COVID-19: GMLPC and PSNC Resources for Contractors

COVID-19: GMLPC and PSNC Resources for Contractors

April 3, 2020

PSNC and National Resources

-The PSNC home page for COVID -19 updates can be found here

-Guidance for contractors re: opening hours and updated SOP can be found here (updated 22nd march 2020)

The RPS have produced a number of resources to help Community Pharmacies. These include practical guidance for Pharmacists and teams including use of PPE, social distancing, use of facemasks, testing, security, service continuity. In addition you can find Clinical updates, Pharmacy posters, online webinars, support for wellbeing and other resources. Non RPS members can access these resources for Free by registering here https://www.rpharms.com/coronavirus

NHSE/I  guidance can be found here https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/community-pharmacy/

 


Updated COVID-19 SOP Read the SOP (27/10/2020)

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have issued an updated Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for community pharmacies in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A key amendment enables regional NHSE&I teams to notify pharmacies that they may work behind closed doors without the need for contractors to apply for such closed-door working. This change has been made to help healthcare bodies to tailor their response to the pandemic dependent on the local or regional situation. NHSE&I will consult with LPCs.

When agreed, working behind closed doors will be permitted up to 2.5 hours a day with opening between 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm (or 2-6pm for 100 hour pharmacies) required as a minimum.

Community pharmacy contractors should also note the information about NHS Test and Trace, which indicates that advice should be sought from the local Health Protection Team if a pharmacy team member tests positive for COVvID-19 and there is a risk to the provision of pharmaceutical services.

Other amendments bring the SOP in line with the latest information and guidance already available to contractors on, for example, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and the expanded flu vaccination programme.

Read the SOP


GM Integrated Contact Training Hub – Important Update

Primary Care settings have previously been notified of Covid-19 cases in their networks through the GM Integrated Contact Training Hub, based on daily ‘line lists’ communicated by the national Test and Trace team.

It has now been advised that the national Test and Trace team will no longer be automatically notifying healthcare settings of cases, and that this responsibility now lies with the healthcare settings themselves.

Despite raising concerns about this, healthcare settings are being advised to flag when they have a case where contact tracing is required.

As an initial arrangement, GM Integrated Contact Training Hub are asking Primary Care settings to email them when a member of staff has tested positive for Covid 19, or where a Covid-19+ patient has potentially being in close contact with staff members.

When notified of a case, GM Integrated Contact Tracing Hub will continue to support you to identify close contacts and reduce the risk of onward transmission.

To contact the GM Integrated Contact Training Hub please email gmhscp.contacttracing@nhs.net


Test and Trace programme


NHS Test and Trace: Updated Advice for Contractors

PSNC has updated its guidance on NHS Test and Trace based on recent discussions between NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and Public Health England (PHE).

These discussions have indicated that contractors should, in particular:

  • Ensure the PHE Local Health Protection Team consider community pharmacy contact tracing cases. If the local team don’t make the initial contact with the pharmacy, contractors should escalate cases to the team, or call the team direct. This may not be necessary if a contractor is satisfied with the decision without full assessment.
  • Ask pharmacy staff NOT to give their colleagues’ names to NHS Test and Trace if they test positive for coronavirus, but to provide the contact details of the pharmacy. This is because any names given will be entered automatically into NHS Test and Trace systems with no assessment of whether they are close contacts – this is difficult for the local health protection team to ‘overturn’ if its assessment finds that pharmacy colleagues are not close contacts of the individual.
  • Continue to take all appropriate steps to make the pharmacy COVID-secure, so far as practicable, including social distancing, the proper use (donning and doffing) of appropriate PPE, but recognise that if one staff member tests positive, sometimes other staff may still be close contacts and asked to self-isolate depending on the PHE Local Health Protection Team assessment.

For further information click here

If your pharmacy is impacted by Test and Trace please inform GMLPC by emailing enquiries@gmlpc.org.uk


Key Contacts and Guidance for GM Community Pharmacy Track and Trace Programme

The key contacts and guidance for the Community Pharmacy Track and Trace programme can be found here.

Action for contractors ! please download and ensure you read these documents carefully.

Each GM locality has a Contact Tracing Single Point of Contact and their details are below in the event that you need to contact the track and trace programme:

• Bolton- Covid19contacttracing@bolton.gov.uk
• Bury- infectioncontrolprevention@bury.gcsx.gov.uk
• Manchester- mhcc.communitytestinghub@nhs.net
• Oldham- COVID.Trace@oldham.gov.uk
• Rochdale- infectioncontroldutydesk@rochdale.gov.uk
• Salford- PHSecretary@salford.gov.uk
• Stockport- contact.tracing@stockport.gov.uk
• Tameside- covid-19@tameside.gov.uk
• Trafford- covidtrace@trafford.gov.uk
• Wigan- contact.tracing@wigan.gov.uk


Maintaining Access to Pharmacy Services – Opening Hours and Temporary Closures

In the event of an emergency closure PSNC have produced an emergency checklist that can be used to manage any closures. Find the checklist here.

Further guidance on how to apply for any changes in Pharmacy operations in the event of a temporary closure or making changes to your opening hours can be found here.

Contractors will be required  to notify and apply for any changes by emailing NHSE/I at the following email address:  england.gmtop@nhs.net


PPE Guidance

Public Health England (PHE) has updated its guidance on the wearing of facemasks in primary and community health care settings. In summary, the recommendation is that all pharmacy staff now wear facemasks, unless the pharmacy is COVID-19 secure, including all staff being able to maintain a social distance from one another.

The recommendation is for a Type l or Type ll face mask to be worn to prevent the spread of infection from the wearer. If Type IIR face masks are more readily available, and there are no supply issues for their use as personal protective equipment, then these can be used as an alternative to Type I or Type II masks.

Read the updated PHE guidance

Further PSNC guidance on PPE is available here 


Pandemic delivery service is ending on 31st July

PSNC has published a leaflet to help community pharmacy teams explain when and why the national pandemic delivery service will end on 31st July 2020.

The end of this service will need to be carefully communicated as the public are likely to be unaware that without it, there is no NHS-funded prescription delivery service*. Whilst shielding patients have already received a letter from HM Government about the changes, it is likely that pharmacy teams will need to reinforce the message with those currently receiving prescription deliveries.

PSNC has developed a patient leaflet that can be used to explain that the service is ending and why, as well as advising shielding patients on what they should do going forward. Some pharmacies may choose to continue to provide a delivery service, for example with a charge being paid by patients, so the leaflet is adaptable to describe your pharmacy’s particular circumstances.

Action for contractors: Please ensure you communicate this information to patients and the public.

Patient leaflet – lockdown medicine deliveries to end 31st July 2020

Further information and links to resources are available here


Pharmacy Closure Notification

While we understand that under the current circumstances you may be required to close your pharmacy, we have been made aware that some pharmacies have closed without notifying the local area team and patients.

 

  • You notify any local service commissioners if you cannot provide a locally commissioned service.
  • Notify the local GP practices in your area.
  • Inform local pharmacies in your area via the PCN email engagement hub or by phone/other communication channels.
  • You communicate this information to your patients by displaying a poster on the premises, with contact details should they have a query and ensure your website is updated.

In the event that your pharmacy needs to suspend the delivery of locally commissioned services due to closures (either planned, unplanned or partial closures) contractors are responsible for notifying the commissioner. Please see this link for Contact Information.

Pharmacy Opening Hours – Update

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSC) has received confirmation that the pandemic and national emergency declaration which was due to end on 30th June 2020 has been extended from 1st July 2020 until 1st September 2020.   

However, any applications made to reduce hours, expired on 30th June 2020 and so new applications to temporarily reduce NHS opening hours or to close must be submitted.

A brief outline of options available if you are unable to fulfil your full NHS contracted hours (both core and supplementary) from 1st July 2020 are as follows:

  • Provisions within the National Community Pharmacy SOP –  Closing the door to patients for up to 2.5 hours per day at the discretion of the Responsible Pharmacist
  • Inability to Provide Services Outside of Contractor’s Control – This would mean completing the Notification of unplanned temporary suspension of services” template form, for one-off instance of non-provision of services affected
  • Requests for temporary opening hours and closures during an emergency requiring the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services – This option is Schedule 4, Part 3, Paragraph 27, to enable contractors to make a request to temporarily alter NHS contracted hours; or to temporarily close during an emergency.

 More information can be found in this letter


PREM2 Applications – Change in submission process – requesting permission to undertake telephone MURs

NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I), Greater Manchester (GM) Team have recently been receiving an increased number of applications from contractors seeking permission to undertake telephone MURs, particularly for those patients who are at high risk and continue to be shielded as a result of COVID-19. Whilst the legal Directions have not changed in relation to provision of MUR consultations via the telephone, NHSE/I has recognised the need to adopt a more flexible approach when dealing with these applications for the benefit of the patient.
As a result, and with the support of the LPC’s across GM, and in light of the current situation a new process has been developed to support contractors in making submissions. The following guidance has been created to explain the way in which PREM2D applications need to be submitted from Monday 13 July 2020, and how they will be assessed by the Greater Manchester Team (the Team).

Requirements

  • A copy of all PREM2 application forms will be available via by logging in to PharmOutcomes  https://pharmoutcomes.org/pharmoutcomes/ and access via the services tab (Off-site and Telephone MUR module); contractor must use the appropriate form e.g. PREM2D forms for telephone requests
  • The form should be completed in full with the correct pharmacy F code in order that we can identify your pharmacy
  • A separate form will need to be completed for each specific patient on each particular occasion. A single form with a list of patient names will not be accepted
  • A series of assurances will be required (and prompts will be visible) to enable correct and appropriate submission of an application eg patient consent needs to be obtained prior to submitting the form via PharmOutcomes, (patient information/detail must not be shared without their explicit consent), also it would be good practice to document that consent was given in the patient’s PMR record with signed consents retained for 2 years and for PPV purposes –  https://psnc.org.uk/services-commissioning/advanced-services/murs/mur-patient-consent/
  • An explanation is required in section 4 as to why a telephone MUR is required.  Simply putting “COVID, shielding or self-isolating” will not be accepted, but the details in the nature in following example would be appropriate – “75 year old diabetic patient who is shielding has not received an MUR within the last 12 months”
  • A copy of an MUR certificate for the Pharmacist(s) undertaking the telephone MUR will need to be submitted along with the PREM2D application where these have not been provided previously to NHSE/I.  There may be delays in processing requests where the MUR certificate cannot be verified
  • The pharmacist must be able to provide assurance that any patient taking medication via MDS / blister packs are self- administering medications and can clearly identify the medication being discussed throughout the MUR
  • Applications should NOT be emailed to the Greater Manchester Team (the Team).  Any sent via this method will be deleted and will not be considered

If the above criteria are met and the applications are submitted declaring all assurances according to the PharmOutcomes module, the Team will aim to process applications as soon as practicable but no later than 15 working days from the date of the application and will send a decision confirmation email to the contractors shared pharmacy nhs.net email account. 


Social Distancing Risk Assessment Tool

As the pandemic continues and we all get used to living and working in a “new normal” situation, people’s consciousness of the need to maintain social distances at all times may reduce and consequently new or additional measures at each pharmacy may need to be taken to ensure distancing is maintained on an ongoing basis.

PSNC has published an updated version (version 2) of its risk assessment template, which will help pharmacy teams to identify further potential changes which could be made to their pharmacy environment or procedures during the pandemic to increase the safety of staff and patients.

Download the risk assessment template

Other sections of PSNC’s COVID-19 hub include:

  • Contractor guidance and support;
  • Personal protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Information for the public;
  • Supply of medicines; deliveries  and
  • What PSNC is doing.

Safe use of consultation rooms: COVID-19

As restrictions relating to COVID-19 are relaxed, many community pharmacies will be considering how services, which may have been paused at the height of the pandemic, can be reintroduced, and how this can be done safely.

The Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group (CPPSG) have developed a resource to support pharmacy teams considering how they can minimise risk when using consultations rooms.

It includes feedback from pharmacy teams and takes into account the processes introduced by other healthcare providers. It should be considered alongside other risk assessments that have been undertaken.


Emergency and Business Continuity Planning templates

All businesses and NHS providers, including community pharmacy contractors, need to have an ability to cope with emergency situations, so that wherever possible, they can continue to provide services to patients and the public. This page contains guidance and resources to support business continuity planning and operations during emergencies, such as pandemic flu.

PSNC has updated its hub for community pharmacy teams on the COVID-19 coronavirus to include new business continuity guidance and details of measures to support contractors.

Advice and information on shared care clients, nursing and care home patients, and providing Multi-compartment Compliance Aids (MCAs) has  been added to the business continuity section of the hub.

These documents have been drafted to help pharmacies assess their business mix and decide how they can improve their dispensary efficiency, whilst still supporting their most vulnerable patients, in the event of multiple members of staff being off work to COVID-19.

Business Continuity Plan Template

PSNC has developed the following business continuity plan template for use by contractors; this includes planning for business continuity during periods of disruption to IT services.

Pharmacy Business Continuity Plan template

Pharmacy Business Continuity Plan checklist 

GMLPC Business Continuity Plan template  

Further Resources available from PSNC are available here

Continuity of Pharmacy Services Planning Guidance (NPA/CCA)

This guidance has been drafted by the Company Chemists’ Association and the National Pharmacy Association for use by all community pharmacy contractors and is correct at the time of publishing (26 March 2020).

The guidance covers the considerations that can be made for the full transition from business as usual to managed closure. At the time of publication, the community pharmacy network has already moved through to stage 3 and so we recommend focus is now centred around maintaining stage 3 and planning for moving to stage 4.

Click here to view and download


Risk Assessment Tools

All Pharmacy contractors will have received a letter from the BSA to complete a declaration confirming that a risk assessment has been completed for all staff.

Please ensure you complete risk assessments for your staff.

There will be two windows for collection, given the need to understand progress over the course of July.

The opening date for the first window will be 9 July 2020 9am, and the window will close at midnight on 17 July. A second window will open on 24 July 9am and closing on 31 July at midnight.

We request that contractors submit in each window, even if 100% of assessments have already been completed

You have a choice to use whichever risk assessment you think is appropriate.

COVID-19 Community Pharmacy Risk Assessment Tool

The PDA has launched a COVID-19 risk management tool designed to help responsible pharmacists and employers identify and remove risks in community pharmacy as lockdown restrictions are lessened.

They  have produced a risk assessment tool designed to enable a systematic approach to both assessing and managing the risks of COVID-19 in the community pharmacy as well as building resilience to prevent closures. This is a tool that can be used to support preparation for the test, track and tracing systems rolling across the UK following guidance from the GPhC on 8 June

This tool  aims  to help pharmacists play their role in reducing the risks of COVID-19 in the pharmacy, and consider mitigating actions to reduce the risk of closure if the whole pharmacy team have to self-isolate.

Further information is available here

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership –  Risk Assessment of Staff in Primary Care

Primary care teams are currently risk assessing staff, particularly those at increased risk. This includes older colleagues, pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions, in both patient facing and non-patient facing settings.Emerging UK and international data suggest that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. While this is being investigated, it is recommended that employers should risk assess staff and make appropriate arrangements accordingly.

The attached guide is intended to support primary care to risk assess staff. It includes links to national guidance and best practice and includes examples of risk assessment tools. Colleagues can decide locally which tools work best for them.

GM BAME Risk Assessment Letter

BAME staff risk assessment – Pharmacy

Risk Assessments for Staff at Risk of Covid COVID-19

If you have any queries please contact england.primarycarecomms@nhs.net


Antibody Testing

GMLPC, Bolton LPC and the Community Pharmacy Provider Board are currently discussing access to antibody testing for CP with GMHSCP. Further information will be provided in due course


Mandatory use of face coverings in shops and supermarkets

The use of Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets from 24th July 2020

Further information is available here

Links to PHE posters and other materials are available here


Hub to help Pharmacists tell their NHS Frontline Stories

PSNC and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) have jointly created a media resource hub, to make it simpler for pharmacy teams and Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) to tell their NHS frontline stories, to newspapers and via social media.The aim is to use the recently intensified media interest in pharmacies and medicines to reinforce key messages. These include asking the public to be courteous to under-pressure staff and to respect social distancing in pharmacies.The new hub – www.nhsfrontline.com – contains:

  • An online form through which you can report your most positive experiences and incidents of going ‘above and beyond’;
  • Key messages for use in newspapers, online or radio/TV;
  • Social media assets and guidance on their use;
  • Template newspaper columns to personalise and send to local press;
  • A template letter, to personalise and send to local MPs;
  • Links to media and lobbying resources for LPCs; and
  • Links to media resources in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as England

Key Links

These can be personalised to apply to your local area:

For local media- Template press release for local media

For MPs- Template letter to MPs

#PharmacyHeroes Campaign

We would like to thank ALL Community Pharmacists and Pharmacy teams across Greater Manchester for their hard work.

To support celebrating #PharmacyHeroes in Greater Manchester, the GMLPC team have been collating case studies and created short videos and posters which are available below.

If any pharmacy teams wish to submit their cases, please send a team photo and a brief summary to enquiries@gmlpc.org.uk

 

Please follow Greater Manchester LPC on YouTube and Twitter 


Updated guidance for shielded patients


Training Resources

Covid-19 Learning and Resource Hub

This learning and resource hub contains CPPE materials and resources from other organisations that we think will be most valuable to you. It covers the relevant information for some of the different sectors of pharmacy.

Access the hub here- https://www.cppe.ac.uk/covid-19/#navtop

Return to practice course

We have developed a Guide to returning to pharmacy practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This programme has been developed to support pharmacy professionals in returning to pharmacy practice after a gap in professional service. This includes those who have joined the GPhC temporary register and those who have been working in roles that are not currently patient facing.

This programme contains two streams, a community pharmacy stream and a hospital stream. Each stream consists of a self-assessment framework for you to use to assess your own learning needs. Once you have established the areas of practice you need to revisit, you are clearly signposted to the relevant sections of learning that will help you to address these needs.

A key element of the programme is our daily Zoom drop-in sessions which you can join for support as you return to practice. More information about these sessions can be found in the programme.

Within this programme you will also find information on resilience.

Access the programme here – https://www.cppe.ac.uk/programmes/l/rtp-ec-01#navtop

Resilience and Wellbeing Hub

Links to internal and external information to support resilience and well-being.

The hub can be accessed here- https://www.cppe.ac.uk/support/resilience/#navTop

Inhaler Technique- Getting it right e-learning

In this e-learning programme we explore the reasons why we need to improve the way that we help people with their inhaler devices. We will look at how the devices work and why making simple changes when we are speaking to people using inhaled medicines can improve health outcomes. Learners will be able to complete a range of online activities designed to demonstrate and then reinforce the correct breathing technique required for a range of inhaler devices. It should take approximately two hours to complete.

The programme can be accessed here: https://www.cppe.ac.uk/programmes/l/inhalers-e-02

DoC Update

We recognise that some areas of community pharmacy practice have an increased workload due to COVID and may struggle to complete training. To enable service continuity the Community Pharmacy Competence Group have agreed to extend all DoC statements for locally commissioned services to the end of September. We will be reviewing the situation in July to assess whether this needs a further extension.


MDS guidance for contractors

GMLPC  have published a guide for commissioners to help them understand the current pressures and advice for contractors regarding MDS arrangements. Click here for the guidance

We understand that this is a difficult time for contractors and we fully appreciate the challenges you are facing.

We will continue to ensure we raise awareness of  contractor concerns  and difficulties and issues as we continue to support our vulnerable patient populations, we advise the following:

Current Advice for Community Pharmacy teams

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, GMLPC and Bolton LPC are advising community pharmacy teams as follows;

1. Assess the need to continue MDS by exercising professional judgement, ensuring that the most vulnerable in society are not adversely affected

2. Assess the patient for suitability to change to original pack dispensing with appropriate support e.g. large labels, prompt sheet etc

3. Ensure that the patient(s) and care homes are consulted and contacted prior to making any changes. Please refer to the PSNC link below for template letters and further guidance

4. To support the patient review process, a template letter has been provided for pharmacies to share with their patients explaining the reasons behind the review and emphasising that this is about ensuring that all patients receive the care they require in these challenging times

For further information and  guidance refer to the PSNC briefing: Click here

For further information and guidance on COVID-19 business continuity planning and template letters refer to the PSNC business continuity guidance section: Click here

NHSE/I have also sent a communication to all contractors to advise and update them on the current arrangements. Click here for the guidance


Handling Patient Returns – newly published national guidance now available.

There is now newly published guidance and a checklist to help contractors deal with patient returned medicines.

This has been developed by PSNC, RPS, Patient Safety group and the NPA.

The full news story is available at: https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/dealing-with-returned-medicines-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

NPA have also set up a hub page with a number of useful resources


Supervised consumption

Please see the following letters informing contractors of the agreement by GMMH to make a payment for Supervised Consumption in April, May and June which is based on an average up to month 9 activity:

Below are links to updated guidance and resources pertaining to substance misuse in Oldham and Rochdale.

Below are links to updated guidance and resources pertaining to substance misuse in Manchester, Tameside and Stockport

Below are links to updated guidance and resources pertaining to substance misuse in Bury, Trafford and Salford.


RPS guidance issued on new CD regulations for pandemic supply

Three changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDRs) came into force last week, which provide Ministers with emergency powers for the supply of controlled drugs (CDs). The purpose of the changes is to ensure community pharmacies can continue to supply patients with essential medicines at critical times during a pandemic, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

The regulations are enabling so may be used only if ‘activated’ or ‘switched on’ by Ministers and apply in very limited circumstances.

Today, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) issued guidance for pharmacists on the legislation and associated professional practice considerations. The guidance was developed in consultation with the pharmacy sector including PSNC.

The three changes to the MDRs set out in the Misuse of Drugs (Coronavirus) (Amendments Relating to the Supply of Controlled Drugs During a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020 are:

  1. Emergency supply of a CD without a prescription – at the request of a patient, medicines of Schedule 2, 3 and (Part 1) Schedule 4 to the MDRs may be supplied without a prescription, in accordance with the directions of a pharmacist,
  2. Emergency supply of a CD against a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) – this provision is essentially the same as that for supply of a CD without a prescription. It enables medicines of Schedule 2, 3 and (Part 1) Schedule 4 to the MDRs to be supplied under SSPs, if there is a serious shortage of the medicine and the requirements for SSP supply are satisfied (reg 226A of the HMRs). Thus, requirements (a) to (d) and (f) above apply and more requirements relating to SSPs – please see the PSNC briefing on SSPs which also describes the relevant Terms of Service for SSP supplies and requirements for reimbursement and remuneration.
  3. Emergency change to a CD instalment direction with the agreement of the prescriber – this provision allows pharmacists without prescribing rights to change the frequency of instalments on instalment prescriptions for medicines of schedule 2 and 3 of the MDRs, without the need for a new prescription from the prescriber. The changed intervals are treated as the intervals of the prescriber. Any changes MUST be agreed in advance with the prescriber or, if the prescriber is unavailable, a person specified by the prescriber who is a part of the same team responsible for treating that patient. The requirements (a) to (d) and (f) above apply.

 

For further information see the PSNC link add link here


Guidance published on medicines re-use in care homes and hospices

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England and NHS Improvement have published guidance on running a medicines re-use scheme in a care home or hospice setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here: https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/guidance-published-on-medicines-re-use-in-care-homes-and-hospices/


Staff wellbeing and COVID-19 testing

Maintaining the health and wellbeing of pharmacy team members is a high priority for pharmacy contractors and the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.Information on NHS support tools to assist with staff health and wellbeing, and information on how pharmacy team members can access testing for COVID-19 can be found here

Local Testing Programme

In light of recent circumstances, the decision has been made to reopen the Local Testing Programme.This portal should only be used as a last resort and every attempt should be made to use the National Testing Programme. However, if you are unable to book a test please read the information below and follow the link to the Local Testing Portal.Please note – The Local Testing Portal is monitored Monday to Friday for new submission. Any submission made after 16:00 on Friday will not be processed until Monday. CHL, Bolton and GM LPCs have worked closely with GMHSCP to secure limited COVID-19 testing for key workers. This opportunity has been arranged with the intention of supporting community pharmacy key workers to return to work where a negative test is confirmed.Tests can only be performed for:

  • Pharmacy/Optometry/Dentistry/General Practice key workers who are currently unable to work due to having symptoms themselves.
  • Family members of Pharmacy/Optometry/Dentistry/General Practice key workers who have symptoms and have caused the key worker to self-isolate.
  • People aged over 18.

The testing can only be completed on the symptomatic person. Individuals eligible for testing should be in the first three days of the onset of symptoms at the time the swab is taken – although testing is considered effective up until day five. Anyone who is too ill to work should not be tested.

Testing is only available to people over the age of 18. If there is a member of the household under 18 who is symptomatic then no one in the household should be tested and isolation guidance should be followed.

All tests will be delivered at a ‘drive through’ facility based at Manchester Airport so you must be able to attend by car. The person requiring the test must supply a mobile number, email address, and vehicle registration number in order for an appointment to be booked.

Available appointments will be allocated on a first come, first served basis only to people who complete the form via the link here. A unique code will be sent via text message to the number provided when you register, which will allow you to book an appointment. Further information and details will be supplied once an appointment slot has been confirmed.


National Testing Programme

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced a national testing programme for frontline workers, including community pharmacy staff. 

The testing is available to workers who are self-isolating and anyone they live with. 

Essential workers can book a test and will be given the option to select a regional test site drive-through appointment or home test kit. The availability of the home test kit will initially be limited but more will become available in the future.

For more information about the national testing programme click here.


GMLPC Resources for contractors


COVID-19: Updated PHE posters 

These can all be downloaded from the PHE campaign resources hub

Any previously issued posters should be removed from display and be replaced by the above poster. 


Locality Specific COVID-19 Updates

These updates contain important information for community pharmacy teams about the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Temporary Adjustments to Services

Locality Stop smoking status EHC status Substance Misuse
Bury No service commissioned

-Levonorgestrel PGD -temporary adjustment (Including Remote Consultation on page 2)

Click here

GMLPC is working with Bury Metropolitan Borough Council to agree ongoing payments for supervised consumption during the COVID-19 outbreak. Updates will be provided in due course.

-Adjustment to supervision Click here

-Self-isolating patients information Click here

-Reducing face to face contact letter for patients Click here

-Nominated pickup protocol Click here

-Nominated pickup request form Click here

 

Manchester No service commissioned

-Levonorgestrel PGD -temporary adjustment (Including remote consultation on page 10)

Click here

GMLPC is working with Manchester City Council to agree ongoing payments for supervised consumption during the COVID-19 outbreak. Updates will be provided in due course.

-Adjustment to supervision Click here

Oldham No service commissioned

-Levonorgestrel PGD -temporary adjustment (Including Remote Consultation on page 2)

Click here

GMLPC has been working with Turning Point to agree ongoing payments for Supervised Consumption during the COVID-19 outbreak. This has been agreed in principle and supporting documentation will be provided in due course.

-Community Pharmacy Contingency Plan Click here

Rochdale GMLPC is working with Rochdale Borough Council and the BigLife Group and will update contractors when more information is available.

-Levonorgestrel PGD -temporary adjustment (Including Remote Consultation on page 2)

Click here

GMLPC has been working with Turning Point to agree ongoing payments for Supervised Consumption during the COVID-19 outbreak. This has been agreed in principle and supporting documentation will be provided in due course.

-Community Pharmacy Contingency Plan Click here

Salford This service is currently under funding review. Service specifications have been sent directly to contractors. Contractors will be notified when more information is available GMLPC is working with Salford City Council will update contractors when more information is available.

-Continuation of payment statement Click here

-Adjustment to supervision Click here

-Self-isolating patients information Click here

-Reducing face to face contact letter for patients Click here

-Nominated pickup protocol Click here

-Nominated pickup request form Click here

Stockport GMLPC is working with Stockport Borough Council who are “happy for pharmacies to do telephone / video consultations and NRT prescriptions then being picked up by the person / their representative or delivered to their address depending on the individual’s circumstances.” GMLPC is working with Stockport Borough Council who are “happy for pharmacies to use their professional judgement on how they provide emergency hormonal contraception; providing they take steps to minimise patient risk and are mindful of potential for abuse with due regard to safeguarding. Any provision and use of professional judgement must give due consideration to the latest advice / guidance.  In the current situation we are supportive of pharmacies doing telephone / video consultations where appropriate and prescriptions then being picked up by the person / their representative or delivered to their address depending on the individual’s circumstances.” GMLPC is working with Pennine Care Trust to agree ongoing payments for supervised consumption during the COVID-19 outbreak. Updates will be provided in due course. to agree ongoing payments for supervised consumption during the COVID-19 outbreak. Updates will be provided in due course.
Tameside & Glossop GMLPC is working with Tameside & Glossop Metropolitan Borough Council and will update contractors when more information is available.

-EHC Specification temporary adjustment (Including remote consultation on page 12) Click here

-Levonorgestrel temporary adjustment (Including remote consultation on page 7) Click here

-Ulipristal temporary adjustment (Including remote consultation on page 7) Click here

GMLPC has been working with CGL to agree ongoing payments for Supervised Consumption during the COVID-19 outbreak. This has been agreed in principle and supporting documentation will be provided in due course.

-Adjustment to supervision Click here

 

 

Trafford Stop Smoking Service Specification (Including remote consultation on page 9) Click here GMLPC is working with Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council who have agreed ”During the current COVID-19 situation and resulting restrictions on movement, telephone consolations can be done for Emergency Hormone Contraception where it is not possible for someone to get to the pharmacy (for example, because they are self-isolating). The same process and questions should be followed over the phone in this instance. It would still be expected that vulnerable people or those who are under the age of 16 would be referred to the sexual health service.”

-Continuation of payment statement Click here

-Adjustment to supervision Click here

-Self-isolating patients information Click here

-Reducing face to face contact letter for patients Click here

-Nominated pickup protocol Click here

-Nominated pickup request form Click here

Wigan GMLPC have contacted City Health Care Partnership CIC/Healthy Roots to obtain further updates. These will be provided in due course.

-EHC temporary adjustment (Including remote consultation on page 2)

Click here

-Adjustment to supervision Click here

 


Manchester Injury Awareness

At this time of unprecedented strain on national services we have noted there is likely to be an increase in ‘stay at home’ injuries. A public awareness poster has been created to try and highlight this issue.

Click here to download as PDF 


Guidance on safety of ibuprofen in patients with COVID-19

The Commission of Human Medicines (CHM) has been asked to review the safety of ibuprofen in patients with COVID-19. The Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on coronavirus (COVID-19) has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and contracting or worsening of COVID19. The letter can be found here.


GMMMG statement COVID-19 QAA: Asthma and COPD- oral steroid or antibiotic ‘rescue packs’ and extra steroid inhalers

A new page has been added to the GMMMG website to bring together information and resources to support the GM health economy to respond quickly to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. GMMMG badged items have been developed for and by GMMMG/RDTC, but the page will also list other useful pieces of guidance as they are published. As this is a rapidly changing area resources will be revised or removed regularly.

If you have a medicines related query which you would like GMMMG to consider, or a resource to add to the webpage these can be submitted to the professional secretary of the group via email. GMMMG are linking in with other groups across the region to try and reduce duplication of effort as much as possible. There may be a slight lag before a resource is added to the page whilst we check with the various networks as to the most current and comprehensive piece of information.



GMMMG Update

Two more QAAs have been published to the COVID-19 page of the GMMMG website:

1)            Resources available to support practices in maximising Electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) during the COVID-19 pandemic response

This resource has been developed based on comments from stakeholders across the region

2)            What is the evidence that vitamin D status affects the risk of infection with COVID-19 – this resource has been developed in response to media reports and is based on the published information currently available.

Please continue to submit queries to the RDTC prescribing support unit, a list of enquiries we are currently responding to is available on the GMMMG website COVID-19 page.


Platform for pharmacy job posts and volunteers

During these unprecedented times, it is important that within pharmacy we pull together and help one another as much as possible. With this in mind, Pharmacy in Practice have created a platform on which pharmacies who are short staffed can advertise opportunities and then be matched with available paid workers or volunteers. For more information or to register on the platform, click here.


COVID-19: Webinars

he GM Healthcare Academy in partnership with GM and Bolton LPCs supported by Pharmacy Complete  hosted a series of Covid-19 Community Pharmacy Webinars.

Together with our Academy training partner Pharmacy Complete, we ran fortnightly Covid-19 update webinars for all our contractors, community pharmacists and their teams across Greater Manchester.

We provided national and local GM updates to ensure you could keep up to date with the latest developments This was to ensure you quickly had access to all the latest information in one place, to know where to find out more and to understand the impact on you.

All links to the recordings of the webinars are hosted here

We would sincerely like to thank you and your teams working at the frontline of healthcare for your continued support for your patients and communities.


Livi-Connect – Conducing remote consultations

Thank you for attending the webinar last week. Please find below further information on Livi-connect which was referenced in the webinar

LIVI Connect is a free-to-use tool that lets NHS healthcare professionals see and treat their patients remotely by video which is accessible on the web.

The initiative has been launched to help tackle the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Free to use LIVI Connect is free to use for NHS healthcare professionals.

Simply register using your @NHS.net email address and you can begin seeing your patients by video in less than 60 seconds by accessing https://www.livi.co.uk/connect/

Further guidance is available here

Contractors can choose to use this application if they wish. GMLPC are signposting the tool to contractors for information and reference.


The GM Healthcare Academy

The GM Healthcare Academy organised a webinar in order to provide practical advice to deal with the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The webinar discussed how to keep your Business Continuity Plan up to date, Insurance and FAQs around practical approaches, the dedicated webpage and query line set up for local and national guidance and GMLPC’s plans to set up an up to date news feed and collaboration forum for pharmacies across Greater Manchester.

We strongly recommend that ALL contractors view the webinar which is now available on-demand.

Click here to view and download slides from the webinar.


Useful Links

RPS have set up a COVID-19 hub page and a number of downloadable posters, ethical guidance, practical guidance, FAQs and useful resources are available  these can be found at:

NPA have also set up a hub page with a number of useful resources


Key Contacts

Please ensure you update the SOP with the information relevant to your area and ensure that all members of the pharmacy team are able to access it:

Greater Manchester HPT

Public Health England North West
2nd Floor
3 Piccadilly Place
London Road
Manchester
M1 3BN

Telephone 0344 225 0562 (option 3)

Fax 0161 236 1820

Out of hours advice 0151 434 4819

 

NHS Regional Pharmacist:

Karen O’Brien: karen.obrien1@nhs.net

 

NHS Local Pharmacy Network (LPN) chair:

Dr Jane Brown: england.gmtop@nhs.net

 

Local Pharmaceutical Committee:

Greater Manchester LPC: enquiries@gmlpc.org.uk

Bolton LPC: Louise@boltonlpc.org.uk

 

Local NHS lead for commissioning:

Stephen Riley Senior Primary Care Manager (Optometry and Pharmacy): england.gmtop@nhs.net

 

Your NHS Regional Infection Prevention and Control Team:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/contacts-phe-health-protection-teams#what-hpts-do

 

These contact details are available for download here





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