Friday Letter 19/02/2021

Friday 19th February 2021

February 2021 Price Concessions 1st Update

DHSC has granted an update to the February 2021 Price Concessions.

Click here to view

Shielding extended from 21st February to 31st March

Extended CEV patient will be included in this cohort. This means that if there is a delivery request, that will need to be obliged. SCR should reflect the CEV status.

Click here for more information on the extension

Click here for information on the Pandemic Delivery Service on the PSNC website

New Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021

Please see the following reminder from PSNC regarding the medicines and medical devices bill becoming law.

If you have not done so already, please familiarise yourself with the amendments:

Last week the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill received royal assent and became law. The new Act will enable the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to implement a number of policies to amend the existing regulatory frameworks, although generally regulations under the Act must first be introduced.

The potential changes include:

  • Supporting the availability of medicines: enabling hub and spoke arrangements between different legal entities, to ‘support wider use of automation to bring increased efficiencies’; requiring manufacturers to provide electronic patient information leaflets; and increasing the professions able to prescribe and supply certain medicines.
  • Protecting the public: developing a UK medicines verification system; introducing a national registration scheme for online sellers of medicines; and facilitating supply of medicines and medical devices during non-pandemic public health emergencies.

Find out more about the new Act

Discharge Medicines Service (DMS)

The NHS Discharge Medicines Service (DMS) starts Monday 15th February. FMS is an essential service and must be provided by all community pharmacy contractors.

Reminder to all contractors to complete DMS training and declaration.

Please see extract from PSNC regarding the training. Full guidance is available at:

Contractors need to ensure relevant staff, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, who will be involved in providing the service, have the necessary knowledge and competence to undertake it safely. As a minimum, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who will provide the service should:

  1. Read the section on DMS within the NHSE&I guidance on the regulations; and
  2. Read the DMS toolkit.

Additionally, it is recommended that they also complete the CPPE NHS Discharge Medicines Service eLearning and assessment.

Once a pharmacist or pharmacy technician has undertaken appropriate learning related to the service, they must complete the DMS Declaration of Competence and provide a copy of that to the pharmacy contractor.

Other members of staff that will play a part in supporting provision of the service should be briefed on the service, with appropriate training provided for any roles they will play. The following document can be used in briefing sessions for pharmacy team members.

COVID-19 vaccine sites application for Pharmacies

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) have issued a call for new applications from pharmacy contractors to become COVID-19 vaccination sites:

Extension to engagement phase for GP referral to Community Pharmacist Consultation Service implementation

Contractors engaging with PCNs and practices over embedding the GP referral pathway to Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) across a PCN, will now have until 30 June to undertake this work and collect evidence to claim their engagement fee and until 5 July 2021 to submit claims. This change will be included in the March Drug Tariff.

This extension from the original deadline of 31 March to complete the activity and 5 April 2021 for submitting claims, recognises the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine programme on the ability of some areas to make progress with implementation of the pathway since its introduction as a national service on 1 November 2020.

To help with engagement with practices and PCNs, a new animation published by the PSNCexplains how the pathway works and how practices can refer into it and two blogs published by the RPS describe the benefits the service provides to patients from a practice and community pharmacist perspective.

For those ready to start with the service, the RPS in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners, are delivering free CPD sessions designed to upskill pharmacists in their clinical knowledge to enable them to help patients.

Reminder: How to book a COVID vaccination – NHS London Region


Dear Provider,

You and your teams as frontline health and social care staff are now able to book a vaccination using the link below:

Please would you also ensure you complete/update the vaccination information at the link below. 

Dental, Optometry and Pharmacy (DOP) team are collating data on the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine amongst dental, optometry and pharmacy providers (clinical and non-clinical staff). We would like you to complete a survey to help capture this information.

The purpose of the data collection is to determine how many frontline health and social care staff have received the COVID-19 vaccination. This will also help to identify those who have not received the vaccine, so that they can be appropriately signposted to a vaccination site.

In order to complete the information request, please ensure you have the following information:

  • Details on who has had their COVID-19 vaccination
  • How many are waiting for their COVID-19 vaccination
  • How many have declined the COVID-19 vaccination

You will also need, for Dental contract holders your NHS Dental contract number(s) and for Optometry & Pharmacy contract holders your ODS code.

To access the survey, click on the link here:

MHRA Consultation – oral contraceptive pills

MHRA has opened a consultation the reclassification of two progestogen-only contraceptive pills containing desogestrel, as to whether they should be available over the counter without prescription.

Click here for the consultation on the GOV.UK website

The deadline for submission is Friday 5 March.

Pharmacy Access Scheme update – PSNC

Please see the following update on PhAS from PSNC:

The planned update this year to the Pharmacy Scheme (PhAS) has been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the scheme will continue in its current form into the next financial year.

PhAS seeks to ensure patient access to local physical community pharmacies. It provides additional payments to some eligible contractors, which are funded by the remaining contractors. The scheme was imposed on the sector in late 2016.

The Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework for 2019/20 to 2023/24 indicated that PhAS would be maintained, but updated and improved, to be more responsive to changes within the market and take account of the shift in funding from dispensing to clinical services. (See more information on PSNC’s PhAS webpage).

It is expected that an updated scheme will be forthcoming this year.

New Covid-19 mass testing resources – PHE

Please see the following links from PHE to their updated resources for COVID-19.

Our new creative can all be found on the PHE Campaign Resource Centre:  

UK ports – digital screens

HUHY Lung Cancer Campaign – PHE

Please see the following message and resources from PHE with regards to HUHY Lung Cancer Campaign.

The Help Us Help You Lung Cancer Symptoms campaign is now live, with adverts across TV, radio, and video on demand (catch-up TV).

Despite lung cancer being the third most common cancer in England, suspected lung cancer referrals remain lower than normal. As of December 2020, lung cancer referrals had reached 73% of pre-COVID levels, while referrals for all cancers were just over 100%.

That is why, today, Wednesday 17 February, we are launching the campaign’s PR, with opportunities for you to get involved. The launch includes an exclusive interview with cricketer Andrew Strauss, who lost his wife to lung cancer, support from TV presenter Gaby Roslin, who lost her mother to lung cancer, and activity from media medics. The campaign highlights a cough that lasts for three weeks or more could be a sign of lung cancer and encourages anyone who has this symptom to contact their GP practice.

You can also be part of the campaign by using the key messages below and campaign resources available from today. Our campaign will cover TV, video on demand, radio, search, print media and social media – creating many opportunities for you to be involved with this national campaign.
Key Messages:

  • If you’ve had a cough for three weeks or more, and it isn’t COVID-19, it could still be a warning sign
  • A cough for three weeks or more could be a sign of cancer. Just contact your GP practice 
  • It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable

Your NHS is here to see you, safely

Your support spreading the messages can make a difference. 
The marketing assets are now live, these include:

New assets will be added over the coming weeks, including social media videos, web banners, email signatures, digital screens, further translated assets and accessible formats (such as British Sign Language), so do keep checking the page.

Your help supporting this important campaign is greatly appreciated.

RPS survey on equality, inclusion and diversity

Please see the following message from PSNC regarding the RPS Survey:

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is asking its members to share equality, inclusion and diversity data via an anonymous survey. The survey aims to identify whether the RPS membership is representative of the wider profession and to help remove any barriers to engagement.

Complete the survey on the RPS website

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