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Found 43 results
  1. News Article
    Pharmacies are warning people are at risk of not getting the flu jab unless an urgent decision is made over the winter vaccination programme. The Company Chemists’ Association, which represents large pharmacy groups, told HSJ the government and NHS England need to “urgently” clarify how many people it wants vaccinated for flu this year, as well as making changes to regulations. An expanded and successful winter vaccine programme is seen as key to avoiding potentially catastrophic demand for hospital beds, with flu demand coinciding with covid-19 surges. Malcolm Harrison, chief executive, said: “We need decisions made now. We have an ongoing dialogue with NHS England but they seem to be waiting on secretary of state’s decision on which groups need vaccinating. That is something [the health secretary, Matt Hancock] needs to make a decision about very, very soon.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 10 July 2020
  2. Content Article
    This is what the Transfers of Care Around Medicine (TCAM) project aims to address: When patients discharged from hospital are identified as needing extra support, they are referred through a safe and secure digital platform for advice from their local community pharmacist. Original work in the North East showed that patients who see their community pharmacist after they’ve been in hospital are less likely to be readmitted and, if they are, will experience a shorter stay. Many AHSNs, including Wessex and the West of England, have worked with trusts and Local Pharmaceutical Committees to help set up a secure electronic interface between the hospital IT systems and PharmOutcomes, the community pharmacy system used in their area. This has further enhanced TCAM by providing patient data quickly and seamlessly to their community pharmacist. Wessex AHSN developed an awareness campaign to encourage people to seek help with their medicines, featuring a character called Mo in a series of animated films and accompanying poster resources for pharmacies. The films have been viewed almost 64,000 times. Through the national implementation of TCAM in 2018-2020, each AHSN will support their local trusts to establish a TCAM pathway. This will enable all suitable patients to be referred to their community pharmacy or GP pharmacist where appropriate.
  3. News Article
    More than two-thirds of black, Asian and minority ethnic pharmacists have not had workplace risk assessments for coronavirus, a survey suggests. Of the 380 hospital and community-based pharmacists surveyed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the UK Black Pharmacists Association, 236 were from a BAME background. Of those, 166 (70%) said they had not been approached by their employer to have a risk assessment. The RPS called the results "shocking". It has called on employers to take urgent action to ensure ethnic minority pharmacists are risk assessed. Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 June 2020
  4. Content Article
    The FIP hub includes: Modes of transmission and incubation period.. Pharmacy operations and facilities: ensuring safety and continuity of service. Preventive measures, including the use of masks. Pharmacy interventions and patient counselling. Treatment guidelines and medicines that may need to be stocked. Progress in medicines and vaccines development. Laboratory testing for COVID-19 in suspected human cases. Cleaning and disinfection products and procedures. Travel advice. This guidance is based on the available evidence and the recommendations of reputable organisations such as the World Health Organization, the United States and the European Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and others, at the time of publishing. Knowledge on COVID-19 is rapidly changing and recommendations may change accordingly. FIP is also providing educational webinars and new communication lines related to COVID-19.
  5. News Article
    Pharmacy leaders in the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities have expressed concern that assessments of BAME staff’s susceptibility to COVID-19 are not widespread enough in community pharmacy. NHS England wrote to community pharmacies on 29 April 2020 advising employers to “risk assess staff at potentially greater risk” of COVID-19 after “emerging UK and international data” suggested people from BAME backgrounds are “being disproportionately affected”. The Faculty of Occupational Medicine later published a risk reduction framework — backed by NHS England — to assist with the risk assessments on 14 May 2020. This was updated on 28 May 2020 to include guidance from the Health and Safety Executive to “help organisations identify who is at risk of harm”. But speaking to The Pharmaceutical Journal, Elsy Gomez Campos, president of the UK Black Pharmacists’ Association (UKBPA), said she had been told by a small number of community pharmacists that “nothing has been done” in terms of risk assessing BAME staff. “I know of a few people who have been assessed and that is mainly in hospital,” she said. “In terms of community pharmacists — who I’ve had contact with so far — they haven’t even been asked to have the risk assessment done.” However, she stressed that not many from the community pharmacy sector have come forward, but “the people who have come forward have said no, it has not been done”. “People are quite scared to ask as well because it can have repercussions on their employment or their relationships [at work],” she added. Read full story Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 29 May 2020
  6. News Article
    A third of pharmacists cannot obtain continuous supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), according to a survey conducted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). The survey found that 34% of respondents said they were not able to source continued supplies of PPE as they work in the face of COVID-19. The poll of 445 pharmacists also revealed that 94% were unable to maintain social distancing of two metres from other staff in their pharmacy, mainly because the pharmacies — and the dispensaries in particular — were too small. A further 40% of respondents said they were unable to maintain social distancing of two metres from patients. The results of the survey, which ran between 14 and 20 April 2020, have come after Public Health England (PHE) updated its PPE guidance on 10 April 2020, which recommends that pharmacy staff only wear fluid-resistant (type IIR) surgical masks (FRSMs) when in “contact with possible or confirmed cases of COVID-19” and not around other pharmacy staff. Read full story Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 22 April 2020
  7. Content Article
    This web page offers numerous resource pages which include: drug monitoring medicines management during this crisis summary of drugs for COVID-19.
  8. News Article
    From July, hospitals will be able to refer patients who would benefit from extra guidance around new prescribed medicines to their community pharmacy. Patients will be digitally referred to their pharmacy after discharge from hospital. The NHS Discharge Medicines Service will help patients get the maximum benefits from new medicines they’ve been prescribed by giving them the opportunity to ask questions to pharmacists and ensuring any concerns are identified as early as possible. This is part of the Health Secretary’s ‘Pharmacy First’ approach to ease wider pressures on A&Es and general practice. Read full story Source: Department of Health and Social Care, 23 February 2020
  9. Content Article
    This study, published by Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, shows that in hospital outpatient clinics, prophylaxis accounted for a quarter of the antimicrobial prescriptions and had in general a good guideline-adherence rate, with the exception of unnecessarily prescribed post-surgical/intervention prophylaxis, whereas a substantial part of the therapeutic prescriptions were inappropriate. Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid was the most inappropriately prescribed antimicrobial agent, regarding non-adherence to the guideline and also regarding the lack of considering renal function for dosage adjustment. Altogether, it is believed that antimicrobials prescribed at the hospital outpatient clinics warrant ASP attention. The variation of the guideline adherence rate between the investigated hospitals, as well as the differences with prior studies addressing antibiotic use in ambulatory settings in general, emphasise that (hospital) outpatient antimicrobial use should be audited locally.
  10. News Article
    The current pharmacy system in the US needs to to change now, according to Thomas Menighan, APhA Executive Vice President and CEO in a recent blog. "The current system sets pharmacists up to fail, and in turn, pharmacists are burning out at high rates", says Thomas. "This is an issue that not only puts patients at risk but deprives pharmacists of the opportunity to provide the kind of patient care we all got into pharmacy to provide". "During my time as a community pharmacist, I cherished the relationships I established with patients and understood the great responsibility that came with the trust they placed in me. Pharmacists take an oath to, among other things, “assure optimal outcomes” for patients. I can attest to the emphasis our profession places on patient safety. When it comes to medication-related errors, even one is too many." Thomas suggests the solution comes from taking a hard look at how pharmacies are reimbursed and who profits from inadequate patient care. Meanwhile, state and local pilot projects that compensate pharmacists for greater involvement in team-based care have proven that when pharmacists are allowed to provide a full range of services, costs go down and patient outcomes improve. "It’s perverse that we pharmacists are begging for the opportunity to practice the kind of pharmacy we were extensively educated and trained to practice. And who benefits from this warped system? Here’s a hint: it’s not pharmacies or patients." "We must regulate the pharmacy benefit managers who make obscene sums of money without doing a single thing to serve patients. They say they keep prices and premiums down but simultaneously fight attempts to force them to be transparent about how they supposedly achieve this. If it’s not greedy, let’s see how it works. If it really helps patients, tell us how. But they won’t. It’s indefensible." Read full story Source: APhA, 11 February 2020
  11. Content Article
    The NICE 2010 guidance (CG92) requires that all adult hospital inpatients undergo a VTE risk assessment (RA) using a standardised national VTE RA template – upon admission, again 48 hours later, and whenever the patient’s clinical condition changes. Based on the national template, clinicians at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (CHUFT) pioneered an electronic VTE RA tool that enables the assessment to be completed in 30 seconds. This tool has the added benefits of calculating the risk of VTE and recommending appropriate prophylaxis using a pharmacological and/or mechanical agent. This decision support tool is web-based and is now available to any organisation across the globe. The tool and the VTE prevention programme at Colchester Hospital won the 2010 NHS Innovation Award for Patient Safety.
  12. News Article
    LloydsPharmacy is piloting an innovative new service that offers extra help and support to mental health patients. Funded by The National Institute for Health Research Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (NIHR GM PSTRC), which is a partnership between The University of Manchester and Salford Royal, the pilot is being carried out in ten community pharmacies in Greater Manchester. The new service, referred to as AMPLIPHY, enables pharmacists to provide personalised support to people who have been newly prescribed a medicine for depression or anxiety, or those who have experienced a recent change to their prescription. The pilot programme has been funded and designed by researchers at the NIHR GM PSTRC in collaboration with LloydsPharmacy. Central to the programme is the ability for patients to lead the direction of support they receive. They set their own goals and objectives and the pharmacist supports them in these. Professor Darren Ashcroft, Deputy Director of the NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC, said: "The NIHR Greater Manchester PSTRC focuses on improving patient safety across four themes, which include Medication Safety and Mental Health. AMPLIPHY covers two of these areas and we believe it has the potential to make a difference to patients, by providing enhanced support for their care in the community." The pilot is set to run until April 2020 when its impact will be evaluated before a decision is made on the next steps. Read full story Source: News-Medical.net, 22 January 2020
  13. News Article
    New research from the UK’s Drug Safety Research Unit (DSRU) has found that hospital pharmacists, doctors and nurses only recorded batch numbers for biologic medicines between 38% and 58% of the time during routine hospital practice. Further, an analysis of spontaneous adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports showed that brand names were only included 38% of the time, while batch number traceability was only 15%. Because of the study results, the DSRU is encouraging health professionals to improve the recording in order to aid patient safety, suggesting that it has “some way to go to encourage health professionals to record this information.” Read full story Source: PharmaTimes Online, 7 January 2020
  14. News Article
    Only 14% of pharmacy professionals are worried about criminal prosecution when reporting a patient safety incident, compared with 40% in 2016, survey results have showed. The results of the 2019 ‘Patient safety culture survey’ of 917 pharmacy professionals, carried out by the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group (PSG) in April and May 2019 came after the introduction of a legal defence for dispensing errors in 2018. The survey also showed that 22% of pharmacy professionals would not report a patient safety incident inside their organisation owing to fears of criminal prosecution. This is compared with 40% of 623 respondents saying in 2016 that they would not report a patient safety incident because of the possibility of criminal prosecution. Janice Perkins, chair of the PSG, said the results “demonstrate that there have been significant positive improvements since 2016”. “Nurturing an open and honest safety culture in community pharmacies is vital. It requires everyone to feel confident in openly sharing when things go wrong to learn from errors and prevent them occurring again,” she added. Read full story Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal. 19 December 2019
  15. Content Article
    The findings demonstrate some significant positive improvements since 2016, such as the increase in the proportion of respondents who receive helpful feedback and learning as a result of reporting incidents. From the feedback given by survey participants, the following key improvements will help enable the community pharmacy sector to continue improving incident reporting levels and the culture in pharmacies: simpler reporting tools training for pharmacy staff on incident reporting ensuring that all pharmacy staff receive feedback and learning they find helpful fostering an open culture of sharing and learning.
  16. Content Article
    The report comes after the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) looked at the case of 75-year old Ann Midson, who was left taking two powerful blood-thinning medications after a mix-up at her local hospital where she was receiving treatment whilst suffering from incurable cancer. Ann sadly died from her cancer 18 days after being discharged and the error with her medication was only picked up three days before. This led to the HSIB investigation to question why this happened, even when the hospital had an ePMA system in place. The report highlights that many NHS trusts across England are taking up this technology as they reduce medication errors, but that incomplete use of e-systems could create further risks to patient safety. The investigation found that often all the functions of ePMA systems aren’t being used and that staff switch between using paper record and digital records, increasing the likelihood of crucial information being missed. Ann’s case also highlighted the routine lack of information sharing between NHS services, such as GP surgeries and pharmacies. She had been taking one blood-thinning medication on admission. This was stopped during her time at the hospital, but this message was not relayed to her local pharmacy and she continued to take both after leaving the hospital. The report also identifies that the availability of a seven-day hospital pharmacy service is crucial to support a digital system and pick up any errors quickly. The length of time it took in Ann’s case had a huge effect on both her and her family. Ann’s daughter said: “Not only were we grieving the loss of mum but also that she had to deal with the stress and upset of this towards the end of her life. She had to spend a lot of time within different parts of the NHS and all we ever wanted was for her to get the best possible care at every stage.
  17. News Article
    Greater Manchester community pharmacies have signed up to a new national scheme, which will see patient consultations booked via NHS 111 for the very first time. The scheme launched on the 29 October is part of major plans to boost the role of pharmacists in patient care, outlined in the national NHS Long Term Plan. People who call the free NHS 111 phone service can now be offered same day consultation with their local community pharmacist, if they need an urgent supply of a prescription medicine or advice on minor illnesses. The aim of the scheme is to leverage pressure on GP practices and A&E departments, which come under increasing strain when the winter hits. Early stages of the initiative in other parts of the country found that an estimated 6% of all GP consultations could be handled by a community pharmacist, freeing up around 20 million GP appointments each year nationally. Sarah Price, Executive Lead for Population Health and Commissioning at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Our health services are facing unprecedented challenges and that means finding new ways to deliver the standard of care that patients expect, whilst ensuring that services are sustainable and fit for the future. Doing things the way we’ve always done, is no longer an option. Greater Manchester pharmacists are rising to the challenge and becoming more closely involved in patient care, often in close partnership with other health and care professionals." Read full story Source: National Health Executive, 4 December 2019
  18. News Article
    It is a requirement that patient cards detailing information on the risks are issued every time valproate is dispensed, under Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guidance. Only 40% of pharmacists are meeting a patient safety requirement when dispensing valproate to women, an audit carried out by the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has found. The drug can cause birth defects in women who take it when pregnant. In April 2018, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that valproate must not be used by women and girls of childbearing age unless a pregnancy prevention programme (PPP) is in place. Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), said pharmacies must do more to ensure the safe dispensing of valproate. Read full story Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal
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