NHS England has announced that the NHS medicines home delivery service will be commissioned until 31 July 2020, to ensure access to prescription medicines for shielded patients during the phased easing of restrictions.
The provision of this service throughout July will enable patients who are shielding, time to make alternative arrangements for access to their prescription medications.
The NHS medicines delivery service was among the topics raised in the second DDA webinar. This covered topics such as:
- Safer practice in de-escalation: How to keep staff safe and your dispensing open during the new ‘normal’
- Shielded patients: Understanding your role in medicines supply to shielded patients
- Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments: Understanding their role in the delivery of the local pharmaceutical network, and the implications for your dispensing list.
Some 285 people registered to attend the webinar, during which speakers and DDA Board members Mark Stone and Dr Neil Windsor-Jones (Welsh representative) invited listeners to take part in polls on subjects including practices’ degree of engagement with Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments (PNAs), the Welsh NHS COVID medicines delivery services, and safer dispensing during COVID-19 during de-escalation.
The polls showed that
- Only 14 per cent of listeners had seen their current PNAs
- Only 4 per cent had engaged with their local LMC over PNAs
- Only 10 per cent of practices in Wales had used the delivery service
- Two thirds of practices were planning for reopening after the lock down.
As well as alerting practices to the threats posed to dispensing practice by PNAs, the seminar also looked at flu vaccination planning; as a result of COVID-19, it is possible that flu vaccination rates may increase by 20 per cent. Practices should consider the additional costs of flu vaccination provision during COVID-19, which may run to over £7,000 for a practice dispensing 5,200 vaccinations.
The webinar was also a chance for dispensing practices to raise questions, which will be answered by the DDA Board. These include:
- Using a practice stamp instead of patient signatures
- Claiming for the NHS England COVID-19 medicines delivery service
- PPE in confined areas such as dispensaries
The recording of the DDA/Best Practice conference and exhibition webinar, Dispensing practice during the new normal in COVID-19 (England & Wales), is available online.
Why not also catch up with the first DDA/Best Practice webinar, The Emergency COVID Regulations – And Your Dispensary?