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

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

June 7, 2021

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

1. NHSE&I Primary Care Special update – COVID-19 vaccination programme in primary care: 1st June

It has been a challenging few weeks and we hope you got some downtime over the bank holiday. Don’t forget our #LookingAfterYouToo and #LookingAfterYourTeam accessible one-to-one coaching offers, which provide direct access to free and confidential support to all staff working across primary care. In this blog Jill, a practice manager, and her coach discuss their positive coaching experience. Also below are details of our mentoring scheme for GPs. Other career support packages can be found on the GP Career Support Hub – FutureNHS Collaboration Platform.

Help us arrange a tea break on the NHS birthday
As part of plans to celebrate the NHS’s 73rd birthday, the #NHSBigTea is a chance to come together to thank NHS staff and our communities for their hard work over the last year. The NHS Big Tea in 2019 saw hundreds of events in hospitals, ambulance services, community and mental health trusts across the UK. This year, help break the record and organise a tea in every NHS setting, raising a mug in collective thanks at 3pm on 5 July. Register online and get access to resources to help you plan your tea party, virtually or in person.

UPDATED: UK Infection Prevention and Control Guidance
Public Health England has published an update to the UK Infection Prevention and Control guidance, agreed by the UK’s four chief medical and nursing officers.

Amendments have been made to strengthen existing messaging and provide further advice where needed, including updates on the hierarchy of controls, clarity over the use of valved respirators, and highlighting the need to protect those previously shielding and who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. Definitions and supporting resources have been added to support risk assessment based on the hierarchy of controls.

A full list of changes to the previous version are listed on page 8 of the guidance. Following continued extensive clinical and scientific review, no changes to the recommendations, including PPE, have been made in response to the new variant strains at this stage, however this position remains under constant review.

All NHS organisations should ensure reliable application of all IPC recommendations and assurance on adherence, that PPE is available and in supply, and that all staff training is up to date.

Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey 2021 launched
The Community Pharmacy Workforce Survey (CPWS) 2021 was launched by Health Education England on 7 May and will close by mid-June. The CPWS 2021 aims to provide an up-to-date picture of the size and shape of the community pharmacy workforce (including locums) in order to:

  • inform workforce planning and future investment in education and training for the entire community pharmacy workforce;
  • guide the overall workforce development strategy for the NHS; and
  • inform on community pharmacy’s current contribution to local health systems across England – e.g. Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs).

2. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 3rd June round-up for primary care

GP CPCS: General Practice and Community Pharmacy Working Together
The NHS Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS) is a community pharmacist led clinical service which has been managing referrals from NHS111 since 2019. GP practices can also refer patients contacting them with minor illness symptoms for a same day consultation with a community pharmacist, using the referral pathway to the CPCS.

Catch up on this webinar hosted by the Royal College of General Practitioners, featuring an expert panel of speakers with a discussion on how the CPCS works and how it supports general practice. You can also access the CPCS FutureNHS workspace to find support with implementing the referral pathway.

Primary Care Networks webinar
Our next webinar for Primary Care Networks is taking place on Wednesday 23 June and will focus on multi-disciplinary teams with colleagues joining us from around the country to share their experience of working together as a team and the benefits to local populations. We will also look at ways to accommodate your new workforce, making full use of your estate. We hope many of you will be able to join us.

Vaccination programme milestone
Yesterday we met yet another major milestone for the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Over 55 million people have now been vaccinated thanks in large part to the efforts of primary care local vaccination sites. We’d like to give particular thanks to the over 500 community pharmacy vaccination sites who have delivered over 5 million vaccinations.

Deadline for claiming GP CPCS engagement and set up fee
Contractors are reminded that the deadline to claim the fee for engagement with PCNs to implement the GP referral pathway to the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service is 30 June 2021.

The NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) was extended across England in November 2020 to include minor illness referrals from general practices as well as from NHS 111. Contractors registered to provide the CPCS will be able to support this local preparatory work and they can claim a £300 engagement and setup payment if they undertake a range of actions to help get ready for implementing the referral pathway in their area.


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