Further extension to SSP015 for Paracetamol 120mg & 240mg suppositories

Further extension to SSP015 for Paracetamol 120mg & 240mg suppositories

February 25, 2022

CONTENT EXPIRED


Update 25/02/2022 – The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided an update on the Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) for Paracetamol 120mg & 240mg suppositories (SSP015). SSP015 for Paracetamol 120mg & 240mg suppositories was previously expected to expire on 18 February 2022 but the end date has been further extended to Friday 04 March 2022.


Update 18/02/2022 – The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided an update on the Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) for Paracetamol 120mg & 240mg suppositories (SSP015). SSP015 for Paracetamol 120mg & 240mg suppositories was previously expected to expire on 18 February 2022 but the end date has been further extended to Friday 25 February 2022.


In response to a significant ongoing disruption to the supply of Paracetamol 120mg and 240mg suppositories, a Serious Shortage Protocol (SSP) has been issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Effective today, 25 January 2022, SSP015 provides that for every Paracetamol 120mg or 240mg suppository originally prescribed, one Paracetamol 125mg or 250mg suppository must be supplied. SSP015, authorised by the Secretary of State, has been developed by clinicians and provides pharmacists with procedures to follow in providing either of these suitable alternative products to help reduce the number of patients having to return to their prescriber for a replacement prescription.

For prescriptions (NHS or private) requesting: Supply permitted under SSP015:
Paracetamol 120mg suppository
or
Paracetamol 240mg suppository
Paracetamol 125mg suppository
or
Paracetamol 250mg suppository

The SSP may be amended or revoked at any time but currently expires on 18 February 2022 – PSNC will update contractors on any changes.

Key points relating to SSP015

  • Ensure that patients considered unsuitable for inclusion are promptly referred to their prescriber for further advice.
  • The supervising pharmacist should ensure that the patient’s prescriber is notified when supplying a patient in accordance with this SSP
  • The supervising pharmacist should refer back to the prescriber if their professional judgement determines that the patient is not suitable to receive the marginally stronger medicine in accordance with this SSP.
  • The supervising pharmacist should note that 2 x 125mg paracetamol suppositories cannot be substituted for 1 x 240mg paracetamol suppository.
  • For endorsing requirements please refer to NHSBSA’s supporting guidance.

Pharmacists must exercise their professional judgement to ensure the alternative products are suitable for the patient.

Contractors will receive an email to their shared NHSmail account informing them of this SSP and pharmacy teams are advised to read the documentation for SSP015 in full and to implement the protocol with immediate effect. Pharmacists are required to read and comply with the requirements outlined within the individual SSP as published on the NHSBSA website for SSP015: Paracetamol 120mg and 240mg suppositories.

Use of NCSO endorsement and SSP claims made using EPS tokens

PSNC requested and secured an extension to the transition period by three months for the NHSBSA to continue to accept the ‘NCSO’ endorsement and allow SSP claims on tokens until the end of January 2022. 

PSNC made a request for an extension to the transition period as we understand that some suppliers are in the process of making improvements to systems to reduce the risk of errors in applying the correct SSP endorsements. Additionally, a few system suppliers are yet to fully enable and/or deploy the SSP endorsement functionality within their systems and some are in the process of finalising guidance for contractors to utilise the SSP endorsement functionality within systems. The extension to the transition period gives pharmacy contractors more time to adjust to the new SSP endorsement and to ensure pharmacy staff are correctly applying correct endorsements to both electronic and paper prescriptions. Where SSP endorsement functionality is available on the dispensing system the contractor must select SSP and input the three-digit reference number.

Reimbursement

Reimbursement is for the medicine supplied in accordance with the SSP and not the originally prescribed medicine i.e. in this instance contractors will be reimbursed the Drug Tariff Part VIIIA reimbursement price for Paracetamol 125mg or 250mg suppositories. The reimbursement price will account for VAT payment. Supply in accordance with the SSP will result in the following fees being paid to the contractor:

  • One Single Activity fee (currently £1.29)
  • One SSP fee (£5.35)

Support in implementing the SSPs

The following resources have been developed to support pharmacy teams in using these protocols.

Current versions of SSPs

Serious Shortage Protocols Operational Guidance

Serious Shortage Protocols Questions & Answers

PSNC’s Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) Endorsing Factsheet

PSNC Briefing 023/19: Serious Shortage Protocols – A guide for community pharmacy teams

Background information on SSPs

Further information on what SSPs are and when they may be used is available via the links below.

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) on-demand webinar

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) webpage



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