Friday Letter 25/12/2020

Friday 25th December 2020

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

December Price Concessions 2020

There has been an update to the DHSC granted list of price concessions for December 2020

Click here to view on the PSNC website

Green book chapter and PHE training resources – COVID 19 Information

Green book chapter and PHE training resources.

Note the green chapter is Provisional guidance subject to MHRA approval of vaccine supply.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/covid-19-vaccination-programme

Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak

London and the South-east are now in tier 4. As a result, CEV Shielding has been reintroduced and the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service and the Dispensing Doctor Home Delivery Service has been commissioned.

Please read through the following communication from NHS London Region for more information on the current guidelines for this service.

Dear Colleagues,

Following the announcement at the weekend regarding the restrictions in place in Tier 4 areas people who are clinically extremely vulnerable in Tier 4 areas are advised by the Government not to go to a community pharmacy. Please see the attached letter that confirms that the Community Pharmacy Home Delivery Service and the Dispensing Doctor Home Delivery Service has been commissioned in accordance with the Home delivery of medicines and appliances during the COVID-19 outbreak: service specifications and guidance for all patients on the Shielded Patient List in England. This service has been commissioned  from 21 December 2020 until 18 January 2020.

Thank you for commitment and support that you and your teams have shown in providing this service to our most clinically vulnerable patients.

Regards

The London Region Team

Tier 4 Information

The following information from NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin:

Reintroduction of shielding advice in Tier 4 areas:

From 00:01 on Sunday 20 December, the government has introduced Tier 4 restrictions to some areas (London and parts of the South East). The DCMO has confirmed that shielding advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) individuals will be reintroduced in these Tier 4 areas. This shielding advice is identical to that which was in place nationally from 5 November to 2 December.

Those at highest risk in Tier 4 areas and advised by government to shield are eligible for support including free delivery of medicines (where friends, family, or local volunteers are unable to provide help) and statutory sick pay where unable to work from home. CEV individuals in Tiers 1-3 should continue to follow the government advice for those at highest risk specific to each of these tiers.

The government is writing to all CEV patients affected by the shielding advice in Tier 4 areas to inform them of this guidance. Letters will be sent in the week commencing 21 December and will be published here. These letters will emphasise the importance of CEV individuals continuing to engage with the NHS, and confirm that they will be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccination in advance of the general population (as per current JCVI guidance).

The government is aware that the letters to CEV individuals may face postal delays over the Christmas period. Patients for whom the NHS holds an email address will receive the letter via email this week. The government is planning to use national and local media to communicate the advice to patients quickly. As during the previous period of shielding advice, this will be an inevitably difficult and worrying time for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people. We anticipate that patients may have questions about the advice they should follow. We are very grateful for your continued efforts in supporting those at highest risk from COVID-19 during the pandemic and will be in touch to provide further updates as necessary

PHE Campaign resources:

Tier 4: Stay at Home

People in Tier 4 areas must stay at home and not travel out of Tier 4, without a ‘reasonable excuse’.

·         Posters

·         Social Media Statics

·         Digital Screens

Alternative Formats

Access to prescriptions for CEV individuals

Please see the following CEV letter sent out this week.

There is a link in the letter for applications for Vitamin D supplements, which pharmacies may need to be aware of for stock.

Flu stock ordering guidance for pharmacies

NHSE&I announced the following guidance for pharmacies with regards to accessing the central flu stock:

The pharmacy guidance on accessing central flu vaccine stock has been updated to include details of those wholesalers with stock. Additional stock can be accessed from Alliance Healthcare, McKesson UK and PHOENIX Healthcare Distribution.

Reminder – Registration renewal for pharmacy professionals

The following relaxation on pharmacy professionals with an upcoming registration renewal deadline has been announced in a recent NHSE&I Primary Care Bulletin.

The General Pharmaceutical Council has announced that pharmacy professionals with a registration renewal deadline between 1 September and 31 December 2020 will not be required to submit revalidation records when renewing their registration, in recognition of the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This relaxation already applied to professionals with a renewal deadline between 20 March and 31 August 2020. Instead, pharmacy professionals should submit a reflective account when renewing their registrations. For more information please see the GPhC website.

Bank Holiday Opening Time

The list of pharmacies on the NHS rota for Christmas day, the substitute bank holiday monday and New Years Day are as follows:

Boxing Day is on a saturday this year and is a normal working day. If your pharmacy is usually open on the saturday, you must open as normal unless you had made an application to close to NHS London and have been permitted to close.

The above only reflects the rota, we understand some pharmacies are voluntarily open. If you are opening on the bank holidays, please make sure your DOS and NHS UK profiles are up to date to reflect this.

C0943: lateral flow antigen letter for primary care

Dear Colleagues

The Government has agreed that testing will be made available to all asymptomatic patient-facing NHS staff. The attached letter confirms how all four primary care contractor groups (medical, dental, optometry and community pharmacy) in England can order lateral flow testing.

Regards

The London Region Team

DHSC PPE eCommerce Portal 

Here are details on how to register for the PPE eCommerce Portal.  You should register even if you do not currently need to order any emergency PPE.

You will have received an email invitation from the PPE Portal team to register, and you need to use this email address when you register. It will be your email account registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

The relevant order limits will be made available on the DHSC Guidance page, found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ppe-portal-how-to-order-emergency-personal-protective-equipment 

If have any queries regarding the PPE eCommerce Portal, please contact their Customer Service team on 0800 876 6802 who will be able to help support you and resolve your queries. 

Novel variant of COVID-19

Please see the following details on the COVID-19 Variant from NHSE&I:

A novel variant of COVID-19 has been identified which has spread rapidly within the UK. Public Health England have published a technical briefing document on novel SARS-COV-2 variant which gives further information. They have assessed this variant as having substantially increased transmissibility with high confidence. 

C-19 PPE reimbursement

Please see the following PSNC update with regards to COVID-19 PPE reimbursement.

PSNC and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are working together to finalise a mechanism by which pharmacy contractors will be able to claim reimbursement for their expenditure on personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We hope to be able to make an announcement on the reimbursement mechanism in the near future.

Any PPE purchased by contractors up until 31st December 2020 will be covered by the reimbursement mechanism, if it will be used by the end of March 2021.

But contractors should be aware that any PPE purchased directly by them from 1st January 2021 will not be reimbursable via the mechanism under discussion. Contractors can continue to order free of charge PPE for use in their pharmacy via the DHSC’s PPE portal, for which they should ensure they have registered.

Read more here

AccuRx – On demand demonstration and guidance

Following the AccuRx webinar, the on- demand demonstration and guidance are available online to support sign up, please see the following link to our AccuRx page.

Resources include the demonstration recording from our webinar, the guidance document and FAQs.

If you have any queries on using AccuRx or are having problems signing up, please contact the LPC Office.

AccuRx webpage: https://www.nellpc.org.uk/?page_id=35687

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