National News

PHE’s ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign re-launches in October

NPA News - 4 hours 12 min ago
For the third year in a row, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England’s national winter campaign, Stay Well This Winter, will be running from 9 October 2017. Once again, Public Health England will be supporting pharmacies to promote the…
Categories: National News

Stay Well This Winter campaign returns for 2017

PSNC News - 6 hours 1 min ago

For the third year running, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England’s national winter campaign, Stay Well This Winter, will be running from 9th October 2017. The campaign encourages at-risk groups to get the free NHS flu vaccination, and to take simple, easy-to-achieve actions to avoid admission to hospital during the winter period.

PHE will again this year be supporting pharmacies to promote the key campaign messages in-store by distributing materials. All small-chain and independent pharmacies will be receiving a kit of promotional materials (including posters, shelf wobblers and leaflets) via the Healthcare Distribution Association; these should arrive week commencing 2nd or 9th October 2017.

Where local NHS England teams have agreed for the Stay Well This Winter campaign to be one of the public health campaigns that community pharmacy contractors are required to participate in as part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, LPCs have made arrangements for PHE to also send promotional kits to the pharmacy multiples in their areas.

PHE is in contact with all pharmacy multiple head offices to coordinate their in-store and online support. However, if there are any pharmacy multiples who will not be receiving a promotional kit who would like to place an order, they can call 0300 123 1019 to order one. The order line will be open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6pm; toolkits are subject to availability.

Healthy Living Pharmacy teams may wish to host a health awareness event/campaign on staying well this winter, therefore the resources and training available from this campaign may benefit those wishing to engage with members of the public on this subject. More information on hosting a health awareness event/campaigns can be found on the PSNC health promotion ideas page.

Categories: National News

Discover Your Local Pharmacy ‘open day’ materials now available

NPA News - 6 hours 43 min ago
The theme of this year’s AYP Week is ‘Discover Your Local Pharmacy,’ a theme which allows pharmacies to showcase the full range of pharmacy services – surprising people with what’s on offer on their doorstep in local pharmacies. As a…
Categories: National News

FAQ: Blood glucose meter test strips – VAT liability

NPA News - 8 hours 35 min ago
Blood glucose meter test strips will be zero-rated for Value Added Tax (VAT) purposes if they are to be sold as an item designed for use solely by a disabled patient. A disabled patient (also referred to as someone who…
Categories: National News

FAQ: NHS Flu Advanced Service – house-bound patients

NPA News - 8 hours 36 min ago
No. An eligible house-bound patient cannot be vaccinated in their home under the NHS Community Pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination Advanced Service. The service specification only allows the vaccination to be undertaken at the pharmacy premises, unless a request is received…
Categories: National News

FAQ: Pharmacy CCTV footage – police request

NPA News - 8 hours 52 min ago
A pharmacy contractor may provide CCTV footage of their pharmacy when requested by a police officer to investigate the death of a patient. The following points should be considered before the CCTV footage is released to the police officer: The…
Categories: National News

Patient safety incident investigations – Health Service Safety Investigations Body

NPA News - 9 hours 36 min ago
Serious patient safety incidents within the NHS in England will be investigated by a new investigation body, the Health Service Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB), in Department of Health (DH) proposals. HSSIB will be an independent organisation with statutory powers under…
Categories: National News

MHRA medical device alert – All Accu-Chek Insight insulin pumps (Roche Diabetes Care)

PSNC News - 20 September 2017 - 4:04pm

MDA number: MDA/2017/030

Date issued: 20th September 2017

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a medical device alert for:

All Accu-Chek Insight insulin pumps (Roche Diabetes Care)

The audible and/or vibration alarms might not function on the pumps, which may lead to hyperglycaemia if the user doesn’t see the notification message on the pump.

The action points, which are to be completed by all healthcare workers responsible for patients who use these devices, are:

  • identify all users of Accu-Chek Insight insulin pumps;
  • ensure that all patients and carers:
    • receive the manufacturer’s Field Safety Notice (FSN);
    • understand the information detailed in the FSN and follow the advice given by the manufacturer;
    • check the display of the insulin pump regularly;
    • seek clinical advice if they are concerned and have an alternative insulin therapy available if necessary;
    • contact the Roche Careline to get a replacement if the pump continues to display the ‘E7’ error message; and
  • return the FSN acknowledgement form to Roche as currently the manufacturer has not received sufficient responses.

Deadline for actions:

  • actions underway: 4th October 2017
  • actions complete: 18th October 2017

To view the alert please visit the MHRA website.

Categories: National News

MEDICAL DEVICE ALERT Accu-chek® Insight insulin pumps

NPA News - 20 September 2017 - 3:17pm
MEDICAL DEVICE ALERT Ref: MDA/2017/030 20 September 2017 Accu-chek® Insight insulin pumps (Manufactured by Roche Diabetes Care) A medical device alert has been issued by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for all healthcare workers who are responsible…
Categories: National News

Less than two weeks left for pharmacists to share their views on providing MURs

PSNC News - 20 September 2017 - 1:51pm

Community pharmacists who work in England are reminded that researchers from the University of Bath are seeking their views as part of the Patients’ Experiences of medication Reviews (PaPER) study. The researchers are keen to find out more about community pharmacists’ views and attitudes on Medicines Use Reviews (MURs), including those that may occur after a person has been in hospital.

Earlier phases of the study have investigated medicines-related emergency hospital admissions and patients’ experiences of a medicines-related admission to hospital.

The final phase of the PaPER study is a questionnaire for community pharmacist in England who provide the MUR service. The questionnaire explores what it is like to be a community pharmacist providing the MUR service and the factors that affect the provision of the service post-discharge. It will also ask about how patients who have recently been in hospital are supported now and what is required to provide a high-quality service in the future.

The questionnaire should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete; responses are anonymous.

Click here to find out more about the study

Click here to take part in the study

The questionnaire will close on Monday 2nd October 2017.

If you have any questions or would prefer a paper version of the questionnaire, please email

Categories: National News

PSNC raises concerns about restricted distribution arrangements

PSNC News - 20 September 2017 - 1:06pm

Contractors will be aware that Alliance Healthcare experienced a power failure on 7 September, leading to disruption of services to community pharmacies.

On 12 September all pharmacies were advised that they could resume placing orders as normal, and on 13 September Alliance said that twice-daily deliveries had resumed for all customers.

During the disruption, pharmacies across the country faced massive problems sourcing supplies to meet patients’ needs, particularly securing medicines only distributed through Alliance.

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:

“PSNC was very concerned about the impact that the problems at Alliance Healthcare had on community pharmacies. We know how much harder many community pharmacy teams had to work to ensure that patients had access to the medicines they needed; and of course this came at a time when pharmacies are already under immense pressure. Only the hard work and extraordinary efforts of pharmacies prevented this closure leading to a catastrophic impact on the NHS caused by many thousands of patients being unable to get the medicines they needed.

PSNC is and has always been very concerned about Direct to Pharmacy arrangements involving a sole supplier of any given medicine to pharmacies. The reliance on a single supplier exacerbates the risks for pharmacies and makes it more likely that any supply problems will leave them unable to meet patients’ needs. When these arrangements first began a few years ago we opposed them. We have continued to monitor the situation since then and after the problems last week we have again escalated the issue with the Department of Health.

PSNC remains of the view that a wholesale market which promotes competition and allows pharmacies to choose from a number of medicines suppliers is the best way to ensure that we retain a resilient medicines supply chain and that community pharmacies can continue to provide patients with the medicines they need, when they need them. We will do all that we can to promote this.”

PSNC Committee Member and independent contractor Gary Warner has also commented on community pharmacy supply arrangements.

Categories: National News

Monthly Dispensing & Supply update (September 2017)

PSNC News - 20 September 2017 - 10:11am

This briefing is part of a series issued regularly by PSNC to inform pharmacy contractors and pharmacy teams on monthly Drug Tariff changes, commonly asked questions and articles regarding dispensing and supply.

This briefing can also be found in the Dispensing & Supply section of September’s CPN.

PSNC Briefing 069/17: Dispensing & Supply monthly update (September 2017)

If you have any queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information, please contact the Dispensing & Supply Team.

To browse other PSNC briefings on dispensing and supply click here.

View Article…

Categories: National News

Quality Payments: action required if you haven’t got a pharmacy NHSmail account

PSNC News - 20 September 2017 - 9:30am

Having an NHSmail account for your pharmacy is a gateway criterion for the Quality Payments Scheme and it is also necessary for any community pharmacy contractor that wishes to provide the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS).

If you have applied for a shared NHSmail account, but have not yet had one allocated to your pharmacy, it is important that you act now.

You should have received an email from NHS Digital in the last few weeks, which explains how to get your account set up. The email asks contractors to complete the process for setting up a shared NHSmail account by providing some information on the NHSmail registration portal. This will include the creation of up to three personal accounts which will be used to access the shared account. Once you have completed your registration using the portal, you will be sent login details for the accounts so that you can activate them.

The portal can also be used by contractors who have not previously applied for an account.

Some multiple pharmacy groups are centrally managing the rollout of NHSmail to their pharmacies in partnership with NHS Digital. If your pharmacy is part of a multiple group, you may want to check with head office before you use the portal to complete setup of an NHSmail account.

What to do next

Once you are ready to set up a shared NHSmail account for your pharmacy and up to three personal accounts, follow the process explained in PSNC Briefing 058.17 How to complete the NHSmail registration process.

During the registration process, if you are unable to locate your pharmacy within the portal, please contact and they will support you through the process. Further information and FAQs about NHSmail can be found on the PSNC NHSmail webpage.

Categories: National News

EPS Prescription Tracker: Business Continuity Mode

NPA News - 20 September 2017 - 9:26am
NHS Digital has launched a new Business Continuity Mode within the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) Prescription Tracker. The Business Continuity Mode can be used in situations where the pharmacy has lost access to their dispensing/Patient Medication Record system; however, a…
Categories: National News

Updated Price Concessions – September 2017

NPA News - 19 September 2017 - 5:00pm
September 2017 Product Price Anastrozole tablets 1mg  (28) £14.45 Atorvastatin tablets 80mg (28) £2.20 Betahistine 16mg tablets (84) (NEW) £8.84 Betahistine 16mg tablets (84) (NEW) £6.25 Buspirone tablets 10mg (30) £9.00 Chlorpromazine tablets 25mg (28) £32.20 Chlorpromazine tablets 100mg (28)…
Categories: National News

September 2017 Price Concessions/NCSO further update

PSNC News - 19 September 2017 - 4:57pm

The Department of Health has granted the following price concessions for September 2017:

Drug Pack size Price concession Anastrozole 1mg tablets 28 £14.45 Atorvastatin 80mg tablets 28 £2.20 Betahistine 16mg tablets 84 £8.84 Betahistine 8mg tablets 84 £6.25 Buspirone 10mg tablets 30 £9.00 Chlorpromazine 25mg tablets 28 £32.20 Chlorpromazine 100mg tablets 28 £35.00 Citalopram 10mg tablets 28 £1.58 Citalopram 20mg tablets 28 £2.30 Citalopram 40mg tablets 28 £2.60 Dapsone 50mg tablets 28 £39.52 Diamorphine 30mg powder for solution for injection ampoules 5 £16.52 Duloxetine 30mg capsules (new) 28 £5.99 Duloxetine 40mg capsules (new) 56 £7.75 Desogestrel 75mcg tablets (new) 28 £2.99 Eplerenone 25mg tablets (new) 28 £7.00 Eplerenone 50mg tablets 28 £12.60 Exemestane 25mg tablets (new) 30 £63.50 Gabapentin 300mg capsules 100 £13.95 Hydroxychloroquine 200mg tablets 60 £16.50 Levetiracetam 1g tablets 60 £92.50 Levetiracetam 250mg tablets 60 £27.50 Levetiracetam 500mg tablets 60 £49.32 Levetiracetam 750mg tablets (new) 60 £61.50 Mefenamic acid 500mg tablets 28 £55.00 Nitrofurantoin 100mg tablets 28 £12.00 Olanzapine 10mg tablets 28 £65.00 Olanzapine 15mg tablets 28 £84.50 Olanzapine 2.5mg tablets 28 £16.49 Olanzapine 20mg tablets 28 £108.99 Olanzapine 5mg tablets 28 £32.25 Olanzapine 7.5mg tablets 28 £52.44 Oxazepam 10mg tablets 28 £18.49 Oxazepam 15mg tablets 28 £18.49 Pramipexole 88mcg tablets 30 £13.50 Quetiapine 100mg tablets 60 £70.00 Quetiapine 150mg tablets 60 £72.00 Quetiapine 200mg tablets 60 £71.00 Quetiapine 25mg tablets 60 £24.95 Quetiapine 300mg tablets 60 £136.00 Rasagiline 1mg tablets 28 £13.95 Rizatriptan 10mg tablets 3 £13.37 Sodium cromoglicate 2% eye drops 13.5ml £9.72 Sumatriptan 100mg tablets 6 £22.00 Sumatriptan 50mg tablets 6 £15.00 Tranexamic acid 500mg tablets 60 £14.30 Terbinafine 250mg tablets 14 £12.49 Trimethoprim 50mg/5ml Oral Susp SF 100ml £3.99 Valsartan 160mg capsules 28 £14.95 Valsartan 80mg capsules 28 £11.43 Vitamin B Co Strong tablets 28 £5.50 Zolmitriptan 2.5mg orodispersible tablets sugar free 6 £18.27 Zolmitriptan 2.5mg tablets 6 £18.00

Contractors will be alerted to any updates through our website and via our e-news email.  If you wish to subscribe to our email list, you can receive an email as soon as any announcements are made. 
Please note that PSNC cannot provide details of generic products that are suspected of being affected by generic supply problems unless and until the Department of Health grants a concession. No additional endorsements are required for price concessions.The price concession only applies to the month that it is granted.

If you have problems obtaining a Part VIII product or problems obtaining the product at the set Drug Tariff price, please report the issue to PSNC using the online feedback form on the PSNC Website.

If you have been able to source the product, please provide full details of the supplier and price paid. PSNC will investigate the extent of the problem and if appropriate discuss the issue with the Department of Health.

Any further concessions will be posted here on the website.

Categories: National News

Services case study: Community pharmacists and hospital teams working together to find and treat AF and prevent stroke

PSNC News - 19 September 2017 - 4:47pm

Care City, which is one of seven national Health and social care test beds funded by NHS England, is working with community pharmacies in North East London to trial detection of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) using a handheld mobile device which can spot AF in 30 seconds.

Patients who are identified as having an abnormal result receive a rapid referral to an AF clinic at a local hospital where they undergo minimally invasive diagnostic tests and meet an arrhythmia nurse to discuss the result, and if appropriate, receive treatment. The whole process takes 2-3 weeks, compared to a national average of 12 weeks at present.

Since the pilot was launched, nearly 700 patients have been screened for AF, and 7% of those were identified as having AF.

The pilot is a collaboration between Care City, North-East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Barts Health NHS Trust, Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group and Sonar Informatics.

Care City launched their new AF pathway at EXPO 2017 last week. The pilot model finds people with undiagnosed AF in local pharmacies, reduces appointments and waiting times to treat them, and offers a cost-effective way to prevent 1,600 strokes per year across England.

Categories: National News

Positive patient verdict on the Flu Vaccination Service 2016/17

PSNC News - 19 September 2017 - 12:39pm

NHS England has shared the collated results of the patient questionnaire for the Flu Vaccination Service in 2016/17, showing that the community pharmacy service was highly valued by patients last year.

The headline figures* include:

  • 98% of patients were very satisfied with the service;
  • 99% would be willing to have a flu vaccination at a pharmacy again;
  • 99% would recommend the service to family and friends;
  • 15% said they might not have had a flu vaccination if the service had not been available in the pharmacy;
  • 10% did not have a flu vaccination in the previous year; and
  • 64% previously had a flu vaccination in another setting and swapped to pharmacy.

An infographic summarising the main results has been produced by PSNC and LPCs may like to consider using this at lobbying events or if they intend to contact local charities/organisations about the Flu Vaccination Service (further support for this activity can be found in the Flu Vaccination Service promotional toolkit for LPCs).

The below pie chart illustrates how people heard about the community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service and shows that over three quarters (77%) of patients* heard about the service from the pharmacy team or a promotional poster within the pharmacy.

Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC said:

“The results of the patient questionnaire from last year show just how much patients value the accessibility of the community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service. This is very encouraging, but of course comes as no surprise given that pharmacies allow patients to have their flu vaccination without needing to make an appointment and at a time and place that is convenient to them.

The facts that 15% of survey respondents said they might not otherwise have had a flu vaccination and that 10% did not have a flu vaccination in the previous year confirm that the community pharmacy service is reaching patients who may otherwise have gone unvaccinated.

For the 2017/18 service, pharmacy teams are once again required to ask patients to complete a patient questionnaire. I would strongly encourage all pharmacy teams to use NHS England’s IT platform to record this, whether by entering the results themselves (if patients have completed a paper copy) or signposting patients directly to the IT platform. As we have seen this year, the data collected can be really powerful, and it helps us to showcase the positive impact of the community pharmacy service.”

Number of patients who completed the questionnaire

*The patient questionnaire is optional for patients to complete, and not all respondents answered all questions. The minimum number of responses to a question included in the percentages provided above and on the infographic, was 99,931 and the maximum number of responses to a question was 110,981.

A total of 950,765 patients received an NHS flu vaccination under the community pharmacy NHS Flu Vaccination Service in 2016/17.

Categories: National News

Services Infographic – Community Pharmacy NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2016/17: The patient verdict (September 2017)

PSNC News - 19 September 2017 - 12:38pm

NHS England has shared the collated results of the patient questionnaire for the Flu Vaccination Service in 2016/17, showing that the community pharmacy service was highly valued by patients last year.

This infographic summarises the main results of the patient questionnaire.

PSNC Briefing 068/17: Services Infographic – Community pharmacy NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2016/17: The patient verdict

If you have any queries on this PSNC Briefing or you require more information, please contact Zainab Al-Kharsan, Service Development Pharmacist.

To browse other PSNC briefings on services and commissioning click here.



View Article…

Categories: National News

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): are you starting to prepare?

NPA News - 18 September 2017 - 2:12pm
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into effect in the UK from 25 May 2018.  This will happen regardless of Brexit. Many concepts and principles will be similar to the existing Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) in the…
Categories: National News
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