COVID-19: GMLPC and PSNC Resources for Contractors
COVID-19: GMLPC and PSNC Resources for Contractors
April 3, 2020
Community Pharmacy Covid-19 Vaccination Sites
|Live date||Name of Site||Address 1||Address 2||Town||Postcode|
|18/01/2021||Everest Pharmacy||117b Withington Road||Whalley Range||Manchester||M16 8EE|
|18/01/2021||Larkhill Centre (Timperely Pharmacy)||Thorley Lane||Timperley, Altrincham||Cheshire||WA15 7AZ|
|18/01/2021||Superdrug||7-9 Piccadilly,||Manchester||M1 1LZ|
|18/01/2021||Whalley Range High School||Wilbraham Rd||Whalley Range||Manchester||M16 8GW|
|18/01/2021||Hollowood Chemist||13 Mesnes Street||Wigan||Wigan||WN1 1QP|
|18/01/2021||MMC College (Wellfield Pharmacy)||20 Humphrey Street||Manchester||M8 9JR|
|25/01/2021||Bolton Wanderers Football Club (Hootons Pharmacy)||Learning Zone, Car Park A, De Havilland Way||Horwich||Bolton||BL6 6SF|
|17/05/2021||Brookdale Club and Theatre Ltd (Scorah Chemist)||Bridge Lane||Bramhall||Stockport||SK7 3AB|
|17/05/2021||The 1881 Hall – The Venue (Reeds Pharmacy)||15 Westbourne Rd||Urmston||Manchester||M41 0XQ|
|24/05/2021||Boots||47-49 Merseyway||Stockport||SK1 1PU|
|24/05/2021||St James and Emmanuel Church (Wilmslow Rd Pharamcy)||6 Barlow Moor Road||Didsbury||Manchester||M20 6TR|
|24/05/2021||Mary Davey Chemists||14 Warburton Lane||Partington||Manchester||M31 4WJ|
|24/05/2021||Medichem Pharmacy||34/35 Woodley Precinct||Woodley||Stockport||SK6 1RJ|
|31/05/2021||Hazel Grove Civic Hall (WELL)||London road||Hazel Grove||Stockport||SK7 4DF|
|Pharmacy2U||3-5 Lord Street||Oldham||OL1 3HP|
|South Chadderton Methodist Church (Imaan Pharmacy Werneth)||25 Thompson Lane||Chadderton||Oldham||OL9 8LX|
|The Keppel Building (Focus Pharmacy)||Ashton Road West||Failsworth||Manchester||M35 0AD|
|Pakistani Community Centre (Focus Pharmacy)||Marlborough St||Glodwick||Oldham||OL4 1EG|
|Life Centre (Timperley Pharmacy)||235 Washway Rd||Sale||M33 4BP|
|Newbury Place Pharmacy||55 Rigby Street||Salford||M7 4NX|
|Breightmet Health Centre (Cohens Chemist)||Breightmet Fold Lane||Breightmet||BL2 6NT|
|Hemsley House (Cohens Chemist)||41-42 The Crescent||Salford||M5 4PE|
Claiming for Covid-19 Costs
How to claim for your COVID-related costs – support webinar recording and slide deck now available
PSNC has accepted an offer from HM Government that will allow all community pharmacy contractors in England to claim for their COVID-related costs.
The claiming window is now open.
Contractors have between 5th July and 15th August 2021 to submit their claims to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).
Any contractor (with a current ODS code) that incurred additional COVID-19 related costs between 1st March 2020 and 31st March 2021 can make a claim.
GMLPC have developed a briefing for contractors detailing what claims can be made, when contractors can claim them, and how to do this. The information found in the briefing is also detailed below.
What can contractors claim?
DHSC has set out four categories of COVID-related costs that can be claimed for as follows:
Community pharmacy contractors can claim for specific categories of COVID-19 related costs incurred between 1st March 2020 and 31st March 2021 for the delivery of NHS pharmaceutical services.
When can I make the claim?
The six-week period for community pharmacy contractors to claim for the extra costs they incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic begins on Monday 5th July 2021.
Contractors will make their claims via a form to be submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) between 5th July and 15th August 2021.
DHSC will then process the claims and contractors will be paid for their COVID costs in their 1st October payment.
DHSC will also begin taking back repayments of the £370m Advance Payments received last year. The details of this are subject to some further negotiation once DHSC and PSNC have seen the likely quantum of the claims payment and considered cashflow, but contractors should be prepared to begin making repayments from October.
How do I make the claim?
As mentioned above the NHSBSA have provided a form that needs to be completed. Find the form here.
The NHSBSA claim form asks contractors to set out their costs according to these categories and to indicate the evidence they have for them. DHSC has not set out detailed evidence requirements so this will need careful thought, particularly as contractors will also need to provide documentation to evidence their claims should the NHSBSA ask to see it.
Contractors with two or more branches will be able to submit a single claim and provide documentation to evidence claims at a company level.
Completed claims forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11.59pm on 15th August 2021. Details, plus the NHSBSA support address (which is the same as the submission address), are available here.
Further guidance on the claim process and the form can be found here
New! PSNC Webinar Recording and Slide Deck: If you missed PSNC’s COVID-19 Cost Claims Workshop held on Monday 2nd August the webinar recording is now available to watch here. You can also access the slide deck used in the webinar here.
Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Phase 3 Booster Programme
NHSE/I sent out a letter to community pharmacy teams announcing publication of the local enhanced service specification for phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and guidance on the community pharmacy phase 3 expression of interest and site designation progress.
The Phase 3 service specification aims to provide contractors with interim advice from JCVI on the potential COVID-19 booster programme. The advice suggests that the COVID-19 booster vaccines should be offered in two stages from September, starting with those most at risk from serious disease and that the seasonal flu vaccine should be offered alongside the third, booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Expression of interest and site designation process
The letter also outlines the process for which contractors can express their interest in being commissioned to be a phase 3 COVID-19 vaccination enhanced site.
Community pharmacy contractors already delivering the COVID-19 vaccination service for phases 1 and 2 will also be required to express an interest in phase 3 following the same process.
There will be a number of community pharmacy site types dependant on capacity which are as follows;
Contractors wishing to express their interest should complete the below actions.
Actions for contractors;
Further information found here.
If you require any further support from GMLPC please contact email@example.com.
Covid-19 Vaccinations for Staff
New government regulations come into force on 11 November 2021, requiring care home staff to refuse entry to anybody who cannot evidence that they have had two doses of a Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved COVID-19 vaccine, or that they come within a specified exemption. This applies to all Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care homes providing nursing or personal care in England.
Pharmacy Contractors who provide services to care homes will need to:
NHSE&I has also published FAQs, which will be updated on a regular basis, to support implementation of the new regulations.
We have been working with GMHSCP and localities across GM to ensure scheduled appointments are available for all Pharmacy colleagues to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Following the National Guidance which was shared on 07/01/21, NHSE/I sent out an email to all contractors on 15/01/21 explaining that there will be 3 sites offering vaccinations for Health and Social Care workers, these are as follows:
Please see Vaccination of frontline Health and Social Care Workforce’ document along with ‘Appendix 1 ’ which includes further information about booking your vaccination at the Etihad site. This information can also be found below.
1.Mass Vaccination Site – Etihad Campus
Colleagues will be asked to book a slot choosing the day/s allocated to their locality.
To book your appointment, please use the following link – GM Mass Vaccination Centre | Scheduling and Booking Website (nhsbookings.com).
2.Local Vaccination Sites – PCN and Community Pharmacy Sites
GMLPC recently sent out a survey for contractors to express their interest in receiving the vaccine. All responses have now been collated and will be shared with PCN leads and local coordinators in your area. The form is still live and can be accessed here
You will be contacted if there are any available slots.
3.Local Hospital Hubs
Hospital hubs have yet to confirm their arrangements at this time, however, we have been made aware that information may have been shared on a local level.
IMPORTANT UPDATE! (17/02) Healthcare workers, including community pharmacy staff, now also have the option to book their vaccination appointments in a vaccination centre or community pharmacy through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service.
Access the booking service here. This option is only open until Sunday 28th February 2021.
Please note: you will need to self-declare as a health or social care worker and will be asked for identification and written authorisation when attending your appointment.
GMLPC will ensure that contractors are updated with any changes to the above guidance. In the meantime, we encourage all contractors to brief their teams on the available options to ensure all staff are booked in for their vaccination.
PSNC have summarised key FAQ’s for contractors which you can access here
Training to Deliver the Covid Vaccination
HEE E-Learning Covid-19 Vaccination Training Programme
This COVID-19 Vaccination e-learning programme is designed to provide the health and care workforce involved in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme with the knowledge they need to confidently promote high uptake of the vaccine and deliver the vaccine programme effectively.
All those undertaking this e-learning should complete the core knowledge session as this is designed to provide essential knowledge about COVID-19 and the key principles of immunisation needed to deliver the vaccine. The assessment sessions should be completed after each knowledge session.
Access the training programme here.
HEE E-Learning Covid-19 Training Programme
This programme has been created by Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, and includes key materials to help the health and care workforce respond to Coronavirus.
The programme is freely available to colleagues working in the NHS, independent sector and social care. There are resources available for individual roles.
Content now available in the COVID-19 programme includes:
Access the programme here.
Safeguarding Awareness Training for Those Entering People’s Homes During Covid-19
‘It’s Your Call’ is a free online training course developed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) for workers who are in a well-placed position to spot emerging safeguarding concerns through entering people’s homes. This may include delivery drivers or members of primary care teams.
The risks to children may have intensified during the pandemic because of an increase in stress among parents or caregivers, increase in vulnerability to certain types of abuse, and a reduction in normal protective services.
The training will provide participants with the tools needed to help identify those at risk who may be hidden due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Access the training here.
Individuals can get in touch with the NSPCC by calling 0808 800 5000 between 8am-10pm (Monday-Friday), and from 9am-6pm on weekends.
Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
NHSE/I have published a letter on planning for a C-19 booster programme, referred to as ‘Phase 3’ of the vaccination programme.
NHSE&I intend to publish the general practice and community pharmacy service specifications for Phase 3 in the first part of July with a view to confirming those contractors who would like to participate in mid to late July.
Over the next few weeks, NHSE&I regional teams will be working initially with LPCs and then seeking expressions of interest from contractors to participate in phase 3 of the vaccination programme. NHSE&I are expected to send further information on making an expression of interest to all contractors via their regional teams.
Further information found here.
MHRA/JCVI Update re AstraZeneca Vaccine and Next Steps
MHRA and JCVI have published an important announcement regarding Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine and next steps. All vaccination sites need to adhere to the updated guidance and take appropriate actions in relation to:
Read the MHRA/JCVI announcement here.
Other useful resources:
Expression of interest for COVID-19 Vaccination sites – Deadline Sunday 28th February 2021 (now passed)
Full details of the process can be found in the national letter published on 16th Feb. Read the full letter here
The national pharmacy bodies have jointly issued advice for community pharmacies planning to provide COVID-19 vaccinations that details questions contractors should ask themselves before applying.
This includes considerations about pharmacy premises, workforce, managing patients, business continuity and governance.
Read the new advice guidance here.
Please do not send any expression of interest to the NHSE&I generic inbox as they are not managing this new application process and will NOT forwarded these on.
GM Health and Social Care Partnership (GM HSCP) will be the decision-makers on the assessment and evaluation of all submissions.
The LPC will confirm local arrangements regarding submission of the applications as soon as we have this information confirmed by GMHSCP
The first-wave deadline for expressing an interest in becoming a designated Covid-19 vaccination site passed on 6th December 2020
Community Pharmacy’s participation in the COVID-19 vaccination delivery programme and application to become a designated site.
Several potential vaccines for COVID-19 are in the later stages of phase III trials. If one or more are authorised for use, the NHS needs to be ready to start immediate vaccination.
Community pharmacy will have an important role in a potential COVID-19 vaccination programme, alongside other providers.
NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams will commission selected community pharmacy contractors who are able to meet the requirements to provide a COVID-19 vaccination service from pharmacy-led designated sites.
NHSE/I expect to commission fewer community pharmacy sites than GP PCN led centres. NHSE/I do not expect the majority of contractors to be able to meet the requirements.
A designation process has been established to provide assurance to the commissioner that all pharmacy-led sites administering COVID-19 vaccination meet the required criteria. The service would be commissioned as Local Enhanced Service.
As vaccine supply generally increases over time, we anticipate expanding the number of sites. Pharmacy contractors may subsequently be invited by the commissioner to nominate additional premises or new contractors may be commissioned. These new sites would also need to go through the designation process outlined in this document at a later date.
Actions for contractors:
The process will adhere to the following deadlines:
Community pharmacy contractors and workforce will be able to support the COVID-19 vaccination service in a number of other ways:
Mass Vaccination Programme: Update for those interested in supporting the MVP
Thank you to those who have already expressed an interest in supporting the GM MVP. For those who haven’t already but would like to do so, the opportunity to get involved is still open, and requires you to express your interest through registering with GM’s Workforce Bank (known as Lantum).
Find the full Workforce MVP Update here (added 25/01/21)
This includes further details on the following:
Your support is incredibly important and we are very grateful for your contributions to this programme.
Expression of Interest
Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on behalf of the GM COVID Vaccine Workforce Group would like to invite you to support the Mass Vaccination Programme (MVP).
There are several roles that you could support including acting a vaccinator, administrator and marshalling to name but a few. Available staff would work at Vaccination Hubs/Services across GM to support delivery on their non-working days or out of normal service hours.
Anyone wishing to support this programme should register directly with the Workforce bank at: http://info.lantum.com/greater_manchester_vaccination or be directed to completing the Expression of interest form: https://share.hsforms.com/1jlbQhcF8T7K077k_mOgoCQ2lu67
This will register your expression of interest only and does not commit you to taking part. We will share further information with you as it becomes available.
An individual’s primary employment for delivering primary care services is to be considered as a priority. Any opportunity to offer availability over and above this would be most welcome
Covid-19 Vaccination Priority Groups
The number of vaccines available at any one time will also have an impact on how they are used, in line with the prioritisation guidance issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The JCVI advice recommends that older adults resident in care homes, care home workers, all those 80 years of age and over and healthcare and social care workers are the early priority cohorts for vaccination. Read the guidance here
You can also read more detail and information on the PSNC Covid-19 Vaccination page
Standard Operating Procedure: Covid-19 local vaccination services deployment in community settings
This standard operating procedure describes the operating model and design requirements for safe delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in the community. Click here to view
Update – Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine approved
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca was given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards.
Like many community pharmacists, PSNC is keen to see the sector able to play a greater role in the vaccination programme now the Oxford University/AZ vaccine can be used; we have clearly communicated that message to the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and NHS Improvement and will continue to do so.
AZ COVID-19 vaccination and blood clot guides, revised leaflets, links and factsheets
Public Health England (PHE) Resources:
General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC) Resources (including Q&A aimed at patients)
Pandemic Delivery Service
The service is currently ACTIVE until 23:59 on 30th September 2021 for people notified of the need to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace in all areas of England.
Pandemic Delivery Service (No longer includes Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) Patients.
The Pandemic Delivery Service for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) patients ended on Wednesday 31st March 2021.
Community pharmacy contractors are therefore reminded that no further deliveries should be made to these patients, under this service, from this date.The end of the service follows advice from the Government that from 1st April 2021 CEV patients are no longer required to shield; all CEV patients should have received a letter notifying them of this. Claims for the Pandemic Delivery Service for CEV patients will be accepted by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) via their Manage Your Service (MYS) portal; claims must be submitted by 5th April 2021. Later claims will not be processed.
Contractors are reminded that the Pandemic Delivery Service for people who have been notified of the need to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace is still ‘live’ and is commissioned until 30th June 2021.
Contractual and Regulatory Changes
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.
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.
If you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
For further information see the PSNC link add link here
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.
Changes to Opening Hours – COVID-19
The GM NHSE/I team have recently sent a communication to all pharmacies in GM which outlines the local processes and what to do in the event you need to work behind closed doors, temporarily close or need to suspend services.
A summary of the process can be found below:
WORKING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS FOR ONE DAY
If you think you need to implement behind closed doors working allowance for one day only – NO prior consent from the Greater Manchester NHS England & Improvement Team needs to be obtained in advance.
However the following points should be followed-
WORKING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS FOR MORE THAN ONE DAY – (form here)
If the Responsible Pharmacist determines that the working behind closed doors may be required to be enacted for a period of more than one day– prior consent from Greater Manchester NHS England & Improvement Team needs to be obtained in advance.
The following points should be followed-
Where a pharmacy needs to work behind doors closed to the public it can do so for up to 2.5 hours a day. However, on days where they are expected to be open, all pharmacies will be expected to have their doors open to the public between 10am and 12 noon and 2pm and 4pm as a minimum. The ‘working behind closed doors hours’ must therefore be before 10am, between midday and 2pm or after 4pm.
100-hour pharmacies needing to work behind closed doors due to extreme pressure will be expected to have their doors open from 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 6pm as a minimum. The ‘working behind closed doors hours’ must therefore be before 10am, between midday and 2pm or after 6pm.
TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF SERVICE (UNEXPECTED CLOSURE)
If you have a Temporary Suspension of Service for circumstances outside of your control – e.g. Responsible Pharmacist calls in sick or Locum Pharmacist is delayed, etc please continue to inform NHS England via an planned temporary suspension of services form or sending the necessary details via email to email@example.com
APPLICATION TO TEMPORARILY AMEND OPENING HOURS OR CLOSE A BRANCH TEMPORARILY-(Sch 4 Paragraph 27) – (form here)
If you need to apply for a Temporary Amendment to Contractual Opening Hours or Temporary Closure
IN ANY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ABOVE – PLEASE ENSURE YOU AMEND YOUR DOS PROFILE VIA THE DOS UPDATER – see appendix A in the Pharmacy SOP
If you are unsure as to any of the above please contact NHS England firstname.lastname@example.org or your Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) who will be able to provide advice.
Link to PSNC Guidance:
Links for your convenience:
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: email@example.com
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.
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:
More information can be found in this letter
Updated guidance for shielded patients
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
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/
PPE and Safety Measures
Updated Safety Measures for Community Pharmacy
In light of the new lockdown measures and the increasing pressure this puts on healthcare services, please read the below guidance to ensure the correct measures are put in place to deliver safe services at your pharmacies.
Pharmacy teams must do the following:
GMLPC are currently working with the NHSE/I team to develop further guidance and advice on closures and amended opening hours. We will keep you updated as soon as we have further information.
An emergency closures checklist can be found here.
For further information on the Guidance and Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Community Pharmacy in the context of COVID-19, please click here.
If you have issues with pharmacy operations or if there is an increase in the duration of prescriptions for your pharmacy, please get in touch with the LPC so we can support and advise you by feeding this information to the national team.
You can contact the LPC at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0161 228 6163
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.
Further PSNC guidance on PPE is available here
Claiming for PPE expenditure – please read and action
A mechanism to claim for PPE expenditure used between 27th February 2020 and 31st December 2020 is now available. Claims need to be made via the NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS) platform between 1st January and 12th February 2021 providing the PPE is used before 31st March 2021.
A central claims process option is also available for multiple pharmacies (with six or more pharmacies) as it is recognised that PPE supply may have been managed centrally for pharmacy groups. Each Pharmacy can make two types of claims. A standard claim and an exceptional claim depending on their circumstances. Further information is available here https://psnc.org.uk/our-news/c-19-ppe-reimbursement-how-contractors-can-make-a-claim/
PPE Portal Order Increase for Christmas
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have announced a 25% increase in order limits for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) orders over the Christmas period.
The announcement confirmed that the PPE Portal will be operational over Christmas however, the delivery partners (Royal Mail and Pallet Carrier) will not be delivering on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. To make allowance for any potential disruptions or increased need, DHSC have increased order limits by 25% for all providers from Tuesday 8th December to at least Monday 4th January 2021.
Contractors are reminded that they can call the PPE Portal customer service team on 0800 876 6802 if they have any questions about using the PPE portal. The team is available from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week.
Contractors that have not yet registered to use the PPE Portal are strongly advised to do so. To register, please follow the guidance below.
The latest guidance for the PPE Portal, including order limits for the different types and sizes of provider, is also available on the GOV.UK website.
PPE Portal – How to Order COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Eligible health and social care providers can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The portal is the primary source for contractors to claim free PPE, however they must make sure they are registered.
Please see below for useful links for Community Pharmacy:
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.
Other sections of PSNC’s COVID-19 hub include:
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.
Covid Testing ( Including Test and Trace)
The LPC will be updating you with further news on any developments with regards to PCN network support and any other developments as we receive further information.
Update! COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing for Pharmacy Staff (updated 5/8/21)
Community pharmacy contractors ordering lateral flow device (LFD) test kits as part of the NHS community pharmacy COVID-19 lateral flow device distribution service (Pharmacy Collect) will start to receive a different brand of test kit, Acon Flowflex, from Alliance Healthcare.
A carton (outer) of the Acon FlowFlex test kits will contain 56 test kits and the carton dimensions are 36 x 38.5 x 44cm..
These new test kits only contain a nasal swab and provide a test result within 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes.
Find further information here.
NHSE/I announced on 29th June 2021 that from Monday 5th July 2021 staff can order test kits as and when required rather than in bulk. When ordering their tests online, staff should input the postcode of their workplace to ensure the tests are registered as belonging to a healthcare worker. Staff should continue to report the results of their tests on the NHS Digital gov.uk reporting tool, as per current practice.
Further information found here.
Following the Government announcement on 9th November 2020 that lateral flow testing would be made available to all asymptomatic patient-facing NHS staff, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) published a letter to all primary care contractors late on 16th December 2020, announcing how they can order lateral flow tests.
Primary Care Support England (PCSE) will this week start to invite contractors, via emails to their shared NHSmail accounts, to order lateral flow testing devices.
Following receipt of an invitation, contractors should log on to the PCSE online portal and complete their orders. Contractors will have until Wednesday 30th December 2020 to place their orders.
UPDATE: 4th January 2021 – The deadline of 30/12/20 has now passed. Contractors who were not able to place an order before the deadline will still be able to go onto the portal and order tests. However, deliveries of orders placed after the deadline may take place at a later date.
Please note: Lateral flow test reporting is a statutory requirement – click here for more details on the process.
The safety of our community pharmacy locum workforce is as important as our pharmacy teams. If you have regular locums, please order lateral flow tests via PCSE on their behalf if needed.The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) have also launched a web based portal to support locums getting vaccinated. Access the portal here. GMLPC would be grateful if any local arrangements for vaccinations are shared with Locum Pharmacists to ensure their safety and to minimise the risk of infection spread.
Actions for contractors
Further information is available here
Local Arrangements if Pharmacy Teams Test Positive for Covid-19
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 email@example.com
NHS Test and Trace: Updated Advice for Contractors
In recent weeks PSNC has issued various information and guidance to clarify how NHS Test and Trace applies to community pharmacy. This advice is based on discussions PSNC has had with NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and Public Health England (PHE). Below is a round-up of the information. First, on the use of the NHS COVID-19 app:
NHS COVID-19 app: QR code posters optional for community pharmacy
Healthcare workers should pause the NHS COVID-19 app when at workAnd, more recently, on contact tracing in general:
NHS Test and Trace discrepancies could close pharmacies down, warn industry leaders
PSNC updates Test and Trace adviceKeep up-to-date on COVID-19 with the PSNC hub page: psnc.org.uk/coronavirusIn the event of an emergency closure PSNC have produced an emergency checklist and guidance on how to apply for any changes in operations. You can find further information, key contacts and resources here.
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
Attached is a summary of the GM test and trace contact points that you can print and keep in your pharmacy in the event that you have any issues with test and trace decisions. Each locality has an email contact point and further escalation points have been detailed in the document. Click here.
Additional Guidance for Contractors
• If a setting or contractors requires advice about contact tracing relating to a case in their setting they should email the GM Integrated Contact Tracing Hub on firstname.lastname@example.org and copy in the relevant locality email listed. The GM Integrated Contact Tracing Hub will then contact the setting to support with contact tracing.
• If the setting or contractor is concerned about self-isolation advice given to an individual member of staff by national test and trace they can email the National Trace Disputes Hub on email@example.com who have been set up to deal with disputes relating to being a contact or to isolation periods. Alternatively, the setting or contractor can request that the GM Integrated Contact Tracing Hub does this on their behalf by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
• If a setting or contractor believes they have been given incorrect advice by the GM Integrated Contact Tracing Hub, they should email the hub on email@example.com, setting out why they believe the advice is incorrect and asking that it is reviewed by a team leader. This is only if the advice was given by the hub and not by national test and trace.
• If the setting or contractor is aware of a positive case, has undertaken contact tracing themselves, and has asked individuals to self-isolate as contacts they should ring the National Complex Settings Support Hub on 020 3743 6715. This will ensure that the identified contacts are recorded on the national system and that they are able to access the self-isolation support grant if they are eligible.
ontractors will be required to notify and apply for any changes by emailing NHSE/I at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme – Claiming Financial Support
If you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
Test and Trace Support Payments in England are administered by unitary authorities and district councils. If you live in England, you should contact your local authority to find out how to apply.
For more information on eligibility for this scheme please click here.
Local Testing Programme
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.
Resources (Including National Resources and Translations)
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 27th October 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
Update! NHSE/I guidance can be found here https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/community-pharmacy/ (including updated guidance on home delivery of medicines/appliances)
– The CPPE COVID-19 learning and resource hub draws together the resources that we think would be most useful for a range of situations; for example returning to pharmacy practice, upskilling to look after those who are critically unwell and also seeking support and resilience.
You can also go straight to the COVID-19 gateway page where we have collated a range of advanced learning and tools.
COVID-19 translations and resources
Information on Covid-19 Vaccination Available in Different Languages
Please find below information videos on the Covid-19 Vaccination delivered by NHS staff members:
Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine in Arabic
COVID-19 translations and resources – Manchester City Council
Manchester City Council have developed a range of downloadable public safety information, to support our communities through COVID-19. There are posters, videos and social media assets for you to download in alternative formats and languages.
Find all these useful Covid-19 resources here
Education , Training and Support
Hub to help Pharmacists tell their NHS Frontline Stories
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
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 email@example.com
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
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.
GMLPC Resources for contractors
GMLPC have developed the following resources to support you with your day to day operations:
GMLPC newsletters can be viewed here
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.
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
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
Telephone 0344 225 0562 (option 3)
Fax 0161 236 1820
Out of hours advice 0151 434 4819
NHS Regional Pharmacist:
Karen O’Brien: firstname.lastname@example.org
NHS Local Pharmacy Network (LPN) chair:
Dr Jane Brown: email@example.com
Local Pharmaceutical Committee:
Greater Manchester LPC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bolton LPC: Louise@boltonlpc.org.uk
Local NHS lead for commissioning:
Stephen Riley Senior Primary Care Manager (Optometry and Pharmacy): email@example.com
Your NHS Regional Infection Prevention and Control Team:
These contact details are available for download here
The 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.
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.
Locality Specific COVID-19 Updates
These updates contain important information for community pharmacy teams about the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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