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.”


Scottish Covid-19 certification proposals announced

Covid-19 vaccination certificates will be required to enter certain events and higher risk venues in Scotland, such as nightclubs, music festivals and some football grounds if Parliament backs the move in a vote planned for next week.

The Scottish Parliament will be asked to vote on the introduction of the certification scheme which will only be implemented once all adults have had the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine.

If the scheme is approved by parliament, it will then be subject to parliamentary review every three weeks, in line with previous Covid-19 measures.

The addition of 2D Barcodes (also known as QR Codes) to Scotland’s certification process adheres to EU standards.  They have been successfully tested with a number of European nations, and provide additional security features that help ensure the validity of the certificate.

Children and adults that are ineligible for vaccination will be exempt.

Proof of vaccination will be required later this month to enter the following:

  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues.
  • Unseated indoor live events, with more than 500 people in the audience.
  • Unseated outdoor live events, with more than 4,000 people in the audience.
  • Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

There are currently no plans to introduce certification for the wider hospitality industry but this will be kept under review over the autumn and winter months. 

From Friday 3rd September, people will be able to download a PDF copy of their vaccination certificate, with a personalised QR code, to print off instantly or store on their mobile phone for use domestically or internationally. This is in addition to the existing paper letters that can be requested from NHS Inform and the Covid Helpline.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We do not want to reimpose any of the restrictions that have been in place for much of this year as we all know how much harm they have caused to businesses, to education and to people’s general wellbeing but we must stem the rise in cases.

“In addition to measures such as free testing and the installation of CO2 monitors in schools, we believe that a limited use of vaccine certification in certain higher risk settings, could help us to keep businesses open and prevent any further restrictions as we head into autumn and winter.

“They will be for use in very limited settings and never for public services such as transport, hospitals and education. This is a significant step forward and not a decision we have taken lightly but it is in line with certification in other European countries.

“The original protective measures such as wearing a face covering, physical distancing, hand washing and isolating when necessary are still key to reducing prevalence of the virus but getting vaccinated remains the single most important step that any of us can take to keep ourselves and others safe.

“Ensuring that as many people as possible get vaccinated remains a key priority and the Scottish Government will continue to do everything we can to improve on the already high up take of the vaccine. We continue to urge anyone aged 16 and over to get vaccinated, please find your local drop-in clinic by visiting NHS Inform.”

Elements of this story have been shared under the Open Government license.

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)

Community pharmacy features in Scottish women’s health plan

A plan to improve health and reduce inequalities for women in Scotland has been published by the Scottish Government.

The plan features the idea to set up a women’s health community pharmacy service.

The Women’s Health Plan sets out 66 actions to ensure ‘all women enjoy the best possible healthcare throughout their lives.

Key actions include:

  • Appointing a national Women’s Health Champion and a Women’s Health Lead in every NHS board.
  • Establishing a Women’s Health Research Fund to close gaps in scientific and medical knowledge.
  • Providing a central platform for women’s health information on NHS Inform.
  • Setting up a Women’s Health Community Pharmacy service.
  • Commissioning endometriosis research to develop better treatment and management, and a cure.
  • Developing a menopause and menstrual health workplace policy, and promoting it across the public, private and Third Sector.
  • Improving information and public awareness of heart disease symptoms and risks for women.

Women’s Health Minister Maree Todd said:

“Our vision for women’s health is an ambitious one – and rightly so. It is clear that wider change must happen to ensure all our health and social care services meet the needs of all women, everywhere.

“Women’s health is not just a women’s issue. When women and girls are supported to lead healthy lives and fulfil their potential, the whole of society benefits.

“Together, we are working to address inequalities in all aspects of health that women are facing. The Women’s Health Plan signals our ambition and determination to see change for women in Scotland, for their health and for their role in society. We want Scotland to be a world leader when it comes to women’s health.”

Head of British Heart Foundation Scotland James Jopling said:

“Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in women in Scotland and kills nearly three times as many as women as breast cancer. At every stage – from the moment they experience symptoms through to their cardiac rehabilitation – women with heart disease can face disadvantages. We need to improve our understanding of the risks for women and increase their awareness of the symptoms of a heart attack.

“We must also promote equality of treatment for women with heart disease within the healthcare system, at every point in their journey. The publication of the Women’s Health Plan, with heart health as a priority, is a welcome step to tackle these inequalities and we look forward to working together to help save and improve lives.”

Vice President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Dr Pat O’Brien said:

“We welcome Scotland’s commitment to this ambitious and detailed plan as a key marker to making improvements to healthcare services for all women from different backgrounds. 

“We are pleased to see the Women’s Health Plan adopts an approach to prioritise the health and wellbeing of women throughout every stage of their lives, and ensure they can access care when they need it  – something we called for in our Better for Women report.

“It is important that all women are included and consulted about how health services can fit their needs. This Plan has been developed with extensive consultation with a diverse group of women, ensuring that the health service is inclusive and respectful, and can work to focus on closing inequalities in women’s health experience and outcomes.”

The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Alison Strath commented on Twitter:

Director or Operations at Community Pharmacy Scotland Matt Barclay commented on Twitter: