NPA’s partners for training and PGDs

We are pleased to be partnering again with Charles Bloe Training (CBT) for the training, online purchase and enrolment process and with Medical Prescription Services (MPS) for the provision of our PGDs. The NPA/CBT e-commerce portal is currently under development to enhance the purchase and enrolment journey.

Yellow fever vaccine: Stamaril – MHRA guidance following fatal reactions after administration

Following fatal adverse reactions after administration of the yellow fever vaccine, Stamaril, the MHRA has issued a drug safety update

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a drug safety update following two recent reports of fatal adverse reactions after administration of the yellow fever (YF) vaccine, Stamaril. All healthcare professionals should be aware of the following safety information related to the YF vaccine (Stamaril): It is a live attenuated vaccine therefore it must not be administered to a patient who may be immunosuppressed It is contraindicated in the following patient groups: Individuals with a history of thymus dysfunction (this includes myasthenia gravis and thymoma) Individuals who have had their thymus gland removed (thymectomy) Patients aged 60 years and over should only be given the YF vaccine when there is an unavoidable and significant risk of contracting yellow fever infection Healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, who administer YF vaccine must: Understand the contraindications and special precautions prior to administration –from the Summary of Product Characteristics for Stamaril Be familiar with the YF Vaccine Centre code of practice Where there is any doubt over whether a patient is immunosuppressed, vaccination with YF vaccine should be postponed until specialist advice is obtained Immunosuppression can be due to therapy, underlying illness or pregnancy Robust checklists and protocols should be in place for YF vaccine administration to avoid the risk of incorrect administration that may lead to severe/fatal side effects A risk assessment should be conducted prior to vaccine administration The traveller’s medical history, details of the travel itinerary, immune status and potential contraindications should be discussed A patient information leaflet should be given to the traveller Suspected side effects during vaccination and any medication error which has resulted in harm should be reported to the MHRA via the Yellow Card Scheme Pharmacists administering the YF vaccine against a Patient Group Direction (PGD) must follow the terms of the PGD and contact the PGD provider where appropriate.…

NHS England launching ‘Pharmacy Advice’ campaign

A new campaign will be launched to encourage the public to use their local pharmacy as their first choice for clinical advice.

The ‘Pharmacy Advice’ campaign is part of NHS England’s overarching brand ‘Help Us Help You’ and will commence on February 4. The initiative will help to build the public’s trust and confidence in community pharmacists and the pharmacy team as providers of care, and ensure minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains are effectively managed in the right place. A printed set of branded resources will be sent to all community pharmacies in England, with delivery being made week commencing 28 January 2019. The pack will include a double-sided window sticker, wobblers, poster, information cards and a dispenser. The outer packaging will be clearly labelled with a green, NHS branded sticker (pictured). The NHS encourages community pharmacies to make the most of these resource by: Prominently displaying the materials in your pharmacy, in the window and alongside relevant over-the-counter products Using the information card to remind your customers to visit your pharmacy next time they need clinical advice about a minor health concern Ensuring all staff members are briefed ahead of the campaign to ensure that they are fully aware and, where appropriate, are ready to offer clinical advice for people with everyday minor health concerns. There are a range of additional free resources available to order or download.…

Urgent alert – PGD vaccination services training and competency

Superintendent highlighting the importance of pharmacists completing appropriate PGD vaccination training and/or declarations of competence before providing vaccination services.

Dear Superintendent, The NPA has been made aware that some pharmacists may not be completing the appropriate vaccination training (with basic life support and anaphylaxis management) and/or declarations of competence (DoC) before providing vaccination services, as required by current PGDs in place for both NHS and/or private vaccination services.   In this alert, I have highlighted the NPA Indemnity Insurance stance for pharmacists providing vaccination services. Although this issue appears to be affecting the NHS flu vaccination Advanced Service (England) in particular, this alert is relevant to all PGD vaccination services offered by pharmacists throughout the UK.   One of the reasons for the failure to complete the appropriate training and/or DoC is believed to be the misconception that if a pharmacist has completed any number of flu vaccinations in the past and therefore seemingly assumes that they are able to continue to administer vaccinations this year without having to update their training/competence.   In the event a patient suffers a reaction following the administration of a vaccine, experiences anaphylaxis and dies, the investigation will assess the training undertaken and competency of the pharmacist who administered the vaccine. If it becomes known that the pharmacist had not completed the requisite training/DoC, it can potentially affect the pharmacist’s liability in this case, and could raise fitness to practice issues.…
Archived on 30 September 2019 – this content has expired.

Flu FAQ: Fluenz Tetra nasal spray – contact with immunocompromised individuals

A child is to be vaccinated with Fluenz Tetra nasal spray; however, a close relative is undergoing chemotherapy and are immunocompromised; what advice do I give regarding contact of the child with their relative?

Fluenz Tetra nasal spray is a live attenuated vaccine, therefore, there is a potential for transmission to patient contacts who are immunocompromised. The Summary of Product Characteristics states the following  regarding close contact of a child with an immunocompromised individual: “Vaccine recipients should attempt to avoid, whenever possible, close association with severely immunocompromised individuals (e.g. bone marrow transplant recipients requiring isolation) for 1-2 weeks following vaccination. Peak incidence of vaccine virus recovery occurred 2-3 days post-vaccination in Fluenz clinical studies. In circumstances where contact with severely immunocompromised individuals is unavoidable, the potential risk of transmission of the influenza vaccine virus should be weighed against the risk of acquiring and transmitting wild-type influenza virus”. A discussion with the specialist of the immunocompromised individual should take place prior to any contact with a child who is vaccinated with the Fluenz Tetra nasal spray. View more FAQs received by the Pharmacy team. This FAQ is correct at the time of publishing.…
Archived on 29 September 2019 – this content has expired.

Flu FAQ: professional indemnity insurance for a flu vaccination service

Does NPA professional indemnity insurance cover members for providing a flu vaccination service?

NPA professional indemnity insurance covers members to provide PGD services (private and/or NHS) which may include vaccination services, both from the registered pharmacy premises as well as from off-site locations – provided that all the PGD and service requirements are fulfilled correctly. It remains the personal and professional responsibility of the pharmacist, in all cases, to ensure that they are trained, confident and competent to offer the vaccination services (NHS and/or private) including management of anaphylaxis and resuscitation techniques; the pharmacist must decide for themselves whether they should undergo the full vaccination training or the online refresher training. View more FAQs received by the Pharmacy team. This FAQ is correct at the time of publishing.…

Important change to the Vaccination Skills Assessment

The NPA is pleased to announce the launch of our new Vaccination Skills assessment form.

The NPA is pleased to announce the launch of our new Vaccination Skills assessment form. This form provides a framework to assess pharmacists’ competency in the workplace environment and has been produced in conjunction with our PGD and training providers. It is available free of charge to those signing up to the NPA Vaccination PGD Services. The Vaccination Skills assessment form will be available to download from the online portal (found within every vaccine PGD) as part of the support documentation once all the online modules have successfully been completed. Updated Standards The introduction of this Vaccination Skills assessment form is as a result of the updated National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners (Standards). The key points from the Standards, which were updated in February 2018, are: “New or inexperienced (over one year since they last administered a vaccine) immunisers should also have a period of supervised practice and support with a registered healthcare practitioner who is experienced, up to date and competent in immunisation.” “Both knowledge and clinical competence should be assessed before new or inexperienced immunisers start to give and/or advise about vaccines.” “Experienced immunisers should use the Vaccination Skills assessment form to self-assess their own immunisation practice before they supervise other pharmacists, so they can specifically address any necessary areas of practice. Ref: Immunisation training standards for healthcare practitioners What does this mean in practice? If you are a NEW or inexperienced vaccinator, you need to be assessed as competent in a ‘live’ supervised environment after completing the vaccinations skills training AND before you provide the service on your own (unsupervised).…

DHSC Review recommends action to curb prescription direction by distance selling pharmacies

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published a report which identifies “strong evidence of prescription direction” to some distance selling pharmacies, following representations made by the NPA and other pharmacy leadership bodies.

A DHSC review of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 finds that the Regulations have “largely achieved the original policy objectives which remain relevant and appropriate for the regulation of NHS pharmaceutical services in England.”  It also identifies “a number of unintended consequences….particularly in relation to distance selling premises (also known as distance selling pharmacies or DSPs)”. The review is likely to lead to a formal consultation on amendments to the 2013 Regulations to address the problem.  Specifically, it recommends: require DSPs to declare any vested or significant interests – including if any of the business owners or partners, are themselves, or have family members who are prescribers of NHS prescriptions dispensed by the DSP require DSP contractors to maintain functional websites which detail how their services can be accessed nationally and their arrangements for the disposal of patient returned waste medicines NHS England develop a complaints process to allow suspected breeches to be reported investigated DHSC consider how the development and roll out of the electronic prescription service and patient nomination processes could help mitigate prescription direction. The National Pharmacy Association has long argued for tighter regulations and enforcement to curb prescription direction and we regard this review as a significant moment.…