Friday Letter 14/08/2020

Friday 14th August 2020

Operating behind closed doors – Stopped with immediate effect

Any pharmacies operating behind closed doors or operating at temporarily reduced opening times must cease doing so immediately.

As per the revised COVID-19 SOP, all pharmacies must now return to their normal opening hours as the allowance of 2.5 hours a day of closed door working and temporary opening hour changes have been removed. Provision for emergency closures are still in place, as they pre-date the coronavirus pandemic and are relevant to all emergencies. You will have been sent (via NHS Gateway, to your premises shared mailbox) the revised COVID-19 SOP for community pharmacy.

Please make sure you familiarise yourself with the latest SOP if you have not already done so, changes to the document have been highlighted in yellow. Click here to view the updated SOP. You will have also received the revised SOP to your premises-specific NHS Shared mailbox.

Click here to view further advice on the above, and other changes to the COVID-19 SOP, on the PSNC website

Expanding and transforming the primary care workforce letter

Please see the attached letter from NHS England, published yesterday, on expanding the Primary Care workforce in 2020/21, this is following the mention in the recent People plan document of expanding the primary care workforce as an immediate priority for all systems.

Please read through the attached letter and update your colleagues as appropriate.

Further extension to SSP06 for Fluoxetine 40mg Capsules

There has been a further extension to SSP06 for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules. This will now be in place until 4th September 2020.

This SSP outlines procedures to follow in providing a suitable alternative product in response to the serious shortage affecting the 40mg capsules. Pharmacists must exercise their professional judgement when considering whether the alternative product is suitable for the patient.

The SSP expiry date may be brought forward or further extended, and can be amended whilst in effect.

Please ensure you are familiar with the current SSP before supplying the alternative product, and that your pharmacy team is aware of this extension and any changes to the SSP content.

Click here to view SSP06

Further additions made to July 2020 Price Concessions

DHSC has granted three additional price concessions for prescriptions dispensed and submitted for payment in July 2020 only.

Drug Pack size Price concession granted for July 2020
Prednisolone 2.5mg tablets 30 £3.97
Prednisolone 10mg tablets 30 £16.00
Prednisolone 20mg tablets 30 £28.50

Any prescriptions for these items already submitted for payment in July will automatically be reimbursed at the new prices by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

For the current list of Price Concessions, please see the PSNC website.

PSNC Pharmacy representation webinar avaliable on demand

On Monday 10th August, PSNC held a next steps webinar on the recent pharmacy representation review.

If you were unable to view live, the webinar is now available on demand.

Click here for more information and to view the webinar on the PSNC website.

Reminder – PPE Portal for emergency supplies – Now open to Pharmacy

Community pharmacies can now order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the online portal in an emergency only.

The PPE portal had previously only been open to social care and general practice providers to order and receive critical coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE supplies. Community pharmacies are now being added to the system and contractors will receive an email invitation to their shared NHSmail inbox to register. The emails will be sent in a phased approach to manage the smooth registration of pharmacies by the portal’s logistics team.

Click here for more information on the PSNC website

Please note that those who do not have a premises specific NHSmail email address may not receive an invite to register on the portal.

For any questions about using the portal, contact the customer service team on 0800 876 6802.

COVID-19 operational pressures on independent pharmacies – July 2020 survey

Please be reminded that PSNC is collecting data to understand the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on pharmacies in England. As part of this, they are asking independent pharmacy contractors to fill out a monthly ‘Temperature Check’ survey looking at the various pressures on their pharmacy.

The July survey is still open, and will close next Wednesday 19th August.

The following from PSNC includes further information, links to the survey and where you can download the questions in advance to prepare your answers. Please take some time to input your contributions:

If you run an independent pharmacy, we would be very grateful if you could fill out the survey by clicking here. The questions can be downloaded in advance to help you collate your response before filling out the Survey Monkey questionnaire. The survey is open until 23:59 on Wednesday 19th August.

Data will be aggregated to help understand the pressures independent pharmacies are facing. Head Offices of larger groups have been contacted separately to collect data via AIM and CCA.

Implementing Phase 3 – COVID-19

Please see the following link to the Implementing phase 3 of the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic document, published 7th August 2020.

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