NPA response to DoH Consultation on the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997

The NPA has identified a number of potential implications of proposals to amend the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997 in response to a pandemic.

Members are invited for their thoughts and comments to the Prevention Green paper

Joint statement on HMRC IR35 off-payroll working rules consultation: Community pharmacy sector concerned about new tax proposals

The NPA, alongside the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIM), the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Team Locum and Locate a Locum have issued a joint response to an HMRC consultation highlighting our concerns about how proposed changes to tax law might impact the sector.

HMRC consulted on their proposals for implementing changes to tax law known as IR35, or “off-payroll” working rules, between 5 March to 28 May 2019. From April 2020, medium and large businesses (companies employing more than 50 people) will become responsible for assigning the tax status of locums contracted through their own limited company, to reflect the correct employment status position. However, there are other changes taking place with HMRC conducting a wider review of the use of self-employed locums which could affect a larger proportion of the sector than the IR35 reforms. Our response to the off-payroll consultation identified that: HMRC need to ensure that the Check Employment Status for Tax tool (CEST), which is being promoted by them as the means of determining tax status, is fit for purpose. We believe that this tool is not refined enough to meet the needs of the community pharmacy sector. Those using the tool need to be confident that it’s accurate and fair in all cases We have significant concerns that, following these reforms, the flexibility of the pharmacy workforce may be affected to the extent that it disrupts the necessary supply of medicines and services to patients The IR35 reforms are complex changes which will be difficult to embed across the diverse populations of workers that exist across the private sector.…

NPA response to Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry on Use and Misuse of Drugs in Scotland

As submitted last month, April 2019.

The NPA response to the Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry into drug use and misuse in Scotland last month (April 2019) provided evidence that Scottish members as independent community pharmacy owners and their teams are integral to the support and treatment of drug users in Scotland. The NPA response urged the Scottish Affairs Committee to liaise closely with representative bodies for community pharmacy and in particular the Scottish community pharmacy negotiating organisation, Community Pharmacy Scotland, if any reserved area of policy that may involve community pharmacy is being scoped. Read the NPA response here. We would be happy to discuss the points raised in this response with the Scottish Affairs Committee in more detail. To arrange this, please contact Janice Oman NPA Scotland Representation Manager at independentsvoice@npa.co.uk…

Review of the funding model in Scotland for Community Pharmacist Supplementary and Independent Prescribing Clinics

In early October the NPA responded at very short notice to the Scottish Government Survey on the funding model for community pharmacy prescribing clinics.

The NPA called for a new funding model to provide sustainable clinics by including set up, service promotion, pharmacist back fill and administrative time over an adequate period to enable service development.   Please tell us what would enable you to provide/contract an independent or supplementary prescribing service   The National Pharmacy Association Ltd representing our members as independent community pharmacy owners suggest the following criteria is required to enable an independent or supplementary prescribing service to be provided by a community pharmacist Sustainable funding model which enables pharmacist backfill to be arranged and paid fully for each clinic session. This funding should be confirmed at least six months in advance and rolling year to year to enable service development and continuity. The funding should not be dependent on the number of patients seen, as pharmacist clinics in practice often see those patients who frequently “do not attend”  surgery appointments. There should be allotted funding to enable the NHS Board to support the setup of any pharmacist clinic as to standard operating procedures, risk assessment, indemnity costs etc.  Funding should also account for pharmacist time in reviewing and updating patient notes. This time can be considerable especially if the clinic situation provides no timely access to medical notes.…

NPA rejects remote supervision proposals

The NPA has confirmed it is against the remote supervision of pharmacies in almost all circumstances.

Responding to the Department of Health and Social Care’s Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation consultation the NPA said the practice could compromise patient safety. Challenging proposals to allow the regulator to make exceptions, the NPA said it was unclear whether these would in fact be routine rather than genuinely exceptional circumstances, like major incidents. Helga Mangion, NPA policy manager, said: “Responsibility and accountability for the safe supply of medicines should remain with the responsible pharmacist. “Standard operating procedures and systems only go so far. In many situations there is no substitute for the professional and clinical judgment of the pharmacist on the spot. “Therefore, there should be a pharmacist present in every community pharmacy throughout the opening hours.” The NPA said this was compatible with the full use of the pharmacists and technicians’ skills and did not impede the deployment of modern technologies. In addition, the NPA said it is eager to engage further on this topic and recognises that pharmacy teams must be enabled to support the community pharmacist to deliver more clinical services. The NPA’s response states: “Regulations relating to supervision and the role of the responsible pharmacist together must permit the profession to move on and deliver services efficiently.…

Calls for extra online safeguards to be extended to more medicines

The categories of medicines that require further safeguards when available online do not extend far enough, the NPA has warned.

The NPA’s position comes in response to a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) paper on the safety of online doctor and pharmacy services. While the NPA agrees opiates and sedatives, antimicrobials and products for chronic conditions should be singled out, the NPA is calling for more categories to be added. In particular, the NPA believes medicines that require an element of “counselling” such as erectile dysfunction treatment and the morning after pill should be included in the list. Safeguarding measures proposed by the GPhC include: requirements for physical examinations; contact between prescribers and patients’ GPs, and; recording of prescribers’ decisions. The NPA has also raised in its response concerns that some online pharmacies are engaged with prescription direction following a number of complaints from its members on the subject. Helga Mangion, NPA policy manager, said: “Medicines can harm as well as heal and they are not ordinary items of commerce. Both the NPA and GPhC recognise this. “The proposed safeguarding measures do not extend far enough into those categories of drugs where a meaningful interaction with a health care professional is vital. “In the absence of face-to-face support, processes must be in place to ensure the most appropriate advice is and recommendation is given and sometimes recorded too.…

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…
Archived on 26 January 2018 – this content has expired.

Impact of leaving the European Union on health and social care in Scotland – Scottish Parliament Call for Views

Scottish Parliament have called for views to be submitted by individuals or organisations on the potential risks and benefits of Brexit to health and social care in Scotland by 25th January.

They have asked for opinions on how risks from Brexit can be mitigated and benefits realised, and what impact future trade agreements and the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations)  common frameworks will have. Read the inquiry and if you have any comments please contact NPA Scotland Representation Manager, Janice Oman at j.oman@npa.co.uk or call 07538192 588.…
Archived on 8 February 2018 – this content has expired.

Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee – Inquiry into NHS Boards Governance

The Health and Sport Committee is seeking opinions on how NHS Boards in Scotland operate and make decisions. The inquiry closes on the 7th February.

The Committee has requested a response to: Are Boards accountable and are their decisions open and transparent? How effective are Boards and do they make decisions in the best interest of the public? Read the full inquiry and provide a personal response at NHS Corporate Governance call for views or if you have any comments please contact NPA Scotland Representation Manager, Janice Oman at j.oman@npa.co.uk or call 07538192 588.…