National News

Have you completed your Data Security and Protection (IG) toolkit?

PSNC News - 4 hours 55 min ago

Community pharmacy contractors are reminded that they must complete the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (previously called the ‘IG Toolkit’) by Sunday 31st March 2019

Completion of the 70 mandatory questions about their pharmacy’s Information Governance (IG) policies and procedures is required as part of the Terms of Service. Those contractors who have not yet completed the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (previously called the ‘IG Toolkit’) are therefore encouraged to do so as soon as possible.  

Whilst 75% of pharmacy contractors have already registered to use the Toolkit, only half of these have published the assessment.* 

PSNC has produced the following guidance materials to assist contractors in completing the Toolkit. These have been updated as further information became available. 

Answering technical questions

Please use our question-by-question guidance to complete the mandatory questions, including the technical ones. 

Contractors are advised not to wait for their PMR supplier to use the new feature to bulk insert answers for technical questions. As this feature only become available a few weeks ago, it is now unlikely that PMR suppliers will have enough time to use the process for this year. 

If contractors need additional help answering the technical questions, they may wish to contact their supplier who should be able to provide the required information. 

 *Please note this figure is correct as of 20th March 2019. 

Categories: National News

Class 2 MHRA Medicines recall: Losartan Potassium 50mg and 100mg Film-coated Tablets (Accord Healthcare Limited)

PSNC News - 4 hours 59 min ago

Drug alert number: EL (19) A/07

Date issued: 21st March 2019

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 2 pharmacy level medicines recall, to be actioned within 48 hours, for certain batches of  Losartan 50mg and 100mg containing products. Accord Healthcare Limited is recalling the batches identified below from pharmacies as a precautionary measure due to possible contamination with N-nitroso-N-methylamino butyric acid (NMBA)

Losartan Potassium 50mg Film-coated tablets PL 20075/0022

Batch Number Expiry Date Pack Size First Distributed   PT04882   Nov 2019   1 x 28   28/03/2018

Losartan Potassium 100mg Film-coated tablets PL 20075/0023

Batch Number Expiry Date Pack Size First Distributed   PT02738   June 2019   1 x 28   27/02/2017   GX0135   Aug 2020   1 x 28   07/02/2019

Community pharmacy teams should stop supplying the above products/batches immediately. Quarantine all remaining stock and return it to your supplier using your supplier’s approved process.

To view the alert please visit the GOV.UK website.

Company contacts for further information

For stock control enquiries please contact Accord Customer Services on 0800 373573.

For medical information enquiries please contact Accord Medical Information Department on 01271 385257

 

Categories: National News

Think-tanks call for better use of pharmacists to help the NHS workforce crisis

PSNC News - 5 hours 16 min ago

The Health Foundation, King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust have published a report about the health and care workforce, setting out a series of policy actions that they would like to see at the heart of the workforce implementation plan due to be published by NHS England later this year.

The report called for urgent action to prevent the current workforce crisis from worsening, particularly in the nursing and general practice sectors, where problems are especially severe. The Government’s target is to recruit an additional 5,000 GPs by 2021/22, and while the report agreed that national efforts to increase the number of GPs must continue, it acknowledged that this is not enough to meet the growth in demand for primary care. It suggested that one way to achieve this could be through making greater use of multidisciplinary teams, including pharmacists and physiotherapists.

For pharmacy, the report states: ‘A major contribution to meeting patient demand could be made through recruiting at least 3,000 more pharmacists and 6,000 physiotherapists into general practice’.

It also discussed NHS England’s current Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice programme, which is aiming to deliver one pharmacist per 30,000 patients by 2020. Recent reductions in eligibility criteria within the programme now allows practices to apply for this support if they aim to have one full-time equivalent (FTE) pharmacist per 15,000 patients, down from the initial 30,000, while some are already looking to reach one pharmacist per 10,000 patients. The report suggests that initial targets should aim for at least one FTE pharmacist per 15,000 patients nationally.

Other key recommendations include:

  • An extra investment of £900 million a year into the budget of Health Education England by 2023/24;
  • Increasing nursing numbers by providing student nurses in England ‘cost of living’ grants and covering the cost of tuition fees; and
  • Doing more to help staff maintain a healthy work-life balance, through greater access to part-time working, fair pay, and compassionate leadership.

Simon Dukes, PSNC Chief Executive, said:

“As this important report rightly recognises, workforce is a key issue for the NHS as the training and wellbeing of health professionals is central to the quality of care that they can give. We are pleased that the report highlights both the need to make the most of multidisciplinary working to ease pressure in primary care, and the unique skills of pharmacists. We very much agree with the authors that the network of community pharmacies offers possibilities for where services across a joined-up primary care team could be delivered, and we will continue to make the case for community pharmacies to do more to support their primary care colleagues. NHS England is looking specifically at workforce as it plans how it will deliver the NHS Long Term Plan, and we are pleased to be involved in the pharmacy stream of that work.”

Click here to read the report in full

 

Categories: National News

DSP Toolkit FAQs

PSNC News - 5 hours 40 min ago

This briefing may assist community pharmacy contractors with common frequently asked questions received by others who have already completed the the new Data Security and Protection Toolkit (previously ‘IG Toolkit’):

PSNC Briefing 014/19: DSP Toolkit FAQs (March 2019)

If you have any queries on this PSNC Briefing, or you require more information, please contact  Daniel Ah-Thion, Community Pharmacy IT Lead or William Goh, Regulations Officer.

To browse other PSNC briefings on Contract and IT, click here.

View Article…

Categories: National News

MHRA Drug Safety Update March 2019

PSNC News - 5 hours 51 min ago

Date issued: 21st March 2019

A new Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Drug Safety Update (Vol 12 Issue 8 March 2019:1) has been published and includes articles on:

  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics: new restrictions and precautions for use due to very rare reports of disabling and potentially long-lasting or irreversible side effects
  • Onivyde (irinotecan, liposomal formulations): reports of serious and fatal thromboembolic events
  • Medicines with teratogenic potential: what is effective contraception and how often is pregnancy testing needed?
  • Letters and drug alerts sent to healthcare professionals on February 2019
  • Medical Device Alerts Issued in February 2019

To see the latest MHRA Drug Safety Update in full, visit the GOV.uk website.

 

 

 

Categories: National News

Drug Tariff Watch: April 2019 changes

PSNC News - 13 hours 3 min ago

The Preface lists additions, deletions and alterations to the Drug Tariff. Below is a quick summary of the changes due to take place from 1st April 2019.

Part VIIIA additions

Category A:

  • Ketoconazole 200mg tablets (60)

Category C:

  • Baricitinib 2mg tablets (28) – Olumiant
  • Baricitinib 4mg tablets (28) – Olumiant
  • Budesonide 200micrograms/dose dry powder inhalation cartridge n (100 dose) – Budelin Novolizer
  • Budesonide 200micrograms/dose dry powder inhalation cartridge with device n (100 dose) – Budelin Novolizer
  • Capecitabine 150mg tablets (60) – Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd
  • Capecitabine 500mg tablets (120) – Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 2% / Isopropyl alcohol 70% solution 0.67ml applicators (200) – ChloraPrep
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 2% / Isopropyl alcohol 70% solution 1.5ml applicators (20) – ChloraPrep
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 2% / Isopropyl alcohol 70% solution 10.5ml applicators (25) – ChloraPrep
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 2% / Isopropyl alcohol 70% solution 26ml applicators (25) – ChloraPrep
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 2% / Isopropyl alcohol 70% solution 3ml applicators (25) – ChloraPrep
  • Choriogonadotropin alfa 250micrograms/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled disposable devices n (1) – Ovitrelle
  • Choriogonadotropin alfa 250micrograms/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes n (1) – Ovitrelle
  • Desmopressin 150micrograms/dose nasal spray n (25 dose) – Octim
  • Diptheria (low dose) / Tetanus / Pertussis (acellular component) / Poliomyelitis (inactivated) vaccine(adsorbed) suspension for injection 0.5ml pre-filled syringes n (1) – Repevax
  • Doxepin 5% cream n 30g – Xepin
  • Doxylamine 10mg / Pyridoxine 10mg gastro-resistant tablets (20) – Xonvea
  • Emtricitabine 200mg / Tenofovir 245mg tablets (30) – Truvada
  • Ertapenem 1g powder for solution for infusion vials n (1) – Invanz
  • Felodipine 2.5mg modified-release / Ramipril 2.5mg tablets (28) – Triapin
  • Fluocinolone acetonide 0.025% / Clioquinol 3% cream n 15g – Synalar C
  • Fluocinolone acetonide 0.025% / Clioquinol 3% ointment 15g – Synalar C
  • Haemophilus type b / Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine powder and solvent for solution for injection 0.5ml vials n (1) – Menitorix
  • Human papillomavirus (type 6, 11, 16, 18) vaccine (adsorbed) suspension for injection 0.5ml pre-filled syringes n (1) – Gardasil
  • Human papillomavirus (type 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58) vaccine adsorbed) suspension for injection 0.5ml pre-filled syringes n (1) – Gardasil 9
  • Hydromorphone 1.3mg capsules (56) – Palladone
  • Hydromorphone 16mg modified-release capsules (56) – Palladone SR
  • Hydromorphone 2.6mg capsules (56) – Palladone
  • Hydromorphone 24mg modified-release capsules (56) – Palladone SR
  • Hydromorphone 2mg modified-release capsules (56) – Palladone SR
  • Hydromorphone 4mg modified-release capsules (56) – Palladone SR
  • Hydromorphone 8mg modified-release capsules (56) – Palladone SR
  • Hyoscine hydrobromide 150microgram chewable tablets sugar-free (12) – Joy-rides
  • Interferon alfa-2a 3million units/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes n (1) – Roferon-A
  • Interferon alfa-2a 4.5million units/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes n (1) – Roferon-A
  • Interferon alfa-2a 6million units/0.5ml solution for injection pre-filled syringes n (1) – Roferon-A
  • Ketotifen 1mg tablets (60) – Zaditen
  • Linezolid 100mg/5ml oral suspension l (150ml) – Zyvox
  • Macrogol compound oral liquid 25ml sachets NPF sugar free (30) Movicol Ready to Take
  • Methadone 10mg/ml oral solution sugar free (150ml) – Methadose
  • Methadone 20mg/ml oral solution sugar free (150ml) – Methadose
  • Nafarelin 200micrograms/dose nasal spray n (60 dose) – Synarel
  • Olanzapine embonate 210mg powder and solvent for suspension for injection vials n (1) – Zypadhera
  • Olanzapine embonate 300mg powder and solvent for suspension for injection vials n (1) – Zypadhera
  • Olanzapine embonate 405mg powder and solvent for suspension for injection vials n (1) – Zypadhera
  • Omeprazole 40mg powder for solution for infusion vials (5) – Bowmed Ibisqus Ltd
  • Paracetamol 250mg orodispersible tablets sugar free (12) (24) – Calpol Six Plus Fastmelts
  • Paricalcitol 1microgram capsules (28) – Zemplar
  • Paricalcitol 2microgram capsules (28) – Zemplar
  • Potassium aminobenzoate 3g oral powder sachets (40) – Potaba
  • Progesterone 8% vaginal gel 1.125g applicators (15) – Crinone
  • Rifampicin 150mg / Isoniazid 100mg tablets (84) – Rifanah
  • Rifampicin 300mg / Isoniazid 150mg tablets (56) – Rifanah
  • Sodium phenylbutyrate 940mg/g granules sugar free (266g) – Ammonaps
  • Sodium polystyrene sulfonate powder sugar free (454g) – Resonium A
  • Sodium valproate 150mg modified-release capsules n (100) – Episenta
  • Spironolactone 50mg / Furosemide 20mg capsules (28) – Lasilactone
  • Tacrolimus 1mg modified-release tablets n (30) –Envarsus
  • Tacrolimus 4mg modified-release tablets n (30) –Envarsus
  • Tacrolimus 750microgram modified-release tablets n (30) –Envarsus
  • Terbutaline 500micrograms/dose dry powder inhaler n (120 dose) – Bricanyl Turbohaler
  • Urea [13-C] 100mg soluble tablets breath test kit sugar free n (1) – Pylobactell
  • Urea [13-C] 45mg oral powder breath test kit sugar free n (1) – Helicobacter Test INFAI for children
  • Urea [13-C] 75mg oral powder breath test kit sugar free n (1) – Helicobacter Test INFAI
  • Urea 5% scalp application n (100ml) – Eucerin DermoCapillaire Calming

Part VIIIA amendments

  • Betamethasone 500microgram soluble tablets sugar free (100) is changing to Alliance Healthcare Distribution Ltd
  • Captopril 25mg/5ml oral solution sugar free (100ml) – Noyada is changing to Category A
  • Captopril 5mg/5ml oral solution sugar free (100ml) – Noyada is changing to Category A
  • Eprosartan 600mg tablets (28) – Teveten is changing to Category A
  • Famciclovir 125mg tablets (10) – Famvir is changing to Category A
  • Nortriptyline 50mg tablets (30) – Advanz is changing to Category A
  • Pioglitazone 15mg / Metformin 850mg tablets (56) – Competact is changing to Category A
  • Promethazine hydrochloride 25mg tablets (56) – Phenergan is changing to Category A
  • Rivastigmine 9.5mg/24hours transdermal patches (30) is changing to – Alzest

Part VIIIA deletions

  • Amiloride 2.5mg / Cyclopenthiazide 250microgram tablets (28) – Navispare
  • *Gemfibrozil 600mg tablets (30) – Tilomed Laboratories Ltd

Part IX deletions

It is important to take careful note of removals from Part IX because if you dispense a deleted product, prescriptions will be returned as disallowed.

Product Size, type, product code WOUND MANAGEMENT DRESSINGS – Tegaderm Superabsorber Rectangular, 10cm x 20cm WOUND MANAGEMENT DRESSINGS – Topical Negative Pressure System Accessories – Gauze wound dressing (Smith & Nephew) 15cm x 17cm EYE DROPS – Hypromellose – Vizulize Hypromellose 0.3% 10ml bottle EYE DROPS – Sodium Hyaluronate – Vizulize 0.1% 10ml bottle EYE DROPS – Sodium Hyaluronate – Vizulize Intensive 0.3% 10ml bottle INDWELLING PLEURAL CATHETER DRAINAGE SYSTEMS – Rocket IPC – Drainage Line  R544 10-00-DL INDWELLING PLEURAL CATHETER DRAINAGE SYSTEMS – Rocket IPC – Valve Cap R544 10-00-CP TRACHEOSTOMY AND LARYNGECTOMY APPLIANCES – Tracheostomy Tube Holders – Primus-Plain 71-0029-00 CHEMICAL REAGENTS – Biosensor Strips – GlucoRx Evolve Glucose Test Strips 50 strips CHEMICAL REAGENTS – DETECTION STRIPS, BLOOD FOR KETONES (Beta-Hydroxybuterate) – GlucoRx Evolve Ketone Test Strips 10 strips

Want to learn more about recent Dispensing & Supply news? Read our monthly updates here.

Categories: National News

March 2019 Price Concessions – 1st update

PSNC News - 20 March 2019 - 4:00pm

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has today granted the following initial list of price concessions:

Drug Pack Size Concession Price Alverine 60mg capsules 100 £2.82 Brimonidine 0.2% eye drops 5ml £3.20 Bumetanide 1mg tablets 28 £1.94 Candesartan 4mg tablets 7 £0.76 Carvedilol 6.25mg tablets 28 £0.83 Carvedilol 25mg tablets 28 £3.87 Co-careldopa 25/100mg tablets 100 £10.05 Desmopressin 200microgram tablets 30 £9.01 Dosulepin 25mg capsules 28 £1.99 Dosulepin 75mg tablets 28 £13.45 Furosemide 20mg tablets 28 £0.93 Glyceryl trinitrate 400micrograms/ dose pump sublingual spray 200 dose £2.09 Ibandronic acid 50mg tablets 28 £65.50 Irbesartan 75mg tablets 28 £2.66 Irbesartan 150mg tablets 28 £3.90 Lofepramine 70mg tablets 56 £20.05 Losartan 100mg tablets 28 £4.59 Mefenamic acid 500mg tablets 28 £27.57 Orlistat 120mg capsules 84 £23.99 Piroxicam 0.5% gel 112g £3.15 Pramipexole 88microgram tablets 30 £4.85 Quetiapine 200mg tablets 60 £17.39 Quetiapine 300mg tablets 60 £9.99 Risperidone 500microgram tablets 20 £2.69 Risperidone 2mg tablets 60 £17.01 Risperidone 3mg tablets 60 £23.95 Risperidone 4mg tablets 60 £22.87 Sevelamer 800mg tablets 180 £150.74 Sodium Valproate 500mg gastro-resistant tablets 100 £16.45 Tadalafil 5mg tablets 28 £19.90 Tizanidine 2mg tablets 120 £7.19 Valsartan 40mg capsules 28 £4.00 Valsartan 80mg capsules 28 £6.65 Valsartan 160mg capsules 28 £7.70

No additional endorsements are required for price concessions. A price concession only applies for the month in which it is granted.

PSNC is still working with the DHSC to agree further concessionary prices on other drugs reported to be unavailable at the stated March 2019 Drug Tariff price. Contractors will be alerted to further updates to the price concession list 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 any generic products awaiting price concession approval from DHSC.

If you have problems obtaining a Part VIII product or problems obtaining the product at the stated Drug Tariff price, please report the issue to PSNC using the online feedback form on the PSNC Website.
Please include full details of the supplier and price paid for any products sourced above the Drug Tariff price. PSNC will investigate the extent of the problem and if appropriate discuss the issue with DHSC.

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

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

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

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

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

Nominations open for NHS Parliamentary Awards

PSNC News - 8 March 2019 - 12:47pm

This week the NHS launched its Parliamentary awards to celebrate and give national recognition to staff who go above and beyond the call of duty.

MPs are now searching for outstanding individuals who have impressed and made a real difference to how the health service provides care for patients in their local areas, and LPCs and those working in community pharmacy may like to nominate a particular pharmacist or pharmacy team to their local MPs.

There are 10 categories in which you can put forward nominations – and you can do so in as many as you like. Each category will have three specific questions to guide the nominator, and a 300-word limit for each. The categories and the questions to be answered for each are detailed here.

NHS England and NHS Improvement has created a pack to support any individual, team or organisation who wishes to submit a nomination for the NHS Parliamentary Awards.

Please submit your nomination using the correct template form(s) contained in the pack so that your MP or their staff have all the necessary information to hand, and can easily copy it into the official nomination form.

Nominations close at midnight on 26th April 2019.

 

Categories: National News

Community Pharmacy Funding Announcement: Interim Arrangements

PSNC News - 8 March 2019 - 12:28pm

Announcement summary

Contractor information

Community pharmacy funding levels will remain the same from 1st April 2019, set to deliver the current agreed funding envelope of £2.592 billion per year.

At the same time Category M prices will increase by £10 million per month, as the reductions to recover excess margin which had been in place since November come to an end.

PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have agreed this as an interim arrangement pending the start of substantive negotiations on future pharmacy funding. The arrangement will apply until the negotiations have concluded.

The Single Activity Fee (SAF) will be set to continue to deliver £2.592 billion in funding annually; the level of the SAF is still under discussion with DHSC and as such may be adjusted later this year.

During the interim period, contractors will be paid for a maximum of 200 Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) from 1st April to 30th September 2019.  This is because further discussions about the service will form part of the wider negotiations which we expect to begin in the next month.

No discussions have taken place on the future of the Quality Payments Scheme, so contractors do not need to do any work for a checkpoint until further notice. The future of the scheme will again be a part of the upcoming negotiations.

The NUMSAS pilot will continue to be commissioned until 30th September 2019, ahead of discussions on this service as part of the wider negotiations.

Pharmacies currently receiving Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) payments will continue to do so with monthly payments from April 2019 being the same as those made in the last financial year.

The interim arrangements have been put in place to cover the period from April until negotiations on future pharmacy funding have concluded. We expect to begin these negotiations before Easter and hope that any substantive changes to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) will be agreed in time to be implemented from October 2019.

Read the article on the GOV.UK website

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:

“We are pleased that DHSC and NHS England expect to be in a position to begin negotiations on community pharmacy shortly and we are looking forward to exploring with them developments that will ensure that community pharmacies can play a key part in the developing primary care systems for the benefit of patients. In the meantime, this interim funding arrangement will protect current funding levels for pharmacies and we welcome the £10 million monthly increase in Category M prices.”

Pharmacy Minister Steve Brine said:

“The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a renewed vision for primary care. One in which all providers work together, making best use of their unique skills, for the benefit of patients. Community pharmacy, embedded at the heart of communities, has an important role to play. I look forward to discussions with PSNC on how the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework can support community pharmacy’s further integration into primary care networks and enable us to better utilise the skill set and reach of pharmacy teams.”

Categories: National News
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