Since the start of the outbreak, community pharmacy contractors have been taking steps to ensure their pharmacies are COVID-secure for patients, the public and staff, and have been adopting a variety of measures including, as appropriate, the use of facemasks.
On Monday (15 June) PSNC published updated advice for pharmacies; full details can be found on the PSNC website HERE
UPDATED PUBLIC INFORMATION POSTERS
Public Health England (PHE) has updated the set of Coronavirus (COVID-19) posters for use in pharmacies. These include an updated poster to advise on maintaining a 2m distance from others, a poster that should be displayed so it is visible to people seeking to enter the premises, and a poster pharmacies can use if they are working behind closed doors for part of the day.
These can all be downloaded from the PHE campaign resources hub.Any previously issued posters should be removed from display and be replaced by the above posters.
The PHE campaign resources hub also has additional posters in the coronavirus campaigns section that can be used to highlight the latest Government messaging. Contractors may wish to use these to promote awareness of the wider COVID-19 response.
END OF MONTH SUBMISSION FOR MAY (Repeat of PSNC Article in COVID-19 Daily Update: 1 June 2020)
Community pharmacy contractors are reminded that they must continue to submit their monthly prescription bundles as usual. With the submission period for prescriptions dispensed in May now open, PSNC has put together a list of top tips to help contractors with their end of month process.
Exemption status – check and apply the correct exempt or paid status on both EPS and paper prescriptions before submitting for payment.
PMR system supplier reports – use these to check your dispensing figures against your submission claim.
Manage Your Service (MYS) portal – submitting your figures using this electronic system can help reduce the risk of inputting errors.
Sending your bundle – dispatch the end of month prescription bundle and accompanying FP34C no later than the 5th day of the month following that in which supply was made. If your regular courier service is unavailable, make alternative arrangements for secure track and trace delivery of the bundle.
Pandemic Delivery Service – claims for any deliveries made in May under the Advanced service element need to be made by 5th June using the MYS portal, via the Home Delivery Advanced Service link.
Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) – claims for CPCS consultations should be made on a monthly basis using the MYS portal.
Early May Bank Holiday – contractors have until 22 June 2020 to claim payment using the MYS portal for the national requirement to open on Friday 8 May.
Please continue to help PSNC help you and give them evidence to negotiate a decent concession price, report all medicine prices that are invoiced at more than tariff.
Can all contractors please remember to continue report any new medicine shortages not listed on the SPS website using PSNCs online reporting form if you have not been able to source stock of a medicine from any supplier or manufacturer.
If a medicine is not affected by a shortage but is unavailable to purchase from your supplier(s) at or below the Drug Tariff listed price, please report the pricing issue to PSNC to consider a request for a price concession.
PREPARING FOR FLU VACCINATION
Despite it being the start of Summer, many teams are already planning for this winters flu season. Evidence from Australia has suggested that, following COVID-19, demand for Flu Vaccinations is higher then ever. Whilst a great success for public health, this does pose challenges to already stretched services – especially with the social distancing and infection control requirements of COVID likely to still be in place.
We know that PSNC are working with NHSE to clarify key elements of the Flu service and update the specification to reflect the additional burdens COVID will place on service provision. As a regional group, all the LPCs in Cheshire and Merseyside have considered the likely challenges this years’ service will create and fed them into PSNC. This includes (but not limited to!) the amount and type of PPE required, understanding of the need for cleaning consultation rooms, the expectations for shielded patients, the challenges with written consent and integrating/streamlining IT systems. We will continue to work on this and share areas for consideration with you as needed. We were made aware that some companies are providing face-to-face (but socially distanced) vaccination training. Whilst PSNC have secured agreement that training due this year can be delayed (ie a 3 year gap) pharmacists who have never been trained may wish to explore this now, as there is likely to be fewer training sessions this year.
What we do know, is that there is expected to be a local co-ordinated response to Flu this year. Ensuring good coverage of those most at risk has never been more important, and at present we don’t know what the impact of COVID will be, the demand from the public, the continued impact from staff shortages (from COVID) or closed door policies from GPs and pharmacies alike. NHS England locally are already discussing joint working between pharmacies and GPs, on a PCN footprint, to ensure ready supply of vaccine and vaccinators. This will mean we may be expected to work a bit differently, to meet the needs of our local communities. There isn’t a firm understanding of what this will look like yet, and if you have any examples of good practice we’d love to hear from you – email@example.com
In the meantime, you can prepare for this new way of working by:
Reviewing your insurance to see if there are any requirements for vaccinating off-site (and updating your SOP if needed)
Review your arrangements for maintaining the cold-chain off-site
Consider off-site access to PharmOutcomes (e.g. a tablet or laptop with internet access)
Contact your local practice managers to ask what plans they have made so far
Talk to other pharmacies in your PCN to check who will be providing Flu Vaccinations this year
** AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE FROM 4 JUNE **
CWP REVIEWS OF CLOZAPINE PATIENTS
During this pandemic period, it is important for all healthcare professionals to be vigilant about increased risks with clozapine, particularly around constipation. Untreated constipation can lead to fatality in this patient group. Certain medications such as iron supplements and medicines that contribute to anticholinergic burden can have an impact on this, and changes to lifestyle during this pandemic period will have had an impact. All patients prescribed clozapine received a handy fact sheet relating to clozapine and constipation, as well as letter relating to Covid-19 and re-enforcing of key messages. Furthermore, smoking changes can also impact on clozapine levels of which can necessitate an adjustment of dose.
Community Pharmacies across the Cheshire and Wirral footprint are being sent digital notifications through PharmOutcomes, and repeating this for people who were referred for this prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Please check your PMR is updated to note they are prescribed clozapine
Notify the CWP Pharmacist who made the referral to you if the patient is experiencing symptoms of constipation and also ask the patient to notify their Specialist team about this.
Notify the CWP Pharmacist if the patient has had a change in smoking habits including, a change in numbers of cigarettes smoked, and if the patient has not discussed this already with their CWP Specialist Team contact.
Community Pharmacies will shortly also receive PharmOutcomes notifications for patients prescribed a long acting depot antipsychotic, together with information to support any counselling you may have with the patient. When you receive this please also add this to your PMR so that interactions and aspects for counselling can be flagged.
Helplink Community Support, with Tranmere Rovers Football Club (TRFC), are providing a free, non-contact Prescription Delivery Service via their DBS checked volunteers. Please share the phone number 0151 648 3322 with patients, display the flyer they have produced in the pharmacy, or print it to give to patients/representatives who might be struggling to collect their prescriptions. The flyer can be downloaded from the LPC website HERE. The phone lines are manned 9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday) and a message can be left out of hours. Ideally the prescription can be picked up during the next few days but can be picked up next day (Monday to Friday) if it’s urgent and they call early enough to arrange this.
There is no charge for this service, or any of the services listed. They just need to call the number on the flyer to register. The service is available throughout Wirral.
WIRRAL PHARMACIES ONLY: FIRE & RESCUE DELIVERY SERVICE
As shared in the newsletter last week the Fire & Rescue service will not be offering delivery to shielded patients from 22 June. This means that shielded patients will need to use volunteer services, friends and family or access the advanced delivery service, if eligible.
Shielded patients, where your pharmacy is unable to offer a delivery service, should be directed to call the council for support on 0151 666 5050. They will be guided through determining what support is available including friends, family members, local support groups and their own pharmacy (if delivery is normally offered).
You should follow your own company processes for supporting shielded patients, in line with the essential service requirements, including advising patients on accessing local support, providing your normal delivery service and, where eligible, utilising the advanced pandemic delivery service (details of which can be found on PSNCs website here: https://psnc.org.uk/the-healthcare-landscape/covid19/pandemic-delivery-service/)
Pharmacies needing support on an ‘ad-hoc’ basis can request assistance from the Healthy Wirral delivery service by calling 0151 604 7503 (this is not a public number). For those pharmacies with delivery services of their own, it is expected that accessing the advanced pandemic delivery service would be the first option.
PALLIATIVE CARE STOCK SHORTAGES: REMEMBER TO REPORT
Locally, CCGs are continuing to monitor the availability of palliative care drugs; therefore, can contractors please remember to report any palliative care stock shortages via the PharmOutcomes template, as necessary.
The template is specifically linked to the palliative care list.
PHARMACY CONTRACTS AND MANAGEMENT
PHARMACY REPRESENTATIVE REVIEW WEBINAR
Professor David Wright is holding a webinar about his independent review of community pharmacy representation and support on Monday 29 June at 7pm.
The webinar will give contractors the opportunity to learn more about the findings of Professor Wright’s review – they will hear from him directly and have the chance to question him on his report.
Professor Wright will publish his findings and recommendations on Friday 19 June, giving contractors who wish to some time to read them before the webinar.
The aim of Professor Wright’s review was to find ways to optimise LPC and PSNC working to ensure that the national network structure for contractor representation is working as efficiently as it can and is fit for the future. The independent review team’s report will also set out a series of recommendations for how the support and representation offered for contractors can be improved.
LPCs and PSNC will have a separate virtual meeting in early July to question Professor Wright and discuss a plan for next steps in response to the recommendations.
COMMUNITY PHARMACY CONSULTATION AUDIT: W/C 29 JUNE 2020
This is just a head's up that PSNC will be asking community pharmacy teams to take part in an audit that will capture information about all of the advice that pharmacies are giving to patients and local communities.
The audit has been tested by a small group of pharmacies to ensure it is easy to carry out, and it can be carried out as one of pharmacies’ contractual (clinical) audits for 2020/21. Pharmacies will be asked to carry out the audit on a single day in the week commencing Monday 29 June.
Full details of how pharmacies can take part, including the audit template, guidance and a recorded presentation, will be available one week in advance of the audit week (on Monday 22 June).
The LPC will share the information when it is available; this will be repeated in next week's newsletter.
PHARMACY STUDENT PLACEMENTS
HEE are starting the process of allocating pharmacy students to employers through the portal. Guidance has been produced to provide more information particularly relating to Covid-19 and supervision etc and this can be accessed HERE.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in employing students and you will be added to the database (including your name, organisation and location).
When the School team have allocated student(s) to your organisation you will receive an email asking you to register your details on the portal. You will then be able to see the student details – where they are studying, which year, past experience and a brief summary. You will be able to contact them and then go through your usual recruitment process. You will then be able to reject people you don’t need and HEE will put them forward to another employer.
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- if you do not wish your email address to be shared please email the LPC office on the email address above **
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