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PSNC Appeal in the Judicial Review case: contractor summary

Over the last two days, 22nd and 23rd May 2018, PSNC has been in the Royal Courts of Justice appealing Mr Justice Collin's Judgment in the Judicial Review case relating to the funding reductions and changes imposed on community pharmacies. The Appeal was heard by three Court of Appeal Judges – Lord Justice Irwin, Lord...

6 hours ago

MHRA Drug Safety Update – May 2018

Date Issued: 24th May 2018 A new Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Drug Safety Update (Vol 11, Issue 10, March 2018) has been published and includes articles on: Valproate medicines (Epilim▼, Depakote▼): Pregnancy Prevention Programme materials online ; Braltus (tiotropium): risk of inhalation of capsule if placed in the mouthpiece of the inhaler;...

7 hours ago

GDPR update: Notifying the ICO about DPOs

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to come into effect tomorrow (25th May 2018), but PSNC has received reports that community pharmacy contractors have been finding it difficult to get through to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via its helpline and that the ICO website is also unavailable. As stated in the Community Pharmacy...

10 hours 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.

 

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

 

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://www.pharmacyvoice.com/images/press/BMA_PSNC_PV_prescription_direction_guidance_October_13.pdf

 

Your Prescription Your Choice Leaflet