Herefordshire and Worcestershire LPC

LATEST NEWS



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June 5, 2020 News

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to provide support for carers, run activities and highlight the vital role carers play in our communities, drawing attention to just how important caring is.

Carers Week 2020
This year, people across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.

They need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.

So during Carers Week, we’re coming together to help Make Caring Visible.

If you would like to support Carers Week, you can find more information and resources on the following link:

https://www.carersweek.org/about-us/making-caring-visible

 


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June 4, 2020 News

 

We are delighted to announce that The Independent Pharmacy Awards 2020 are now open for entries.

Never has there been a time in living memory of our profession when so many deserve praise and thanks for their efforts in keeping the nation alive and healthy through amazing teamwork, care, adaptation and innovation that we’ve seen in community pharmacy during the Covid-19 crisis.

There are 5 categories to enter, no entry fee and no limit to the number of categories to go for:

Independent Pharmacist of the Year
Pharmacy Team of the Year*
Key staff member *
Pharmacy Innovation of the year
Best supporting local pharmacy committee or group (LPC, CP(HB) committee, LHB forum or LCG)

(Those asterisked* can be entered by pharmacy team members who are not pharmacists.)

The closing date for all entries is 26th July 2020.

The link to enter is here: https://www.independentpharmacist.co.uk/ipa-2020

At this stage we are advised by The House of Commons that the finalists’ Awards lunch will still be able to take place on 9th October, with a VIP guest list, but the situation is closely monitored.

 


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June 2, 2020 News

Join us in celebrating the hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country, who donate their time and efforts to the community in the fight against Covid-19, especially the volunteer drivers, who help pharmacies deliver vital medications to patients.  Special thanks to  the Herefordshire community transport team who helped the LPC deliver PPE to frontline pharmacy teams. Thank you for all your help!

Join the social media campaign: #volunteersweek #CheersForTheVolunteers #NeverMoreNeeded

https://volunteersweek.org/


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May 29, 2020 News

Minsters have agreed to inject a further £50m of advance funding into community pharmacies at the end of May.

This follows ongoing representations from PSNC about the cashflow crisis facing many community pharmacy contractors and businesses as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is working to calculate payments with the intention that the extra £50 million can be paid at the same time as the 1st June payment.

The payment follows the £300m in advance payments already made to contractors this year in recognition of COVID-19 related cashflow challenges, and it comes as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has also increased medicine reimbursement prices by £15m in June.

Source: PSNC

 


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May 29, 2020 News

The NHS Test & Trace programme was launched yesterday.

At this time, the guidance issued by Government does not provide any information on whether there are different rules for healthcare workers, including community pharmacy team members;  PSNC is seeking further information on this from DHSC and NHSE&I.

Source: PSNC

You can find out how the Test & Trace programme works HERE and watch a video HERE.


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May 26, 2020 News

We have collected information and resources regarding contingency plans and interim procedures that have been put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting community pharmacies, including medicine returns, medicine reuse, palliative care (EOL), dental care, eRD and controlled drugs. New information will be added to this page as and when it becomes available.

You can access this page on the LPC website HERE. It includes a list of pharmacies who have been confirmed to provide the palliative care locally commissioned (enhanced) service to provide end-of-life medicines to the community during the pandemic. Please note this list hasn’t been finalised yet and will be updated as further pharmacies are confirmed.

More information can be found about the Palliative Care service and other topics in our May 18th Communication, which was emailed to pharmacies last week. If you missed any of our previous Covid-19 newsletters, you can find them all HERE.


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May 19, 2020 News

NHSBSA has recently introduced a system to automatically identify patients that may be eligible for eRD. This has been available for some time but has gained more importance due to Covid19. You should start to notice a significant increase in this activity across the LPC areas. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the requirements for eRD if you have not had many patients using it to date. You can also make recommendations to the surgery for patients that you feel are suitable, especially if you have discussed this with them. It is expected that the individual consent requirements may be lifted, in order to progress to the switchover at pace.

Increasing eRD has many benefits, such as reducing footfall in GP practices and pharmacies, reducing workload and allowing for better management of the supply chain.

Virtual Outcomes have released a 15 min e-learning course to help pharmacies understand the implications of EPS Release 4 and how to approach eRD. This short course is designed to give you the background and overview of the topics along with signposting you to more information should you require it. Pharmacies currently can access VirtualOutcomes training; you need to use your F-code to log in.

You can view the flyer HERE and access the training HERE.

We have also compiled some eRD resources on the LPC website.


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May 15, 2020 News

The Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement have jointly published a letter to provide further information on the national flu immunisation programme for 2020–21.

The letter notes that the impact of COVID-19 on the NHS and social care has been visible to all, and this coming winter we may be faced with co-circulation of COVID-19 and flu. Those most at risk from flu are also most vulnerable to COVID-19. So, flu vaccination is one of the most effective interventions the NHS has to reduce pressure on the health and social care system this winter.

Service delivery during the pandemic

The organisations acknowledge that delivering the flu immunisation programme is likely to be more challenging because of the impact of COVID-19 on health and social care services.  Further guidance will be issued about how to manage the immunisation programme to reflect circumstances nearer the planned start of the programme in September 2020.

Ordering sufficient vaccines

The letter advises that this season it will be more important than ever to ensure that sufficient stocks of the recommended adult flu vaccines have been ordered for your eligible patients, as it is anticipated that concerns about COVID-19 may increase demand for flu vaccination in all groups.

In light of COVID-19, community pharmacies and general practices are being asked by the organisations to urgently review their vaccine orders now to make sure the number of vaccines ordered meet at least national ambitions and previous uptakes rates, whichever is highest.

The letter also outlines the vaccines agreed for use by NHS England and NHS Improvement during the 2020–21 programme.

Eligible groups

The groups included in the eligibility criteria for 2020–21 currently remain the same as in 2019–20. The letter does however highlight that discussions to consider expansion of the flu programme for this autumn are underway, so there could be expansions to the eligible groups announced in due course.

The letter also notes that all those eligible should be given flu vaccination as soon as possible so that individuals are protected when flu begins to circulate. Providers should aim to schedule their immunisation services to match vaccine supply, usually from September, and complete vaccination by the end of November, where possible.

Pharmacy Advanced service documentation

The Directions, service specification and Patient Group Direction for the Community Pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service 2020–21 will be published in due course; PSNC will highlight this to contractors through normal communication channels once published. 

Source: PSNC

We have updated the LPC website with this new information for future reference.


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May 4, 2020 News

The LPC  have recently arranged production and delivery of face shields to pharmacies across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The visors were made by Simon Beasley at Christopher Whitehead Language College in St John’s Worcester in return for a donation by the LPC and distributed by LPC members, staff and community volunteers.

The reusable shields were gratefully received by pharmacies who face shortages of vital PPE on a daily basis. We would like to thank all pharmacies for their continued hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photos: Staff at Murray’s Pharmacy in St Johns, Worcester and Scales Pharmacy, Tything, Worcester.


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May 3, 2020 News

Sadly, as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, domestic abuse has increased significantly in the UK.

Pharmacies across Great Britain are being asked to consider providing a safe space for victims of domestic abuse, as part of the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign. Boots have become the first pharmacy chain to join the campaign. Find out more HERE.

As part of the scheme, pharmacies are asked to display posters and make their consultation rooms available as safe spaces where victims of domestic abuse can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice.

Please visit the Safe Spaces website to find out more and download the resources.

You can follow the campaign on Twitter and on Facebook.

Even if your pharmacy can’t become a safe space at the moment, you can support the public awareness campaign against domestic abuse by displaying the following RESOURCES which are part of a recently launched government initiated programme. Find out more HERE.

We have added these links to our Wellbeing Support page on the LPC website.


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Representing community pharmacy, working in collaboration with others, to improve the quality of health and wellbeing of the people in our counties.

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