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Ask PSNC: Pharmacy Quality Scheme FAQs

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS). Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks. Q. I completed the CPPE risk management training and assessment over two years ago. Do I need to complete the training and assessment again? A. If you have completed...

21 hours ago

Make use of community pharmacists' skills, says NICE

Community pharmacy teams have the potential to play a greater role in health promotion and prevention says NICE, in a new draft quality standard. The draft quality standard calls for community pharmacy services to be included in existing care and referral pathways. This will allow community pharmacy teams to accept as well as make referrals to...

2 days ago

Supply Notification: Clonidine 25mcg tablets – Update

Update (17/01/2020): resupply date now expected mid/end February 2020 First published 20th December 2019 Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a medicine supply notification for Clonidine 25mcg tablets. Limited supplies of Clonidine 25mcg tablets will be available until at least mid-January 2020 due to manufacturing issues. The DHSC Medicine Supply Team provide...

4 days ago

Managing complaints about prescription direction

‘Prescription direction’ occurs where a patient is directed by their GP practice to a certain pharmacy to have their prescription dispensed. The BMA, Pharmacy Voice and PSNC have published a joint statement stating that prescription direction should not take place. Prescription direction undermines a patient’s right to have a free choice between any community pharmacy, and damages trust and cooperation between healthcare professionals.

 

NHS England (which manages the contracts with GPs and pharmacies) and the General Medical Council and General Pharmaceutical Council (the professional regulators) all have a role in stepping in to challenge cases of prescription direction. They generally need to hear from patients before they will take action.

 

If any of your patients complain about undue pressure to use a particular pharmacy, you can use the Your Prescription Your Choice Leaflet to help them to easily register a complaint.

 

The NHS England complaints process can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/complaining-to-nhse/.

 

If you become aware that a patient has been subjected to prescription direction:

1. Explain that doctors and pharmacists across the country have agreed that this is not the right way to behave – patients should always be free to choose their pharmacy, and no-one should seek to undermine that right.

2.  That if certain GPs or pharmacies locally are behaving in this way, that this needs to be reported so that something can be done to stop it.

3.  Offer them the “Your Prescription Your Choice” form, explaining that it contains information about this problem and gives them the opportunity to report what has happened to them.

4.  Advise them that the back half of the form can be detached and submitted to the appropriate body. They can submit the form themselves, or ask you to do it for them.

5.  Encourage them to complete the form in the pharmacy, and say that you’ll send their form off for them, along with any other forms that you receive, to save them the cost of a stamp or phone call.  The address for submitting complaints can be found here:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/complaining-to-nhse/.  Please note that any complaints posted to the NHS England Leeds office will be forwarded to the customer contact centre to manage the consent process.

 

Please respect the right of patients not to complain if they are uncomfortable in doing so. Please also recognise that you should treat any interactions with patients on this topic as confidential.

 

Once forms have been returned to you, the next steps are:

1.  Send the form to NHS England in all cases.

2.  If there is evidence that a GP may have acted inappropriately, a copy of the form should be sent to the General Medical Council

3.  If there is evidence that a pharmacist or pharmacy company may have acted inappropriately, a copy of the form should be sent to the General Pharmaceutical Council.

4.  We suggest that you keep a log of the forms that you have sent off

 

The full BMA, Pharmacy Voice and PSNC statement on prescription direction is available at: 

http://psnc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/BMA_PSNC_PV_prescription_direction_guidance_October_13.pdf

 

Your Prescription Your Choice Leaflet