COVID-19: This week’s updates for community pharmacies (1)

COVID-19: This week’s updates for community pharmacies (1)

April 19, 2021

Latest news, information and guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) for primary care teams.

1. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 14th April round-up for primary care

Yesterday we moved to the next phase of the vaccination programme with the JCVI announcing the rollout to over 45s. Further details on next steps can be found in this letter.

Therapeutic Alert was issued through the Central Alerting System (CAS) on 12th April confirming that ‘Inhaled budesonide is not currently being recommended as standard of care but can be considered (off-label) on a case-by-case basis for:

  • symptomatic COVID-19 positive patients
  • aged 65 and over OR
  • aged 50 or over with co-morbidities, in line with the published Interim Position Statement.

This Interim Position Statement clarifies that this includes co-morbidities that are ‘consistent with a long-term health condition from the flu list.’

There is no expectation that inhaled Budeso​nide will be routinely prescribed for patients in the eligible cohorts with COVID-19.
Advice to patients on the management of COVID-19 has not changed. However, as stated in the Therapeutic alert, prescribers may consider prescribing it to reduce symptoms in eligible cohorts who are being managed in the community. This would be on a case-by-case basis using a shared decision-making approach. Information for patients can be found here.

For pharmacies and dispensing practices, additional supplies of the Pulmicort 400 Turbohaler (AstraZeneca UK Ltd) are now available to be ordered as needed through business as usual routes from wholesalers.

A webinar will be held due course to provide further information, details of which will be shared on the COVID-19 Primary Care Webinars FutureNHS space.

Recent guidance and updates

Outcomes4Health system enhancements
As part of our ongoing commitment to deliver enhancements to ways of working in the Outcomes4Health Point of Care system we are writing to let you know that there are a number of enhancements that will be released at the end of this week.

These enhancements will enable quicker and easier data entry for end users and can be highlighted as:

  • No NHS Number Available – this enhancement allows end users to enter a vaccination record for patients who return a failed PDS match allowing ‘unknown’ or ‘not issued’ to be recorded in the NHS Number field and therefore allowing these vaccination events to flow to central systems. Events, without an NHS number, will flow onto the Data Processing Service but will then be redirected to the National Back Office. Here further NHS Number tracing will occur against the demographic details provided. If an NHS number is not found after this final tracing activity, a new NHS number will be allocated against the record. The event can then flow back into DPS and onto downstream systems including NIMS and Foundry. Due to there being no GP registration, these events will not flow back into GP IT Systems.

PLEASE NOTE: All historical records, that have previously been recorded locally or on paper, should now be entered into the Outcomes4Health system. Please try to submit historical records in date order starting with the oldest. This will ensure that these events are prioritised for NHS number allocation first. Submitting the records in month order is sufficient. Please also ensure you submit the full demographic data and batch information for the event.

  • Care Homes/Other Residential settings – this enhancement means that when a care home does not appear on the Care Home ODS look up list or the vaccination is administered at an ‘other residential setting’ end users will be able to tick a new box that will allow them to manually enter the address of the care home or other residential setting utilising a post code look up. This entry will then trigger any applicable supplementary payment. Vaccinations administered in an ‘other residential setting’ from the 15th February to the 31st March should be retrospectively updated in the Outcomes4Health Point of Care system and will be identified by the PPV process and paid by manual adjustment for sites that have already declared their activity. Vaccinations administered in an ‘other residential setting’ from the 1st April should be accurately reflected within the system to ensure accurate payment for April activity through the normal, automated process via the NHSBSA.
  • Care Home Prefill – this enhancement allows you to save your most commonly used care homes to allow for quick selection when recording a vaccination.
  • No Fixed Abode – this enhancement allows you to enter ‘NFA’ (no fixed abode) into the postcode look up field on a vaccination record (which will in turn enter a dummy postcode of ‘ZZ99 3WZ’).

A user guide has been produced and will be made available on the Outcomes4Health system and the COVID Vaccinations – IT systems training page. The system enhancements will also be referenced in future training sessions.


Posted in:

More Latest News >

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Public Health England resources available for you to support this. Public Health England (PHE) are very aware that mental wellbeing may...

‘A career in pharmacy’

Health Education England (HEE) resources available, including a video and infographic. If you’re keen to help others, enjoy science and...