The Pharmacist September/October 2018 - Page 9

A Scottish Government spokesperson told The Pharmacist on 5 September: ‘Over the coming year, we will develop and implement a redesigned service covering minor ailments and common clinical conditions that will be available to anyone registered with a GP practice in Scotland.’ They did not specify which ailments or conditions would be covered by the scheme. As of March 2017, 16% (884,120) of the Scottish population was registered for the MAS, according to the Government’s watchdog the Information Services Division (ISD). This means that only 40% of eligible patients are currently registered for the service, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) told The Pharmacist. The Scottish Government said that enhancing community pharmacy services and the clinical role of community pharmacists is ‘crucial’. It said: ‘Community pharmacy already plays an important role in the communities it serves, providing highly accessible services. ‘We want more people to use their community pharmacy as the first point of access for care and advice. ‘We will build on the learning from the extended minor ailment service pilot in Inverclyde and the rollout of the Pharmacy First initiative by developing and implementing a redesigned minor ailment and common conditions service available to all in the coming year.’ 3 Prioritise over-75s in flu vaccination programme, says NHS England Community pharmacists should prioritise vaccinating the over-75s and those who live in care homes during the upcoming flu vaccination season, NHS England has advised. Guidance for community pharmacies and practices offering the service issued by NHS England, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the British Medical Association (BMA) set out a three-phase approach to vaccinating patients aged over 65 years. First priority should be to vaccinate those aged 75 years and over and those living in care homes, while second priority should be those aged between 65 and 74 years in a clinical risk group, according to the guidance. Third priority should be to vaccinate those aged between 65 and 74 years who are not in a clinical risk group, the guidance said. The adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV) should be given to all patients aged 65 and over, while adults aged under 65 in clinical at-risk groups should be offered the quadrivalent flu vaccine, the guidance said. PSNC said community pharmacy teams should use the guidance to ‘inform the provision of vaccines’ from September to November. It continued: ‘Where the appropriate vaccine is available and an eligible patient presents at the pharmacy seeking vaccination, they should be vaccinated at that point. If the vaccine is not available, the patient should be asked to return when the vaccine will be available.’ 4 Community pharmacies told not to stockpile medicines in case of no-deal Brexit The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has advised that community pharmacies in the UK ‘do not need to take any steps to stockpile additional medicines beyond their usual business stock levels’ in a letter to healthcare professionals published on 23 August. It also advised that prescribers should not write longer NHS prescriptions in anticipation of supply issues in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock wrote: ‘Local stockpiling is not necessary and any incidences of over- ordering of medicines will be investigated and followed up with the relevant chief or responsible pharmacist directly. ‘Clinicians should advise patients that the Government has plans in place to ensure a continued supply of medicines to patients from the moment we leave the EU. Patients will not need to and should not seek to store additional medicines at home.’ The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) chief executive Simon Dukes said there were still ‘operational issues to explore for community pharmacies’ to ensure that patients are able to access medicines post-Brexit. BioIndustry Association CEO Steve Bates said he thought the plan to stockpile six weeks’ worth of supply over usual stocks would be a ‘massive challenge’ with so little time before the deadline. ‘A no-deal Brexit would mean the disintegration of the regulated medicines market in Europe in terms of regulation, cross-border movement of goods, comparative pricing and intellectual property,’ he said. September/October 2018 | The Pharmacist | 9