National News

Urgent action required regarding DSP Toolkit submission (England)

NPA News - 19 March 2019 - 4:06pm
Dear Superintendent, The deadline for pharmacy contractors to complete and submit the Data Security and Protection (DSP) Toolkit is midnight on the 31 March 2019 by 23:59 hours. However, I strongly advise you to submit by 30 March 2019 so it is not left until the last minute. Over the past few days, the Pharmacy Services team has received many enquiries from members regarding the DSP toolkit completion and submission. I would like clarify some aspects of the toolkit that members find confusing, such as registration and Caldicott guardian in the FAQs below. Background The DSP Toolkit replaces the previous Information Governance (IG) Toolkit. All pharmacy contractors are still required to complete and submit it annually. The DSP Toolkit enables all community pharmacies accessing NHS patient information to demonstrate that they are practising good information governance. Within the DSP Toolkit, there is a new DSP Incident Reporting Tool for data security and protection incidents – it replaces the SIRI reporting tool which was part of the previous IG toolkit.…
Categories: National News

NHS Organ Donation Bill passed into law

NPA News - 19 March 2019 - 3:37pm
The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill received Royal Assent on 15 March 2019 which means it is an act of parliament. The act is also known as the Max and Keira law after Keira donated her heart to save Max’s life. Currently there are more than 6,000 people waiting for an organ transplant in the UK alone. The introduction of the law will mean that hundreds more people on waiting lists for organs will have their lives saved. From 2020, adults will be automatically enrolled as potential donors unless they opt out or fall under the automatic exclusion criteria. Automatic exclusion criteria Children under 18 Those who lack mental capacity to understand the changes for a significant period prior to their death Those who have not resided in England for at least 12 months prior to their death A public campaign will be launched by the government to raise awareness and understanding prior to the changes coming into force in early 2020.…
Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Updated gateway criteria report now available

PSNC News - 19 March 2019 - 3:10pm

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has updated its weekly gateway criteria report, allowing community pharmacy contractors to check whether they have been assessed, using national datasets, as meeting four of the five gateway criteria (Advanced Services, NHS website, Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) and NHSmail) – due to cyber security reasons, the report does not contain confirmation on compliance with the Warranted Environment Specification (WES) gateway criterion, that has been separately confirmed to contractors via email from NHSBSA.

The report has also been updated to show contractors who have submitted their declaration and have been validated by NHSBSA as meeting the five gateway criteria (including the WES gateway criterion). These contractors are highlighted in blue on the report; no further action is required by these contractors.

Categories: National News

National conference announced for Manchester on Thursday June 20

NPA News - 18 March 2019 - 6:05pm
The conference is a collaboration between the NPA and Communications International Group, publisher of Pharmacy Magazine, Independent Community Pharmacist, P3 Pharmacy and Training Matters. Other speakers, senior names from the NHS, government and pharmacy, will be announced shortly. NPA members attending the conference are also invited to attend the association’s AGM, which will be held in Manchester on the same day. NPA Chief Executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “The NPA is working in partnership with others in the sector and with the NHS, to find a positive way forward for community pharmacy. The road to success is not a journey that can be taken alone. “That is why we have chosen Forwards in Partnership as our theme. We are delighted that the Secretary of State has agreed to take part. We believe it demonstrates an eagerness to engage with the sector, and an understanding on his part that pharmacies are essential to the health of the nation.” Richard Thomas, Editor of Pharmacy Magazine, said: “This is a great opportunity to learn first hand about the latest policy developments affecting community pharmacy from senior figures in Government, the NHS and the wider sector.…
Categories: National News

Change of circumstance or ODS code for your pharmacy? Read our guide

PSNC News - 18 March 2019 - 4:31pm

PSNC has updated its guidance to support contractors whose pharmacies are due to have a change of location or ownership.

Changes of circumstance such as new owners, relocations and closures are subject to regulatory requirements, but PSNC’s guide focuses on mitigating potential IT/Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) issues where such changes are planned.

PSNC recommends that community pharmacy contractors prepare for a change of circumstance by familiarising themselves with the guidance. As the full transition period for EPS and NHS IT services takes at least one month, it is preferable to let the local NHS England team know about the change at least one month in advance. Importantly, that timescale is separate from the additional up-to-14-day notice period stated in the “notice of commencement” form and required for some changes (further explained within the briefing below).

If the pharmacy’s ODS (F) code is due to change – which may be necessary in some scenarios – then additional preparations will be required so that EPS nominations can be transferred, the pharmacy is listed as ‘EPS-ready’ on the NHS website, the local Registration Authority updates staff Smartcards, etc.

 

The guidance below outlines scenarios where ODS codes are likely to need to be changed and the actions contractors should take for as smooth a transition as possible.

 

PSNC Briefing: Change of pharmacy circumstance guide: ODS codes and planning require should your ODS code change

 

PSNC has also added new FAQs on this topic to its ODS webpage

Categories: National News

GPhC publishes a new enforcement policy for registered pharmacies

PSNC News - 18 March 2019 - 1:21pm

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has published a new enforcement policy for registered pharmacies, which intends to drive continuous improvement in the quality of care patients receive when using a pharmacy.

The policy is aimed at community pharmacy contractors, whether sole trader, a partnership of pharmacists or a body corporate such as a limited company. It also applies regardless of whether contractors provide the traditional face-to-face service or operate at a distance.

GPhC have confirmed that their “…overall approach is to support and encourage pharmacy owners to meet the standards for registered pharmacies,” with a commitment to “using the minimum regulatory intervention to achieve the desired result…

For more information, please see GPhC’s press release and new enforcement policy.

 

Categories: National News

An introduction to Primary Care Networks (March 2019)

PSNC News - 18 March 2019 - 9:06am

This PSNC Briefing provides an explanation for community pharmacy teams of what Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are and their role in the NHS. It can be used by LPCs as an introductory briefing on PCNs for contractors, as part of local work to engage contractors and their team in the work of networks.

PSNC Briefing 013/19: An introduction to Primary Care Networks

If you have queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information, please contact the PSNC Services Team.

To browse other PSNC briefings on the healthcare landscape click here.

View Article…

Categories: National News

Market-entry applications to move online

PSNC News - 15 March 2019 - 3:30pm

At present there are 30+ pharmacy forms available including applications for change of ownership, consolidation, relocation and new pharmacies. PCSE confirm that a new approach for pharmacy forms will see the replacement of multiple paper forms with one single online application, accessible via PCSE Online.

The newly developed online form which will replace the 30+ paper forms that currently exist is now in the testing phase. The new system hopes to provide a straightforward online application process that automatically checks applications for completeness before they are submitted.

The national roll-out expected later in 2019.

More details are also available in PCSE’s March 2019 pharmacy bulletin.

Categories: National News

One2One with Chris Pointon

NPA News - 14 March 2019 - 1:45pm
Pictured: Chris Pointon (left) with his late wife, Dr Kate Granger. That first introduction between patient and pharmacist is a crucial start to a therapeutic relationship,” Chris Pointon says. “It’s about two people interacting, irrespective of what positions they may hold in society or life. Sometimes people may feel there is a power imbalance when a doctor or a pharmacist talks to a patient, but by having that simple dialogue and a proper introduction from the very beginning, it starts the relationship on an equal footing.” Chris knows the value of this personal approach more than most. As the co-founder of the #hellomynameis campaign with his late wife Dr Kate Granger, he has seen the effect it has had on healthcare relationships and the enthusiasm with which it has been adopted, not just in UK hospitals but in healthcare and other settings around the world. Indeed, the campaign’s level of success mirrors only the difficulty of the circumstances that led to its genesis.…
Categories: National News

EMIS to join national roll-out of EPS CDs

PSNC News - 14 March 2019 - 1:41pm

EMIS plans to implement EPS Controlled Drugs (CDs) for all of their GP practices between Monday 25th March and Monday 8th April 2019. This follows the recent announcement that Vision and TPP have rolled out EPS CDs to their GP practices.

Once the EMIS rollout commences, it will result in a further substantial increase in the number of CD prescriptions that community pharmacies receive via EPS. It therefore continues to be important that all pharmacy staff, including locums, are aware of the roll-out and are prepared to dispense an electronic prescription for a Schedule 2 or 3 CD.

If you receive a prescription for a Schedule 2 or 3 CD via EPS, you should dispense it as you would any other electronic prescription.

Pharmacy teams may find it useful to check when local GP practices are going live by checking the roll-out schedule on the NHS Digital website.

Further information

At GP practices where roll-out has occurred, CD prescriptions (except for instalment FP10MDAs) can be processed electronically for all patients that use EPS for their existing prescriptions. For GP practices that are also taking part in the EPS Phase 4 pilot, CDs will be prescribed electronically for both patients with and without an EPS nomination.

The national roll-out dates for other GP systems will be announced by NHS Digital in due course.

If you receive an EPS Controlled Drug prescription and have any questions or comments, please contact info@psnc.org.uk. The usual EPS escalation route also applies for raising EPS technical queries.

Read more at EPS Controlled DrugsOur webpages on CD validity and CD regulations also contain relevant information.

 

 

 

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: 10,292 contractors now validated

PSNC News - 14 March 2019 - 12:06pm

The latest NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) weekly gateway report shows that 10,292 community pharmacy contractors have now been validated as meeting the five gateway criteria of the Quality Payments Scheme.

This means that 10,292 contractors have been validated that they:

  1. Are offering patients the opportunity to access at least one Advanced Service at their pharmacy;
  2. Have updated/validated their NHS website profile to ensure it is up-to-date;
  3. Have the results of their latest Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire publicly available on their NHS website profile;
  4. Have a live premises NHSmail account with two live linked personal accounts; and
  5. Have pharmacy operating systems and browsers which are compliant with NHS Digital’s Warranted Environment Specification (WES).

Contractors who have been validated will have received confirmation of this in an email from the NHSBSA team. Contractors should confirm they have these emails as proof of successful declaration and validation; and these emails should be retained in case of any payment queries.

Contractors who have been validated will be paid a Quality Payment based on the quality criteria they declared they met when they completed their declaration. This payment will be made as part of the full payment for their March 2019 submission to NHSBSA (which contractors will receive at the start of June 2019).

Contractors who have not been validated as meeting the gateway criteria

Contractors who made a declaration by the deadline (1st March 2019) but who have not yet been validated as meeting the five gateway criteria still have an opportunity to be eligible for a Quality Payment, but urgent action is required.

These contractors will have received an email from the NHSBSA team after they made their declaration which would have detailed the gateway criteria which the NHSBSA could not validate them as meeting. Contractors would have been encouraged in this email to take corrective action to meet these gateway criteria so the NHSBSA team could then validate them. Contractors will NOT receive a Quality Payment unless they are validated.

If a contractor is unsure what action they need to take to be validated as meeting the five gateway criteria, they are strongly encouraged to email the NHSBSA Provider Assurance Team (nhsbsa.pharmacysupport@nhs.net) with their F-code as soon as possible. Appropriate advice and support can then be provided to these contractors to try to ensure they can be validated before 29th March 2019. If a contractor is not validated by this date, they will not be eligible for a Quality Payment.

Categories: National News

MHRA Update

NPA News - 14 March 2019 - 10:22am
Updates that could impact on Community Pharmacy include: Falsified Medicines Directive: The UK is proceeding with implementation of the EU requirements for new safety features to prevent the entry into the legal supply chain of falsified medicinal products in the UK. However, as stated in the MHRA’s consultation, in the event of no deal, it is expected UK stakeholders would no longer be able to comply with the requirement to verify and authenticate. Therefore, the legal obligations related to this would be removed for all actors in the UK supply chain. Packs containing the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) safety features would still be accepted in the UK, provided that they are in line with other UK packaging requirements. In the interests of public safety, we will evaluate the options for a future UK falsified medicines regulatory framework, taking into account the investment already made by stakeholders. Recognition of Prescriptions The UK currently recognises prescriptions from all EU/EEA countries.…
Categories: National News

Local primary care network and pharmacy integration events

NPA News - 12 March 2019 - 2:08pm
It’s now more important than ever for pharmacy owners to get to grips with local networks in the NHS. Most of the new investment provided for  primary and community care, alongside the NHS Long Term, will be funnelled through local commissioning structures. Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan. The aim of these networks is to produce a more personalised, coordinated and integrated model of health and social care by bringing together a range of local providers, including GP practices, mental health and social care services, pharmacies, and some hospital and voluntary services. They are based on GPs’ registered lists and each covers around 30,000 to 50,000 patients. PCNs are already up and running in many areas of the country and the plan is for the networks to cover the whole of England by the end of 2019. To understand more about these local structures, NHS England has organised various events for healthcare professionals to attend.…
Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Have you had an email about the WES gateway criterion?

PSNC News - 12 March 2019 - 1:10pm

Community pharmacy contractors who, prior to today, have not had confirmation that their pharmacy has been validated as meeting the Warranted Environment Specification (WES) gateway criterion should have received an email today from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) to their premises-shared NHSmail account*. This email will state whether their pharmacy has now been assessed, in the fifth assessment period, as having met the WES gateway criterion of the Quality Payments Scheme.

For a pharmacy to be assessed to see if it meets the WES gateway criterion in the fifth assessment period, contractors will need to have accessed the Summary Care Record (SCR) portal from their pharmacy between 22nd February 2019 – 7th March 2019. If the SCR portal has not been accessed from the pharmacy, NHS Digital will not have been able to capture the pharmacy’s operating system and browser details. Therefore, NHSBSA will not have been able to assess if the pharmacy has met the WES gateway criterion.

The email will detail one of three possible scenarios:

  1. The SCR portal has been accessed and the pharmacy has been validated as having met the WES gateway criterion;
  2. The SCR portal has been accessed and the pharmacy cannot be validated as the pharmacy does not currently meet the WES gateway criterion (due to the operating system and/or the browser used to access the SCR portal not conforming to the WES requirements); or
  3. The SCR portal has not been accessed so compliance has not been able to be assessed.
If the pharmacy has been validated as having met the gateway criterion

Contractors are advised to retain the email confirming that they have been validated, as evidence of compliance with the WES gateway criterion.

If the pharmacy cannot be validated as the pharmacy does not meet the gateway criterion

Contractors who are assessed as non-compliant are expected to work with their system suppliers to update to an operating system and browser that complies with the WES requirements, as outlined on page 21 of the NHS England guidance.

When this has been completed, contractors should access the SCR portal again between 8th March 2019 – 21st March 2019 to allow compliance to be reassessed. Contractors do not need to access an individual patient’s SCR for validation of this criterion; contractors just need to open the ‘Find a patient’ screen for NHS Digital to be able to capture the pharmacy’s operating system and browser details.

Contractors who completed an online declaration for their pharmacy by the declaration window deadline, 11:59pm on Friday 1st March 2019, will receive a further email week commencing 25th March 2019 which will advise if they have met this gateway criterion in the next assessment period (8th March 2019 – 21st March 2019).

If the pharmacy’s compliance cannot be assessed as the SCR portal has not been accessed

Contractors should access the SCR portal between 8th March 2019 – 21st March 2019 so that the pharmacy’s compliance with the gateway criterion can be assessed and either validated as having met the gateway criterion or contractors can be advised that the pharmacy does not meet the WES requirements, allowing corrective action to be taken. Contractors do not need to access an individual patient’s SCR for validation of this criterion; contractors just need to open the ‘Find a patient’ screen for NHS Digital to be able to capture the pharmacy’s operating system and browser details.

Contractors who completed an online declaration for their pharmacy by the declaration window deadline, 11:59pm on Friday 1st March 2019, will receive a further email week commencing 25th March 2019 which will advise if they have met this gateway criterion in the next assessment period (8th March 2019 – 21st March 2019).

Contractors are reminded that the SCR portal must be accessed to enable the assessment of WES compliance to be undertaken. Failure to access the SCR portal will mean the pharmacy cannot be validated and therefore a Quality Payment cannot be made.

Further information on the WES gateway criterion can be found at psnc.org.uk/qpwes

*The following companies have requested that the WES gateway criterion email is sent to a representative at their head office rather than to individual pharmacy premises-shared NHSmail accounts:

ASDA; Boots; Britannia Pharmacy; WM Brown (kinghurst) Ltd; Daleacre Healthcare Ltd; Day Lewis plc; Dean & Smedley Ltd; Gorgemead t/a Cohens Chemists; Hollowood Chemists Ltd; The Hub Pharmacy Ltd; Jardines (UK) Ltd; Knights Chemists Ltd; Lincolnshire Cooperative Ltd; LloydsPharmacy; HA McParland Limited; JN McGill Ltd; Manichem Ltd; Medicine Clinic Ltd; Medipharmacy Limited; Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy Group; Morrisons; MW Phillips Chemists; Paydens Ltd; PCT Healthcare; Pharmacy Care Plus Ltd; Raylane Ltd; Rowlands Pharmacy; Safedale Ltd; Shaunaks Ltd; Steven Lo / Lo’s Pharmacy; Superdrug; Tesco; Waremoss Ltd / Kamsons; Warwick Healthcare Ltd; H I Weldrick Ltd; Well; and X-Pharm Ltd. WES emails schedule

The NHSBSA Provider Assurance Team will continue to send out emails to contractors who do not meet the WES gateway criterion and to those who have not accessed the SCR portal for their WES compliance to be assessed. The email schedule is detailed in the table below.

Assessment period Contractors will need to access the SCR portal between these dates to be assessed as to whether they meet the WES gateway criterion Dates when the NHSBSA Provider Assurance Team will email contractors to advise if they have been assessed and whether they meet the WES gateway criterion 1 Between 14th November 2018 – 10th January 2019 16th January 2019 2 Between 11th January 2019 – 24th January 2019 28th January 2019 3 Between 25th January 2019 – 7th February 2019 12th February 2019 4 Between 8th February 2019 – 21st February 2019 27th February 2019 5 Between 22nd February 2019 – 7th March 2019 12th March 2019 6 Between 8th March 2019 – 21st March 2019 Week commencing 25th March 2019

 

 

Categories: National News

Increase in availability of Freestyle Libre Sensors to patients across UK

NPA News - 11 March 2019 - 2:42pm
Pharmacy contractors and their teams should be aware that NHS England has increased the funding available for Freestyle Libre sensors to allow access  to flash glucose monitoring for more patients with Type 1 diabetes across the UK. There has previously been variability in access to flash glucose monitoring to patients in some parts of the country; however pharmacy teams may now notice an increase in prescriptions received for Freestyle Libre sensors from April 2019. NHS England has published guidance on patient eligibility criteria for flash glucose monitoring and the maximum amounts that Clinical Commissioning Groups will be reimbursed for continuing costs of flash glucose sensors. Freestyle Libre sensors are only available from Abbott Diabetes Care direct and are not distributed through any wholesalers. To obtain the Freestyle Libre sensor, community pharmacies are required to set up an account via the Abbott Diabetes Care website. This will take 24 hours to activate and then orders can be placed and an invoice will be sent direct to the pharmacy.…
Categories: National News

Quality Payments: Updated gateway criteria report now available

PSNC News - 11 March 2019 - 11:48am

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has updated its weekly gateway criteria report, allowing community pharmacy contractors to check whether they have been assessed, using national datasets, as meeting four of the five gateway criteria (Advanced Services, NHS website, Community Pharmacy Patient Questionnaire (CPPQ) and NHSmail) – due to cyber security reasons, the report does not contain confirmation on compliance with the Warranted Environment Specification (WES) gateway criterion, that has been separately confirmed to contractors via email from NHSBSA.

The report has also been updated to show contractors who have submitted their declaration and have been validated by NHSBSA as meeting the five gateway criteria (including the WES gateway criterion). These contractors are highlighted in blue on the report; no further action is required by these contractors.

Categories: National News

Reclassification of gabapentin and pregabalin as CDs from 1st April 2019 – update

PSNC News - 11 March 2019 - 11:39am

Community pharmacy teams are reminded that from 1st April 2019, pregabalin and gabapentin will be reclassified as Schedule 3 Controlled Drugs (CDs).

NHS England has published a guidance document providing information on changes to the law relating to the reclassification of the drugs gabapentin and pregabalin and a patient leaflet informing patients of the changes and how it will affect them.

Pharmacy teams are also reminded of the national roll-out of Schedule 2 and 3 CDs in EPS. This means that the number of CD prescriptions that pharmacies receive via EPS will increase significantly as more GP practices have the functionality switched on.

PSNC’s updated briefing provides detailed information for community pharmacy teams with answers to some commonly raised questions.

 

Categories: National News

Access to Freestyle Libre is widening for Type 1 diabetes patients

PSNC News - 11 March 2019 - 10:22am

From 1st April 2019, community pharmacy teams may see an increase in prescriptions for Freestyle Libre sensors following a growth in funding which will allow access to flash glucose monitoring throughout the country.

In 2018, NHS England announced that there will be an end to the current variation patients in some parts of the country are facing in accessing Freestyle Libre. NHS England has now published guidance that sets out the eligibility criteria for flash glucose monitoring and the maximum amounts that CCGs will be reimbursed for the ongoing costs of flash glucose sensors.

Freestyle Libre sensors are listed as an Appliance in Part IXA of the Drug Tariff which can be dispensed against NHS prescriptions. The sensors can only be ordered directly from Abbott through their pharmacy ordering portal.

PSNC has a resource relating to dispensing appliances and includes FAQs you may find helpful.

 

Categories: National News

Community Pharmacy interim funding arrangements have been announced – to begin 1 April 2019

NPA News - 9 March 2019 - 10:32am
The interim community pharmacy funding arrangements to set in from 1 April 2019 have been announced for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). No changes have been made to the community pharmacy fees and allowances; this will continue until further negotiations on future pharmacy funding can be settled.   The interim funding arrangements from 1 April 2019 are as follows: The Single Activity Fee (SAF) remains at £1.26 The SAF level may be adjusted later in the year Prices of Category M medicines will increase by £10m per month. This is a return to the position prior to November 2018 Pharmacy contractors will be reimbursed for up to a maximum of 200 Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) between 1 April to 30 September 2019 No more Quality Payments Scheme requirements or review points have been set Commissioning for the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service pilot will continue until 30 September pending further discussions Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) payments — pharmacies already receiving the PhAS payments will continue to receive them on a monthly basis; these will be the same as those received in the last financial year   Negotiations on future community pharmacy funding are expected to begin before Easter to enable implementation of any agreed changes to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework from October 2019.…
Categories: National News

Community pharmacy funding announcement

NPA News - 8 March 2019 - 5:32pm
Full details are available on the PSNC website here. We welcome anything that relieves our members’ perilous financial situation, so it is good that the current period of reclaiming excess margin will come to an end shortly. In addition, it is helpful that we now have more information about the months ahead. But this announcement doesn’t change the fundamental position. Independents remain under immense pressure and we advise our members to remain cautious about investment decisions, until the longer term position is clearer. A multi-year settlement, which incentivises quality and clinical services over volume can’t come soon enough. This would give pharmacies more confidence to invest and take on the challenges laid out for the sector in the NHS Long Term Plan.…
Categories: National News
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