Report urges stakeholders to engage with community pharmacy

A new report looking at how community pharmacy will work as part of Integrated Care Systems (ICS) lists seven requirements to help bring the best out of the sector.

Co-authored by the NHS Confederation, the National Pharmacy Association and the Primary Care Pharmacy Association, the report highlights the key themes of a roundtable discussion in July, involving primary care networks, primary care federations and other stakeholders in local systems.

Seven key requirements to ensure that the benefits of involving community pharmacy are realised are identified in the report:

  • Community pharmacists must be given the time and space to get involved in working through the development of local services with their primary care colleagues.
  • Community pharmacy and general practice need to work through some of the historical perceptions of their relationship as providers being one of competition and move to a position of collaboration as providers and a single voice for primary care. 
  • To achieve change at scale, service developments must be translated into a national contract specification for local adoption with the ability for some local flexibility to be applied to meet the specific needs of a local population.
  • Nationally specified services should be properly resourced, recognising that commercial viability is a valid request by contractors in the NHS.
  • ICSs must support the implementation of nationally specified services backed up with appropriate mechanisms to involve community pharmacy in decision-making at all levels and resources available to enable this.
  • An appropriate information technology and information governance framework is needed to support data sharing and facilitate the development of local services and the implementation of national services.
  • An appropriate medico/legal framework is needed which recognises the role of pharmacists as independent prescribers and resolves issues relating to conflicts of interest.

Dr Graham Jackson, GP and Senior Clinical Advisor at the NHS Confederation chaired the discussion said:

“It is critical that all available clinical capacity is used effectively. Our report examines the opportunities of collaboration with community pharmacy and identifies key enablers available to local systems, as well as addressing barriers.”

“We urge PCN clinical directors, primary care federation leaders and others locally to support community pharmacists to navigate the emerging NHS structures and thoroughly consider what pharmacies can bring to the table in terms of urgent care, public health, medicines optimisation and more.”

Andrew Lane, NPA chair said:

“The covid-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on the value of working collaboratively across systems. Community pharmacy can deliver most as an integral part of the system rather than being seen as an adjunct to the main action.  The sector has an important role to play as a full partner within PCNs, with primary care federations and Integrated Care systems.

“Medicines safety and optimisation is widely recognised as part of pharmacy’s unique skill set but increasingly community pharmacy will collaborate with partners in primary care to deliver integrated clinical services to the population.

“This report shows that community pharmacists are not a voice in the wilderness within the NHS.  It is fantastic to have the NHS confederation weighing in with their encouragement.”

The report will be distributed to primary care networks, primary care federations and other stakeholders in local systems. You can read the full report here.

Pharmacy in Practice announces new Clinical Director

Stephen-Andrew Whyte

Pharmacy in Practice has announced the recruitment of its first-ever Clinical Director. Stephen-Andrew Whyte will take on the role of providing innovative leadership to further bolster the training offers provided by Pharmacy in Practice.

Stephen is a registered pharmacist and advanced clinical practitioner with experience in critical care, emergency care and general paediatrics. He has a background in paediatric and neonatal pharmacy and healthcare education.

Stephen was the first pharmacist in the UK to be recognised as an advanced clinical practitioner, and the first pharmacist to undertake a HEE Clinical Fellowship in Urgent and Acute Care. He also led an innovative pilot training pharmacists as advanced clinical practitioners in urgent and emergency care.

Stephen has just ended a two-and-a-half-year period as the course director for the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Child) course at London South Bank University and will shortly take up the position of Professional Lead for Advanced Clinical Practice at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.

Stephen is a member of the General Pharmaceutical Council, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, an Affiliate member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and an associate member of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

His current research interests include advanced practice curriculum design and implementation and technological mental health interventions for children and young people. 

Clinical Director of Pharmacy in Practice Stephen-Andrew Whyte commented:

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to put my varied experiences to good use in this new position of Clinical Director at Pharmacy in Practice. I look forward to shaping the future of pharmacy education and training.” 

Director of Pharmacy in Practice Johnathan Laird said:

“I am delighted to welcome Stephen onto the Pharmacy in Practice team as our first-ever Clinical Director. Stephen has an exemplary career to date and has shown considerable leadership within the education scene particularly around competence based training and advanced practice.

“Whilst there are many reasons to be excited to work with Stephen I particularly admire and appreciate how he has sought to influence education beyond his own profession. Whilst we are both passionate about creating a well-respected pharmacist-led training provider we also need to look beyond our own profession to show leadership. Pharmacists have so much to offer but we must first understand and carve out our own professional identity.

“We have plans to deploy a large library of online learning on PIP. Stephen will guide this work and ensure quality is built in from the outset. Stephen’s experience will bring an innovative student-centred approach.

“The world has changed and the playing field has levelled giving organisations like Pharmacy in Practice the opportunity to lead within their niche. I feel that the new environment has meant that we should question everything in terms of how we connect and build our networks. Remote working is now the norm and remote learning is no different.

“Pharmacy, and in particular community pharmacy, requires significant investment. Pharmacists and their teams deserve the infrastructure, time and expertise to truly realise their potential. We will drive this investment into the sector over the coming months and years.

“In the new year, we will take 60 independent pharmacist prescribers through a novel micro-credential programme. In my view, this will set a significant precedent and change the way community pharmacists in particular seek to develop their professional competence portfolio.

“Independent prescribing and autonomous practice by pharmacists is certainly here to stay and we will be ready to support.”

‘Pharmacy Collect’ service launches for rapid Covid-19 tests in NI

The Health Minister in Northern Ireland has launched a new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service which enables people to collect rapid Covid-19 tests from selected community pharmacies.

To date, 420 pharmacies in Northern Ireland have signed up for the scheme.

Rapid tests are available for anyone who requires them in Northern Ireland. All results should be reported. Where someone receives a positive test, they should immediately self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test.

The Health Minister Robin Swann commented:

“Alongside vaccination and contact tracing, testing is one of the main pillars of protection against the virus.” 

“1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms or are pre-symptomatic. The introduction of the Pharmacy Collect service will significantly increase the range of locations that people who require rapid tests can access them.

The service supplements the existing workforce testing schemes and other community collect sites, which can all be found using the Sitefinder website.

“By engaging in rapid COVID testing, we can help keep each other safe and play our part in helping society return to normality.”

Cathy Harrison, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer said:

“The contribution of community pharmacy teams to the Covid-19 pandemic response has been invaluable and the introduction of the new Pharmacy Collect service will improve access to testing for the general public.

“This is another step forward to people getting their normal lives back. Many people with Covid-19 have mild or no symptoms, but they can continue to spread the virus. Rapid tests, in conjunction with the wearing of masks, regular hand washing and social distancing, can help to prevent onward transmission of the virus.”

Vice-Chair of Community Pharmacy NI, Peter Rice said:

“The introduction of the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) distribution service to community pharmacy will greatly increase the public’s access to testing at a crucial time. As we enter what is expected to be an even more difficult period for our health service, tests will now be available for collection from over 400 community pharmacies throughout Northern Ireland. By increasing access to testing at a local level we can help to prevent the transmission of the virus within our communities.

“This further demonstrates the desire of our community pharmacy network to deliver new services throughout the course of the pandemic. Having this service in our pharmacies is another significant step forward and supplements our role in the vaccination effort to date.”


The future global pharmacist

There’s a big world out there beyond UK pharmacy and a few years ago Dr Catherine Duggan stepped out into it. As the CEO of The International Pharmaceutical Federation, she has demonstrated transformational leadership globally.

Through this work, she has championed the role of the pharmacist in many countries around the world.

We are extremely fortunate to welcome her to the inaugural Future Pharmacist Conference to explain how the pharmacist profession has developed globally especially in light of recent events.

2nd November 2021

19.30-21.00

Do you know who should be offered the flu vaccine this year?

Flu season is fast approaching and in recent times it has never been so important to encourage people to get the flu vaccine.

We continue our series of learning activities aimed at helping you to refresh your knowledge of influenza and in particular some of the clinical aspects associated with the vaccination process.

1. True or false this year (2021/22) the flu vaccine is free of charge for pregnant people?

Question 1 of 10

2. True or false if a person is 46 years old they will be offered a free flu vaccination this year?

Question 2 of 10

3. True or false flu infection increases the chances of pregnant women and their babies needing intensive care?

Question 3 of 10

4. True or false the flu vaccine should only be given in the last trimester of pregnancy?

Question 4 of 10

5. True or false the flu vaccine can reduce the risk of miscarriage or having a baby born too soon or with low birth weight?

Question 5 of 10

6. True or false the flu vaccine cannot reduce the risk of serious complications, such as pneumonia, in the later stages of pregnancy?

Question 6 of 10

7. True or false the flu vaccine does not work well in babies under 6 months of age so it is not recommended?

Question 7 of 10

8. True or false the flu vaccine works well in babies under 6 months of age so it is recommended?

Question 8 of 10

9. True or false children aged 2 to 17 are offered a live vaccine as a nasal spray?

Question 9 of 10

10. True or false if pregnant women receive the flu vaccine their baby onc born will continue to have some immunity to flu during the first few months of their life?

Question 10 of 10


 

References

The flu vaccination: who should have it and why – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

LloydsPharmacy launch new ‘VideoGP’ service

LloydsPharmacy has announced the launch of a new VideoGP service. LloydsPharmacy have said that patients can access a GP appointment in as little as 30 minutes, seven days a week.

The VideoGP service operates via an app from LloydsPharmacy, available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

GPs are available through the app from 8am to 8pm and payment options for the service are flexible, with patients able to pay for one-off appointments or through monthly and annual subscriptions. Prices include medication, next-day delivery, referral letters, and fit notes if required.

Dr Kieran Seyan, Chief Medical Officer at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, said:

“We know it’s not always easy to get an appointment with a doctor, and this can deter people from seeking the help they need. This is why we want to make talking to a GP as easy as possible. Over the past year, many more people have become accustomed to organising their healthcare needs in different ways, either through telephone calls and video consultations, or online via an app.

“At LloydsPharmacy, we’ve been working hard to develop a platform that gives patients access to healthcare at their convenience. With Primary Care services under immense pressure right now due to the pandemic, we’re eager to help and support the NHS by providing online alternatives to attending a local GP practice or clinic. Our VideoGP app provides a digital solution that connects patients with healthcare professionals, whilst ensuring continuing safe, quality care for patients.”

Kyle Rowe, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at McKesson UK, parent company to LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, said:

“The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the adoption of digital technology and empowered more people to look after their health online, and it’s because of this that we have significantly invested in bringing this proposition to market.

“Our VideoGP service gives patients even more choice when it comes to accessing the care they need. By digitising parts of the patient pathway, we are helping to provide a seamless experience, as well as giving valuable time back to bricks and mortar General Practice. But as always, our expanding range of private digital healthcare services is integral to the work of our pharmacists in stores, who can dispense the medicines prescribed via our Online Doctor service as well as provide expert face-to-face healthcare advice.”