually integrate into existing care and referral pathways as health and wellbeing hubs’.

The guideline, issued earlier this month, NG102: Community pharmacies: promoting health and wellbeing adds that ‘this could include arrangements for inward and outward referrals’. It is consistent with the NPA’s own recommendations in Improving Access to NHS Care By Investing in Community Pharmacy (April 2018). In that document we argued that ‘People would be encouraged to come first to pharmacy if signposting from pharmacies more frequently took the form of a formal referral, embedded in NHS care pathways.’ The NICE guideline also reflects the sector’s wider view of the future of community pharmacy laid out in the Community Pharmacy Forward View.…

Pharmacy organisations to highlight to MPs the role of community pharmacy in supporting people with long-term conditions

National pharmacy organisations and LPCs will come together in Parliament this week (Tuesday) to highlight the role that community pharmacy can play in helping people to support people with long-term conditions.

With continued pressures on the NHS, growing demand from an aging population, and the King’s Fund warning of a “crisis” facing the health and care workforce, pharmacists are meeting with MPs and peers in a briefing session to showcase how they can identify and treat long-term conditions in the community, keeping people healthy and out of hospital, and reducing pressure on GPs and other parts of the health service. Whether it is developing a care plan with patients with long-term conditions, offering advice on healthy lifestyles, or helping people to get the most from their medicines, the briefing session aims to demonstrate how community pharmacy can play a vital role in supporting people’s health and delivering a sustainable NHS for the future. Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Pharmacy, is hosting the event.  He said today: “It is great to see what pharmacy is capable of and how it could provide more support for people with long term conditions. The All Party Pharmacy Group, which I chair, recently called for a wholesale upgrade of what the NHS provides for people with long term conditions. For too long, people have been passed from pillar to post, with lots of variation in practice and uncoordinated care.…

Fully deployed community pharmacy’ model could release 18 million GP appointments

The National Pharmacy Association is calling for the roll out of a model of care that could release millions of GP appointments nationwide, after a Sheffield pharmacy freed up appointments in a nearby GP practice by conducting medication reviews in the pharmacy and providing other dedicated support to the practice.

A new report on the scheme shows that if every pharmacy in England were to provide one day a week of such support it could free up 18 million GP appointments a year. The report is on the work between Basegreen Pharmacy and Jaunty Springs Medical Practice in Sheffield and supports the NPA’s long held view that pharmacy should be the main point of medicines care for patients with long term conditions, not the surgery. NPA Chair, Nitin Sodha, said: “On average there is one GP based pharmacist for 30,000 patients, which is nowhere near the scale required to meet current and future demand. In comparison, in Sheffield, the ratio was one community pharmacist for a practice population of 3500, plus the added resource of the pharmacy support staff.  Since NHS England has invested heavily in the General Practice Pharmacist Scheme, there is surely a strong justification for investment in pharmacy based schemes which deliver similar benefits but can cater for many more patients, conveniently and probably at lower cost.  It is time for NHS England to review this alternative model in more detail and ensure funding is allocated from the Pharmacy Integration Programme to support the fuller deployment of the community pharmacy network.”…