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

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

October 5, 2020

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

1. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 29th September round-up for primary care

Alignment of business continuity plans to support local community pharmacies
It is recognised that the temporary closure of an individual pharmacy and/or general practice can impact on the other pharmacies and general practices within a primary care network (PCN). Community pharmacy and their pharmacy PCN leads have been proactively incentivised via the Pharmacy Quality Scheme to have business continuity plans in place in anticipation of any temporary closures. We’re asking GP practices and PCNs to support their local community pharmacies by aligning business continuity plans in the event of a closure. Further details of this criterion can be found in section 7.2 here.

2. NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin updates – COVID-19: 1st October round-up for primary care

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month – a chance for us to celebrate the past, present and future of our Black colleagues working in primary care and the NHS. This month we will use social media to help share stories of our Black colleagues and highlight the huge contributions they have made to health and care. NHS Employers have also put together a summary of what’s happening in the NHS during Black History Month.

Register to the PPE portal for free PPE for all primary care providers
Infection rates are rising in the UK and winter is approaching. To ensure all primary care providers, including community pharmacists, optometrists, dentists, orthodontists and GPs, have a resilient route for getting free COVID-19 PPE, we have increased order limits.

Register and access the portal using your CQC/MHRA/NHSE/NHS BSA registered email. Guidance on what PPE items you can order (including order limits) is also available.

Call the customer service team on 0800 876 6802 if you have any questions about using the PPE portal. The team is available from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week.

The PPE portal will be the primary source of free COVID-19 PPE (including Flu vaccination requirements). However, if there is a severe disruption to distribution, in the first instance get in contact with your local authority or LRF. A page will shortly be published with the local authority/LRF contact details. If this route is not possible, get in contact with the NSDR.

Action on Inclusive Pharmacy Professional Practice
A joint national Statement of Principles on inclusive pharmacy professional practice for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in England was published on 25 September 2020. Sixteen national organisations and over 40 individuals who attended the first National Roundtable on Inclusive Pharmacy Professional Practice, signed the statement in August 2020.

Roundtable members and national pharmacy organisations are now collaboratively developing key priorities for action on which they will work together, reporting back to a second roundtable. The statement and more information can be accessed via this blog published by Keith Ridge.

RPS and RCGP joint statement on delivery of flu vaccination programme
The RCGP and the RPS has issued a joined statement emphasising how important professional collaboration locally between GPs and community pharmacy is to deliver the flu vaccination programme in the most effective way for patients.

Environments where the vaccine is delivered must be safe and include adequate access to PPE. All eligible, trained professionals should be utilised to administer the vaccine and good processes for sharing information and routes of communication between GPs and community pharmacy should be established, to encourage uptake.

Help to increase electronic Repeat Dispensing
We have previously reminded GPs to consider transferring patients to electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD) wherever possible. We know that many practices have increased their utilisation of eRD with average weekly usage increasing by 400k items since the start of the pandemic, but there are further opportunities.

GP Practices can request the latest list of their registered patients that the NHS Business Services Authority has identified as potentially being suitable for eRD, based on recent medication history by emailing Further background and support for transferring patients to eRD can be found in our letter of 4 June 2020.

3. PSNC COVID-19 daily updates – all the latest contractual, operational and practical information

PSNC is working with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and NHS Improvement to provide as much support and guidance as possible to help community pharmacy teams contribute to some of the many challenges that could arise in an epidemic situation.

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PSNC are now publishing daily COVID-19 updates by email to all those that have authorised this news stream feed.

Please find below links for last week’s updates which cover the following topics:

  • COVID-19 operational pressures on independent pharmacies – September 2020 survey
  • COVID-19 PPE is now available free of charge via the Governments PPE portal
  • DND list has over 100 products added
  • Further products reclassified as special containers
  • GPhC guidance for staff training takes effect from today
  • IT case study: Community pharmacies accessing Dorset Care Record system
  • Latest FAQs
  • Medicines supply notifications
  • October 2020 Drug Tariff price correction for Macrogol 3350 oral powder 8.5g sachets sugar free
  • Part 2 PQS contractor bandings published
  • Part 2 PQS 2020/21 digital guide for contractors
  • PQS Part 2 Aspiration payment – one week left to claim
  • PSNC CEO Blog
  • Red Separators must be used to sort prescriptions reminder from NHSBSA
  • RPS workforce wellbeing survey
  • September Community Pharmacy News (CPN)
  • September 2020 price concession for Tolterodine 1mg tablets
  • Single use plastic straws and plastic stemmed cotton buds – changes to regulations

PSNC COVID-19 daily updates:


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