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

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

July 20, 2020

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


NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates COVID-19: 15th July round-up for primary care

Webinar recording – risk assessment in community pharmacy
We wrote to community pharmacies on 24 June 2020 to ask them to carry out a risk assessment of their pharmacy staff who are at potentially greater risk of COVID-19 within a four week period. On 8 July 2020 we held a webinar, involving speakers from the National Pharmacy Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society, to help and support community pharmacy employers and managers to carry out these risk assessments within the agreed timescale.

This risk assessment work is an important part of a wider programme that the NHS is leading nationally to address the impact of COVID-19 on the BAME workforce. This includes work to improve protection, support and representation for the BAME pharmacy workforce across all sectors including community pharmacy teams.

The webinar recording and slides have been published on the FutureNHS website. The NHS Business Services Authority has sent every pharmacy a briefing and link to a risk assessment SNAP Survey to complete. There will be two windows for collection of information, by 17 July 2020 and by 31 July 2020 – please complete the declaration in both windows.

Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Essential Criteria Checklist
We have worked with the Department of Health and Social Care and Pharmacy Services Negotiation Committee to develop a new Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) for 2020/21 which will be in two parts. Part 1 recognises the work many pharmacy contractors have already completed as a result of COVID-19 to ensure a safer environment for all staff and people who visit the pharmacy.

It is an Essential Criteria Checklist which includes a list of actions that must all be completed by any contractor wishing to claim a payment of £1,630 for PQS 2020/21 Part 1. Claims  can be made via the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) Manage Your Service website and contractors are encouraged to complete this as soon as possible. Full details of the checklist can be found in the Drug Tariff determination on the NHS BSA website.

Completing Part 1 before 29 January 2021 is a prerequisite for claiming Part 2 of the PQS which will be announced in September 2020.

Employing a provisionally-registered pharmacist guidance
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has written to pharmacy owners and superintendents to share guidance about employing provisionally-registered pharmacists.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the ability of trainees completing the pharmacist pre-registration scheme in 2020 to finish their training as planned, and to sit the registration assessment as originally scheduled.

Pending successful completion of the rescheduled assessment, the GPhC governing council has agreed a policy for registering pharmacists on a provisional basis.

The policy sets out that current pre-registration trainees who meet the criteria for provisional registration are able to be provisionally-registered as a pharmacist, with certain restrictions, from 1 August 2020.

The guidance sets out what employers and superintendents must do, if they plan to employ a pharmacist who is provisionally registered.

Mental health apps to support children and young people
A team across NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS England and NHS Improvement is working to identify a number of digital tools to support children, young people and adults who are experiencing increased mental health needs as a result of COVID-19, disrupted education or end of year exams.

Healios, the first supplier to complete the process for its ThinkNinja app, has now made this app available to download free of charge to all 10-18 year olds until the end of September. ThinkNinja will be joining over 20 existing apps already approved on the NHS Apps library for users to choose from. Information about the team’s work is available in this blog.

 



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