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

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

May 10, 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: 4th May round-up for primary care

The latest government figures show the UK’s pandemic is moving into a new phase, with many areas seeing low levels of coronavirus. This is very positive news and is, in part, testament to the incredible work of the vaccination programme. As we move towards the next step in the government’s recovery roadmap, we know that people will begin to feel more confident about coming forward for healthcare advice and treatment.

Restoring services and recovering backlogs will require us to do things differently and it will take a unified effort across the whole of the NHS. We look forward to engaging with many of you on how we best do this, building on what we have learned during the pandemic to transform the delivery of services.

We must ensure we are supporting patients to access to the right care as quickly and easily as possible. We have produced a communications toolkit to support general practice to communicate with patients.

We also have public facing campaign resources that can be downloaded and used on social media channels:

Working with Public Health England and we will continue to make information available to the public on where and how to seek healthcare advice, including the important role of community pharmacy.

We thank you again for all you do.

A Beacon of Hope: The UK Vaccine Story
The Government has shared a new vaccination film called The Beacon of Hope, which covers the story of the development and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine. There is also a short advertrunning on primetime television.

This film covers some extraordinary moments in the journey to create a vaccine, shining the light on our NHS people and the pivotal part they’ve played in saving lives. We are so proud of our NHS and everyone who has been working tirelessly to provide care and support in such difficult circumstances.

Updated social media access graphics
Updated graphics are available to promote ways to access pharmacy services during the pandemic, including social distancing. They can be used on social media channels to inform the public. The download includes suggested social media copy and a video for digital screens.

Save the date: National Thank You Day (Sunday 4 July 2021)
On Sunday 4 July the Together coalition will lead a national day of thanks and recognition to celebrate the incredible work of our NHS staff, as well as all key workers and others in our communities who have helped us through this challenging year. We encourage you to join May Parsons, the Nurse who gave the first COVID-19 vaccine, and many others in supporting the initiative. Show your support here and we’ll keep you updated.

New roles in primary care – national toolkit
This toolkit has been developed to enable primary and community care training hubs to work collaboratively with PCNs towards the development of the primary care workforce, as outlined in the GP contract.

Training hubs are designed to meet the educational needs of the multidisciplinary primary care team and bring together NHS organisations, community providers and local authorities. This resource will allow training hubs to work with their PCNs and support workforce planning, providing a valuable resource for systems developing their primary care workforce. This toolkit refers not only to roles included in the ARRS, but to all new roles in primary care.


2. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 6th May round-up for primary care

Making the most of electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020, instruction was issued to increase use of eRD. This was followed by amendments to patient consent, increasing opportunities for patient benefit. Primary Care responded by issuing over 16 million additional eRD items, saving significant clinical time. It is important that patients now coming to the end of their eRD cycle e.g after 6 or 12 months, receive a medication review and, if still appropriate, are started on their next “batch” of eRD prescriptions. It remains important that patients (or their carer) understand the eRD process. Information is available on the following webpages:

Free Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) Training
Currently 94% of all pharmacies are signed up to provide the CPCS. To support community pharmacists in offering this service we are funding workshops, via Health Education England, to develop the clinical and professional skills needed to support patients. The workshops are delivered by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Royal College of General Practitioners. To find out more and book your free place visit the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website.

See through the symptoms – lung cancer campaign
This Tuesday saw the launch of the GP awareness campaign for never smoking lung cancers, called ‘See Through the Symptoms’, supported by ALK Positive UK, EGFR Positive UK and the Ruth Strauss Foundation. Information and resources are available to download, including the press release and social media assets for promotion across your platforms and to share with primary care professionals.


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