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WHO ARE WE
OUR GOAL IS
We publish monthly newsletters covering all relevant aspects of pharmacy to ensure our members and partners are kept abreast with the latest news from across the profession. The newsletters also include advice on pharmacy practice and policy.
It was great to see so many of you at our January member event. Thank you for all the feedback, it was very encouraging. Our goal is to ensure we make these events as valuable for you as possible and hence your feedback is very important. I have attached the slides from the sessions to this newsletter. Unfortunately, NHS England cannot share their slides, but all other slides are attached.
You can also watch a short video of the event here: https://www.aimp.co.uk/blogs/youtube-channel
The next event is on 23rd April in Marriott Hotel Leicester. Please put this in your diary. We will be in touch with further information about the agenda and logistics closer to the time.
I am also very pleased to inform you that we have launched our new website: https://www.aimp.co.uk/home
Over the coming months we will continue building the website and add further content. Our members and partners are welcome to create an account on our website and share your thoughts with us. Your feedback is very welcome.
Other topics covered in this newsletter:
1. PSNC update, including new CPCF announcement 2. NHS England and CPCS update 3. AIM letter to Treasury about IR35 off-payroll working rules 4. Pharmacy practice matters
1. PSNC update
PSNC committee meetings took place this month. The main topic for the discussion was the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). On Sunday the PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) made an announcement to contractors about the CPCF for 2020/21. The PSNC FAQ document on CPCF can be accessed on PSNC website.
There is not much new in the announcement; it sets out in more detail what we can expect from 1st April 2020:
• GP referrals into the CPCS to be delivered later during the year – this will not happen in April 2020 as originally envisaged. • The enablement of Hub and Spoke dispensing between legal entities through legislative change – whilst the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill has now been published providing the primary legislation to enable hub and spoke dispensing to be implemented between different legal entities, a long term solution that works as much for the small independent as for a large multiple still seems to be some distance away. AIM continues to explore all elements related to Hub and Spoke as part of our task and finish group and we will be keeping members updated. • Hep C Testing Service from 1 April – this will not be of interest to everyone, only to those pharmacies offering a locally commissioned needle and syringe programme. • Medicines Reconciliation Service for patients leaving hospital – This service will be an Essential Service and will start probably from the summer as it is still under negotiation.
There are no actual details of the Transitional Fund payments or PQS from 1st April because they must be included in the Drug Tariff (no dates give).
AIM has issued a statement about the CPCF announcement below:
“It is pleasing to read how well the 111 referrals and urgent medicines services have been received outside of the pharmacy sector, and how well community pharmacy teams have picked these up. This demonstrates how pharmacy can support change and embrace new initiatives – when we are given a chance. There is, however, little to welcome in this latest CPCF update.
There are still many areas that require clarification, and this makes it difficult for community pharmacists to plan. MURs have been almost fully removed (down to 100) and this loss of income will hurt the already struggling community pharmacies badly, hence, to have the GP CPCS referrals with no clear start date after April 1st which was the previous steer, is disappointing. This will result in an immediate reduction in income at a time when many pharmacies are simply struggling to survive. AIM members have also identified that the £14 payment is not reasonable for CPCS as a professional service given the time required to dedicate to look after patients.
We welcome the hospital discharge service – the good work that our colleagues in Wales have done demonstrates that community pharmacy has a great role to play delivering this much needed service for patients. However, we know based on learnings from Wales that this service will not be sufficient in making up for reduction in MURs and other recent impacts on community pharmacy funding, like the minimum living wage.
The Hepatitis C service is also welcome; however, our concern is that it is very small, limited and will not be delivered at every pharmacy.
The lack of clarity around PQS and transitional payments is disappointing. We would like to see more detail around this as soon as possible to ensure the funding is distributed to current and developing activities in community pharmacy which are delivered through all community pharmacies.
Hub and Spoke progress is broadly welcome, but a long term solution that works as much for a small independent as for a large multiple still seems a long way off. The bricks and mortar pharmacy network should not be taken for granted. Medicines are not normal items of commerce and expanding online delivery without taking steps to safeguard the nationwide community pharmacy network will leave patients with no option than to use GP and A&E services when they need advice and comfort on medicines regimes.
The difficulty in containing the increasing costs over the last year combined with the continuous lack of funding over the coming months, is a slap in the face for the sector. We would strongly encourage a sense of urgency to take into consideration the current challenges affecting community pharmacy teams and their patients.
For further information about the PSNC Committee discussion please click on the links below:
Some of the other hot topics discussed at PSNC has been around ‘period of treatment’. Under this proposal prescriptions should be set at three months. Our AIM representatives on PSNC are keeping a close eye on this topic to ensure best outcome for our members.
2. NHS England and CPCS update
The CPCS has so far generated over 150,000 referrals. Urgent supply of medicines continues to be the main reason for referrals. The below are the most common reason for minor ailment referrals:
NHS England are keen to facilitate visits by community pharmacists to NHS 111 contact centres. This is currently being scoped out and we will provide further information to members when this becomes available.
Data collection – Following feedback from our members in regards to some issues associated with CPCS, in particular the time it takes to carry out the consultations, AIM has been liaising with PSNC and suggested certain questions be added to Pharmoutcomes to allow our members to capture relevant data which could support any future case for additional funding. This is currently being looked into.
GP CPCS pilot – A task and finish group has now been set up by NHS England to look at the progress with the service, including IT and digitised elements, clinical aspects of the screening and operational elements such as training. AIM has been invited to be a member of the task and finish group alongside organisations such as British Medical Council (BMA) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Members will be kept abreast with any new developments. Below is slide from NHS England regarding current data on GP CPCS referrals.
New Medicines Service (NMS) – Research has demonstrated that NMS is a valuable service and is having a positive impact on medicines optimisation. As such NHS England and the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer are keen to explore how this service reach can be further expanded. AIM is working with other pharmacy bodies and NHS England to explore avenues on how this service can be taken to the next level. Members are recommended to keep an eye on this. I will keep you informed.
3. AIM letter to Treasury about IR35
In response to the review of the off payroll working rules that the Treasury announced on 7 January 2020, we wrote a letter to the Treasury expressing our concerns about the impact of the proposal on community pharmacy and delivery of pharmaceutical care in local communities. We invited the Treasury to engage with the sector and have a dialogue to discuss how the IR35 off-payroll working rules need to be further revised, so this new tool can work for our sectors. A copy of the letter is attached to this newsletter.
4. Pharmacy practice matters
GPhC inspection poster – community pharmacists will have received the GPhC Inspection Poster from GPhC along with a letter from Duncan Rudkin encouraging pharmacy teams to display the poster if possible. For further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Clinical Guidelines for Pharmacy – is a reference handbook of key clinical guideline summaries that supports pharmacy delivery of evidence-based healthcare. The second volume is out and a copy was distributed to all pharmacies. The brand new content includes travel vaccinations tables and several new helpful guideline summaries: head lice, constipation, and diabetic foot problems. The feedback from pharmacy teams has been great.
The authors have created a special code specifically for AIM Members. Members who want to receive a complimentary copy need to simply register online by going to guidelines.co.uk/aimp to get their free January copy. This offer applies to the January issue only.
New Patient Safety Platform – AIM members get free access to PharmaSmart’s Reportsmart platform. Branches can record patient safety incidents on this advanced platform and this will allow superintendents and head offices to receive regular analysis supporting members with PQS compliance.
AIM has also a Medicines Safety Officer (MSO) now. Further information about this role, the patient safety platform (including how to use it) and the latest patient safety reports will be presented alongside contract matters, regulatory matters and hot topics in pharmacy practice at our Superintendent Forum on 9th March.
I hope you have found this newsletter useful. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.