NPC Archive Item: February Community Pharmacy News from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC)

NOTE – This is an archive post from the NPC and has not been updated since first publication. Therefore, some hyperlinks may no longer be working.

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The PSNC have published the February 2009 edition of Community Pharmacy News. Community Pharmacy News focuses on issues that are important to NHS community pharmacy contractors.

Here is a brief summary of some of the items covered in this issue:

The end of ‘Necessary or Expedient’ test
The white paper ‘Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths – delivering the future’ proposed replacing the current Control of Entry test for inclusion in the pharmaceutical list with a test based on the PCT’s Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA). In its response to the consultation process the PSNC supported in principle the proposal to introduce a PNA based test and, after considering all responses, the government has decided to introduce this. The amendments to the NHS Act 2006 needed to introduce this are set out in the Health Bill 2009. This bill also introduces other changes that are of interest to community pharmacy in relation to the NHS Constitution. These are the requirement to publish an annual quality account, improvements to the PNA and the way it is used, the ability for PCTs to withhold payments where specified improvements are not made and the ability for PCTs to provide local pharmaceutical services if necessary.

Briefing documents for GPs on repeat dispensing and Medicines Use Reviews (MURs) published
The PSNC has jointly published, with NHS Employers and the General Practitioner Committee of the BMA, two briefing documents for GPs on repeat dispensing and MURs. The NPC has blogged on these in more detail here.

Other items covered in this issue include Drug Tariff news and frequently asked questions

What does this mean to medicines management?
The NPC has previously blogged on some of the uses for PNAs in relation to World Class Commissioning. A PCT’s PNA is becoming a key driver for change and will be used to inform the development of more and more services; therefore, it is more important than ever that these key documents are well informed, objective and robust. Medicines management teams and those providing services in the community will need to be aware of the PNA for the health economy in which they work so that they can ensure they are working towards meeting the needs of their local population.

Repeat dispensing and MURs require effective multidisciplinary working between community pharmacies and GP practices for their maximum benefit to be realised. This new guidance will provide a starting point to improve this multidisciplinary working where required. This not only has the potential to improve the effectiveness of these two services but should improve medicines management as a whole across this health care interface. For more information on this guidance see this blog.

Community Pharmacy news is a useful read for all NHS community pharmacy contractors. Anyone working in medicines management needs to be aware of the PNA and its implications.

If you work in a GP Practice you may find it useful to view the guidance on repeat dispensing and MURs or, if you are involved in promoting or delivering these services, you may find it useful to highlight this guidance to the practices you work in.  The NPC has also produced a range of resources available via NPC on both Repeat Dispensing and MURs that will be useful to those involved in delivering these services.

Please comment on this blog in the NPC discussion rooms, or using our feedback form.