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Found 180 results
  1. News Article
    The continuing shortage of ADHD medication is causing those with the condition increasing stress and anxiety, the BBC has been told. Pharmacists said the problem persists despite a government assurance it would be resolved by the end of last year. In September, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) blamed the UK-wide scarcity on "increased global demand and manufacturing issues". It said the disruption was "expected to resolve" between October and December. Lorraine Jukes, who has ADHD, said: "Here I am in April 2024, with only four days of medication left." The 36-year-old, from Iffley, Oxford, said she was "frantically phoning through lists of pharmacies" and being told there was no stock and no indication of any being available before she runs out. Oliver Picard, vice chair of the National Pharmacy Association, said: "We were told it would be resolved in December. "Some of the medication is starting to come back. In March, we had the supply of a certain brand of ADHD medication, we are now seeing shortages of other ADHD medication and we don't have a date for resupply. "Sometimes we can get some but will be limited to one packet per month pharmacy and that's not helpful either. It's hugely frustrating." Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 April 2024
  2. Content Article
    Ensuring the safe and effective use of medicines is a central function of the pharmacy team. This article in the Pharmaceutical Journal outlines how pharmacists can support the implementation of the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF). It aims to help pharmacists: understand the role of the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF). understand the difference between the PSIRF and the Serious Incident Framework. Know how the PSIRF can be applied to the pharmacy profession. This content is free to access but you will need to sign up for a Pharmaceutical Journal free online account.
  3. Content Article
    This webpage provides information about the Phramacy First service, launched in England in January 2024. Pharmacy First builds on the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service which enables patients to be referred into community pharmacy for a minor illness or an urgent repeat medicine supply. Pharmacy First adds to this by enabling community pharmacies to complete episodes of care for seven common conditions following defined clinical pathways: Acute otitis media (middle ear infection) Impetigo Infected insect bites Shingles Sinusitis Sore throat Uncomplicated urinary tract infections
  4. Content Article
    In this interview, we talk to Darren Powell, Clinical Lead for NHS England and Community Pharmacist, about medication supply issues. Darren shares his experiences of how medication shortages and tariffs are affecting patients and staff and offers insights into the complexity of the situation.  He tells us his thoughts on potential causes and barriers, as well as suggesting three actions for wider system safety. 
  5. Content Article
    With the launch of Pharmacy First in England, pharmacists have a leading role within primary care across the UK in the treatment of many common minor ailments. These resources on have been compiled by the Pharmaceutical Journal and are mapped to cover the conditions specified by the Welsh common minor ailments service, NHS Pharmacy First Scotland and the Pharmacy First service for England. There are resources relating to the following areas: Respiratory Eye, ear and oral health Gastrointestinal Infections and parasites Dermatology CNS and pain management
  6. Content Article
    This article in the Pharmaceutical Journal outlines best practice principles and practical advice for structuring antimicrobial reviews and effective stewardship practices. It aims to equip pharmacists to: Understand the role of essential antimicrobial stewardship tools and frameworks to improve antibiotic prescribing; Structure an antimicrobial review effectively, covering all relevant details; Personalise the antimicrobial review to ensure patient-centred care and effective antimicrobial stewardship practices; Develop skills for effective antimicrobial review and stewardship practices to mitigate antimicrobial resistance threat.
  7. Event
    This webinar hosted by the Patients Association provides an opportunity to hear about the new Pharmacy First Service. Speakers include: David Webb, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England Pallavi Dawda, Head of Delivery, Clinical Strategy Community Pharmacy, NHS England Leighton Colegrave, member of Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB's Patient Engagement Forum Tunde Sokoya, community pharmacist, Essex Lindsey Fairbrother, community pharmacist, Derbyshire. The Patients Association Chief Executive Rachel Power will chair the webinar. Register for free.
  8. Content Article
    Studies have reported evidence on sharps injuries among nursing, medical and dental students but little is known about the amount, type and causes of sharps injuries affecting other healthcare students. This narrative review aimed to identify the extent, type and causes of sharps injuries sustained by healthcare students, especially those not in nursing, medicine or dentistry. The review highlights that some groups of healthcare students, including those studying pharmacy, physiotherapy and radiography, sustain sharps injuries from similar devices as reported in research on such injuries in nursing, medical and nursing students. Sharps injuries happen in a range of healthcare environments, and many were not reported by students. The main cause of a sharps injury identified was a lack of knowledge.
  9. News Article
    Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) is calling for all pharmacy staff to be allowed to prepare and assemble medication without requiring supervision from a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. Its comments came in its response to a Department of Health and Social Care consultation on pharmacy supervision, published on 7 December 2023, which sets out proposals to amend the Medicines Act 1968 and The Human Medicines Regulations 2012. The consultation includes proposals to enable pharmacists to authorise pharmacy technicians to carry out, or supervise others carrying out, the preparation, assembly, dispensing, sale and supply of medicine; to enable pharmacists to authorise any member of the pharmacy team to hand out checked and bagged prescriptions in the absence of a pharmacist; and to allow pharmacy technicians to supervise the preparation, assembly and dispensing of medicines in hospital aseptic facilities In its response, the CPS disagreed with the first of these proposals, arguing that “the preparation and assembly of [pharmacy] and [prescription-only] medications can be safely carried out from a registered pharmacy premises, without requiring supervision by a Responsible Pharmacist or an authorised pharmacy technician”. CPS also said there is “a major flaw in the logic” of the government proposal because “it relies heavily on individuals rather than on safe systems”, making the proposed new way of working “vulnerable to changes in personal circumstance”. “The environment, technology, training, conditions and [standard operating procedures] in the community pharmacy setting have a bigger effect on safety of preparation and assembly than supervision by an individual,” the response said. Read full story Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 12 February 2024
  10. News Article
    Treatments for seven conditions such as sore throats and earaches are now available directly from pharmacists, without the need to visit a doctor. The Pharmacy First scheme will allow most chemists in England to issue prescriptions to patients without appointments or referrals. NHS England says it will free up around 10 million GP appointments a year. Pharmacy groups welcome the move but there is concern about funding and recent chemist closures. Pharmacists can carry out confidential consultations and advise whether any treatment, including antibiotics, are needed for the list of seven minor ailments. Patients needing more specialist or follow-up care will be referred onwards. Read full story Source: BBC News, 31 January 2024
  11. Content Article
    This is a safety critical and complex National Patient Safety Alert. Implementation should be co-ordinated by an executive lead (or equivalent role in organisations without executive boards) and supported by clinical leaders in diabetes, GP practices, pharmacy services in all sectors, weight loss clinics, private healthcare providers and those working in the Health and Justice sector.
  12. Content Article
    Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem in healthcare, especially in nursing homes where up to 75% of antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately. This series of webinars from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority covers various aspects of antibiotic stewardship including: Types of antimicrobials Why antibiotic stewardship and who should be at the table Antimicrobial usage Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance Antibiograms Antimicrobial baseline data Developing an antimicrobial stewardship plan Antimicrobial usage data
  13. News Article
    A national shortage of epilepsy medication is putting patients' safety at risk, consultants have said. Medical professionals are becoming genuinely concerned as ever more frequent supply issues continue to bite tens of thousands of sufferers. According to the Epilepsy Society charity, over 600,000 people in the UK have the condition, or about one in every 100 people. Among them is Charlotte Kelly, a mother of two living in London who has had epilepsy for over 20 years. She must take two tablets a day to manage her condition but issues with supply have forced her to start rationing her medication. Speaking to Sky News, Ms Kelly told us of the fear surrounding the restricted access to the medicate she needs to survive. "I'm scared. If I'm truly honest, I'm scared knowing that I might not get any medication for a few weeks, or a couple of months, I just don't know when. "It's scary to know that I have to worry about getting hold of medication. I do believe that something needs to happen very quickly because even if it's pre-ordered there's no guarantee you're going to get it. Speaking to Sky News, Professor Ley Sander, director of medical services at the Epilepsy Society, says the supply concern is not just on the minds of patients but those in the industry too. "It might be that we need a strategic reserve for storage of drugs, we might have to bring drugs over from other parts of the world to avoid this from recurring. "We're not at that point yet, but this is an urgent issue." Read full story Source: Sky News, 21 January 2024
  14. Content Article
    The Parkinson’s Excellence Network has launched three new practical guides to support UK health professionals to deliver time critical Parkinson’s medication on time in hospital.
  15. Content Article
    With around half a million people receiving homecare medicines services at a cost that is likely to be between £3billion and £4billion each year, there are questions over what the NHS is getting for its money and how governance and accountability within the system could be improved. This article outlines an investigation by The Pharmaceutical Journal that has revealed hundreds of patient safety incidents caused by problematic homecare medicines services.
  16. Content Article
    A service providing bilingual medication information is helping to reduce healthcare inequalities and medical errors. Pharmacies across London are benefitting from the support of Written Medicine; a service providing bilingual dispensing labels in patients’ language of choice.
  17. Content Article
    Community pharmacies in Sweden have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and new routines have been introduced to address the needs of customers and staff and to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Burnout has been described among staff possibly due to a changed working climate. However, little research has focused on the pandemic's effect on patient safety in community pharmacies. The aim of this study was to examine pharmacists' perceptions of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workload, working environment, and patient safety in community pharmacies.
  18. Content Article
    People with learning disabilities are more likely to be taking multiple medicines, but labels are not designed with them in mind. This article in the Pharmaceutical Journal looks at a project run by a team at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in 2021, which came from a person with learning disabilities requesting medicine labelling with “the name of the tablets in big letters so I know what tablets I’m taking."
  19. Content Article
    Medicines optimisation looks at the value which medicines deliver, making sure they are clinically-effective and cost-effective. It is about ensuring people get the right choice of medicines, at the right time, and are engaged in the process by their clinical team.  
  20. Content Article
    This blog by the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) shares highlights of the evidence given to a House of Lord's inquiry into homecare medicines services' governance and accountability. The witness sessions heard evidence on levers for accountability, performance and safety, e-prescribing and workforce. The blog looks at challenges faced by providers, the need for improved regulation and accountability and lack of data and KPIs. It also describes a desktop investigation being undertaken by NHS England to understand the range of arrangements that are in place and how homecare medicines services are held to account.
  21. News Article
    Doctors are warning that patient safety is being put at risk as podiatrists and pharmacists replace GPs “on the cheap”. Dozens of family doctors have contacted The Telegraph claiming that talk of a GP shortage is “a big lie” and that they are being replaced by less qualified, cheaper staff, in a “crisis”. Documents seen by The Telegraph show staff including podiatrists, pharmacists and physician associates being used in lieu of GPs to diagnose and treat patients with conditions they are not trained in. In the most extreme cases, poorly children with viral infections, asthma-related issues and concerns about menstruation have been seen and diagnosed by a podiatrist – a healthcare professional trained exclusively to care for feet. It is not clear what happened to any of the patients afterwards, or if their parents were aware they had seen a podiatrist rather than a doctor. One GP said it was “a matter of patient safety” and the notion of “everything being supervised” did not work at a GP practice like it does in hospitals. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 4 November 2023
  22. Content Article
    Medicines talk is a website hosting a collection of stories to inspire new avenues for discussion between healthcare professionals and their patients about their medicines and care. Story 1: Life is meant for laughing Story 2: What is it all for? Story 3: 'Keeping going': Are my medicines a help or a hindrance? Story 4: I look after myself Story 5: Is there anything we can stop today? Story 6: A glimpse of the future? Story 7: Polluting the planet The stories were co-authored by Professor Deborah Swinglehurst and Dr Nina Fudge, based on research conducted between 2016 and 2021 at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The researchers studied 24 people aged 65 or older who had been prescribed ten or more different items of regular medication, through home visits, interviews and attending appointments for up to two years. They also observed and spoke with health professionals in three general practices and four community pharmacies.
  23. News Article
    Valproate-containing medicines will be dispensed in the manufacturer’s original full pack, following changes in regulations coming into effect on Wednesday 11 October 2023. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published new guidance for dispensers to support this change. Following a government consultation, this change to legislation has been made to ensure that patients always receive specific safety warnings and pictograms, including a patient card and the Patient Information Leaflet, which are contained in the manufacturer’s original full pack. These materials form a key part of the safety messaging and alert patients to the risks to the unborn baby if valproate-containing medicines are used in pregnancy. The changes follow a consultation on original pack dispensing and supply of medicines containing sodium valproate led by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in which there was overwhelming support for the introduction of the new measures, to further support safety of valproate-containing medicines. Minister for Public Health, Maria Caulfield, said: “This safety information will help patients stay informed about risks of valproate, and I encourage all dispensers of valproate to consult the new guidance carefully. “This continues our commitment to listening and learning from the experiences of people impacted by valproate and their families and using what we hear to improve patient safety.” Read full story Source: MHRA, 11 October 2023
  24. News Article
    A locum responsible pharmacist has been issued a warning after a patient died when he dispensed the wrong strength of oxycodone during a staffing crunch, the regulator has revealed. Paresh Gordhanbhai Patel supplied 120mg rather than the prescribed 20mg of oxycodone hydrochloride to an “elderly” patient while working two locum shifts as responsible pharmacist at Crompton Pharmacy at Whitley House Surgery in Chelmsford. After taking one tablet, the patient died from an “accidental” oxycodone “overdose”, the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) fitness-to-practise (FtP) committee heard at a hearing held on 11-13 September. Mr Patel admitted that he was “stressed and overtired” when he failed to notice a “discrepancy” between the prescribed strength of oxycodone and what he ordered and dispensed, The regulator heard that Mr Patel was “over-conscientious” and felt compelled “at a human level” to help out at the under-staffed pharmacy, despite the fact that it was “not safe to do so”, it added. Mr Patel admitted that his errors “amounted to misconduct” and conceded to the committee that his fitness to practise was “impaired” because he “breached one of the fundamental principles of the pharmacy profession.” The regulator heard that Mr Patel had “immediately” admitted his mistake to the pharmacy and did so again at the coroner’s inquest, where he also publicly apologised to the patient’s family. Read full story Source: Chemist and Druggist, 12 October 2023
  25. Content Article
    This is guidance for dispensing of valproate-containing medicines in the manufacturer’s original full pack, following amendments to the Human Medicines Regulations (HMRs). These amendments currently apply in England, Scotland and Wales. This guidance should be regarded as good practice by pharmacists in Northern Ireland. The change comes into force in England, Scotland and Wales from 11 October 2023. 
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