What impact has the Covid-19 pandemic had on your life as a pharmacist?

 

This survey has been developed and designed by Sarah Cameron in partnership with Pharmacy in Practice. Sarah is keen to understand and provide support to pharmacists during the pandemic and beyond. She is passionate about supporting the professional development of pharmacists so please do support her and take part in the survey.

 

Many thanks,

 

Johnathan

 

 

Sarah is an independent pharmacist prescriber and Director of Propharm Services and Superintendent Pharmacist at My Pharmacy 365. You can contact her email address is here.

 

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How has community pharmacy responded to COVID-19?

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Investigating how community pharmacy has responded to COVID-19 pandemic to maintain patient safety

 

Study overview

 

Our study seeks to explore how community pharmacy is responding to the current pandemic whilst maintaining patient safety. We will be asking community pharmacists to share their experiences of how they have adapted practice to ensure patient safety through the early and later stages of the pandemic.

 

Purpose of the study

 

Community pharmacies have been central to the NHS response to the pandemic, and while some healthcare services may have had to adapt by providing limited or remote access to patients, they have remained open to maintain public access to pharmaceutical care. We would like to explore the experiences of community pharmacists during pre-lockdown, lockdown, and the period of relaxing lockdown, so that we can learn how patient safety was maintained, and how community pharmacy was and could be further supported, during this pandemic.

 

Your community pharmacies’ participation in this research will help inform the development of resilient practice in community pharmacy, to better prepare for future crises and further outbreaks of COVID-19.

 

Who we are

 

This study is led by researchers from the Universities of Bradford and Leeds as part of the National Institute for Health Research Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC; please see our website). The PSTRC has an overarching aim to deliver research that makes healthcare safer. We are a partnership of multidisciplinary patient safety researchers, working closely with the NHS across all healthcare organisations.

 

Contact information

 

If you wish to know more about the study, please contact our team:

 

Mr George Peat, Senior Research Fellow: g.w.peat@bradford.ac.uk;

 

Dr Janice Olaniyan, Research Fellow: j.o.olaniyan@bradford.ac.uk;

 

Dr Liz Breen, Reader in Health Service Operations: l.breen@bradford.ac.uk; and Professor David Alldred, Professor of Medicines Use and Safety: d.p.alldred@leeds.ac.uk.

 

Ethical approval for this study was awarded by the Chair of the Biomedical, Natural, Physical and Health Sciences Research Ethics Panel at the University of Bradford 17/06/2020 (Ref: E817).

 

 

Research into community pharmacy pandemic response commissioned

 

A new research project to understand the role that community pharmacy can play in supporting the public health agenda during pandemics such as COVID-19 is being launched at Aston University.

 

Researchers from Aston University, in collaboration with the Universities of Hull, Oxford, Sheffield and Bradford, and colleagues in Australia (University of Tasmania) and Canada (University of British Columbia) will be conducting a “rapid realist review”, an approach that is ideally suited to making sense of complex situations.

 

Dr Ian Maidment, a reader in clinical pharmacy, said:

 

“Community pharmacy has a key role to play in the current COVID-19 pandemic. With over 11,700 high street locations, community pharmacies can ensure people from different socio-economic groups and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups have equal access to vaccination and advice.

 

“This project will enable us to understand how, why, for whom and when community pharmacy can effectively support the public health response to pandemics such as COVID-19 and other future health emergencies.”

 

Alastair Buxton, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) director of NHS Services, said:

 

“Community pharmacy teams have really gone the extra mile during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is important that we recognise their achievements and also learn from their experiences. This project will help the profession to do both.

 

“We look forward to the research helping the sector and PSNC consider how else community pharmacies can best play their part in supporting patients and the NHS, as the pandemic continues to take its course.”

 

Emma Young, the research associate on the project, said:

 

“Due to their accessibility, community pharmacies are ideally placed to provide support and guidance to the public throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a pharmacist and researcher, I look forward to generating guidelines that will help community pharmacists support the public through this challenging time.

 

Dr Maidment added:

 

“The role of community pharmacy includes supporting vaccination programmes, medication supply and providing advice to increase the uptake and acceptance of public health measures. Whilst a vaccine may yet be distant, community pharmacy can play a critical part of any mass vaccination programme.

 

“Community pharmacies also routinely provide services into care homes. Additionally, they may be able to support vaccination clinics at non-traditional sites such as community centres and places of worship.”

 

 

£75 million investment to protect Scottish university research

 

The Scottish Government has announced a one-off £75 million increase in funding for Scotland’s universities to ensure they can protect their world-leading research programmes against the financial impact of COVID-19.

 

Scottish Government has said that the ‘significant’ intervention will help secure the jobs and training needed to support ongoing and future research work, meaning institutions can concentrate fully on planning the long-term future of a sector so vital to the Scottish economy.

 

Scottish university income has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, most notably by a loss of international student income, cancelled conference bookings, and returned accommodation fees. Recent Scottish Funding Council (SFC) analysis indicated Scottish universities face a loss of around £72 million due to COVID-19 this academic year alone, with a collective operating deficit of between £384 million and £651 million forecast for next academic year.

 

The new funding will replace lost research income, protect research jobs, and help universities focus more effort on the high priority research needed to fight the outbreak and to support society and the economy, post COVID-19.

 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

 

“Our world-renowned university research activities are under threat from COVID-19, from a loss of university income to the risk to jobs and investment.  That research is critical to Scotland’s future public health and prosperity. So we are investing now to protect our research sector’s excellence, with £75 million of additional funding, as we plan together for the future sustainability of Scotland’s society and economy as a whole.

 

“We are taking a partnership approach, talking to the universities and staff unions, as we build up our response. For the universities’ part, they are stepping up with a willingness to use part of this investment to support PhD students whose studies have been impacted by COVID-19.

 

“Now we need the UK Government to join those efforts. So far, their main interventions have been focused on the HE sector south of the border. We need the UK Government to take a UK approach and join with Scottish universities and the Scottish Government to build a support package that will protect the sector from the impact of this virus.”

 

The additional funding will be administered by the SFC.  Its Chief Executive, Karen Watt said:

 

“This is very welcome additional funding for research in Scotland.  We will work closely with the sector to ensure it helps universities continue with vital research, including the response to COVID-19, and contributions to our subsequent recovery.”

 

Universities Scotland Convenor, Professor Andrea Nolan said:

 

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition of the role research and innovation will play in supporting business and industry and strengthening our post COVID-19 economy and society.

 

“The pace of this commitment, and the injection of confidence it will give the research community within the sector, is very welcome.

 

“We will work closely with Government and the Scottish Funding Council to ensure this resource has the most impact, including support for our PhD students, who are our pipeline of talent for future research and who have been adversely affected by the instability created by the pandemic.”

 

 

This circular is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.

 

 

Clinicians urged to accelerate COVID-19 research recruitment

 

The Chief Medical Officers of all four nations of the UK and Professor Stephen Powis have written to the Medical Directors and the Directors of Pharmacy in Scotland to ask that every effort is made to enrol COVID-19 patients in the national priority clinical trials.

 

This move marks the acceleration of the research phase of the government strategy to address the COVID-19 threat. The UK Government has said that the research phase is aimed at achieving the following objectives:

 

  • Better understanding the virus and the actions that will lessen its effect on the UK population.
  • Innovate responses including diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.
  • Use the evidence to inform the development of the most effective models of care.

 

There are currently trials in primary care, hospital settings and intensive care units.

 

The key three national trials are:

 

 

Other priority studies, including observational studies, are listed here.

 

Urging clinicians to support the recruitment of patients to these trials the group commented:

 

“These trials are being run as simply as they can to reduce the burden on the NHS, with adaptive designs so further treatments can be added if new promising candidates are identified. The results are essential to the future treatment of UK and global patients.

 

“We will ensure important results are disseminated rapidly to improve practice. The faster that patients are recruited, the sooner we will get reliable results.

 

“While it is for every individual clinician to make prescribing decisions, we strongly discourage the use of off-licence treatments outside of a trial, where participation in a trial is possible. Use of treatments outside of a trial, where participation was possible, is a wasted opportunity to create information that will benefit others.

 

“The evidence will be used to inform treatment decisions and benefit patients in the immediate future.

 

“Any treatment given for coronavirus other than general supportive care, treatment for underlying conditions, and antibiotics for secondary bacterial complications, should currently be as part of a trial, where that is possible.”

 

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This circular is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.