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Humankind STaRS - New Services and updated SLAs - FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
April, May & June Bank Holidays 2022 - FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION 
Connected Pharmacy Programme Launch  - FOR INFORMATION 
Listening Skills & Emotional Health Workshops - FOR INFORMATION
Respiratory care update feedback - FOR INFORMATION
PNA 2022 Contractor survey - complete before 31st March please - FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
CPCS IT choice deadline 31st March - FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
Catch-up NMS Provision Ends 31st March - FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
Staffordshire Sexual Health Service from 1st April - FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
Flu Letter 2022-23 - removal of 50-64 age group from NHS service - FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION

Welcome to March’s edition of View from the Chair! When preparing to write this month’s ‘View from the Chair’ I had a look back at what I wrote this time last year. As well as talk about the hopes and aspirations of the LPC to meet face to face again – we have managed it once since then, fingers crossed for May – I talked about colleague welfare.
You may remember that last year the LPC managed to get some funding for some Health and Wellbeing training for contractors and their teams. We ran some training sessions provided by The Samaritans over the summer and planned some more for this Spring. The first of the Spring dates was supposed to be last Tuesday but we had to cancel due to a lack of uptake. We have TWO further dates available on 3rd May and 7th June to take part in this valuable piece of training. You can sign up for this event on the LPC webpage now.
Feedback from the sessions last summer was incredibly positive. Health and wellbeing support for our contractors is important to the LPC, especially as workforce pressures show no sign of easing (and in some places are getting worse) and our workload is so high.
My ‘View from the Chair’ is deliberately short this month as we wanted to dedicate a large section of the news update to GP CPCS and the work our new implementation leads are doing. For the same reason this month our additional "view" from another LPC member is paused - hopefully to return in April.
GP-CPCS Update
GP-CPCS continues to be a high profile activity within NHS Midlands. To further support it's rollout we welcome on board three new team members who will be helping roll it out in Rugeley & Haywood, Lichfield and East Staffordshire PCNs - Matt Bryan, Jenny Palfreyman and Michele Fildes respectively. They will be supporting both practices and pharmacies to ensure effective engagement in GP-CPCS. The NHS is also further strengthening the push on CPCS by arranging for more surgery staff training from Primary Care Contracting. The LPC is going to arrange a series of webinars on service related topics where pharmacists (including locums) can dial in and listen to a short presentation and ask questions about how the service is delivered. We want to help you offer your patients a better service.
So far this month we have received over 250 referrals in South Staffs.
With an increasing number of referrals comes an increasing opportunity for us to provide the patient with a great healthcare experience - or not.
We'll share with you some great examples of patient care next month but just wanted to share with you now a few examples where pharmacies have not been clear of our NHS Midlands wide offer.
  1. A recently qualified pharmacist who thought they weren't accredited to provide CPCS. All pharmacists can provide the service with no additional training. Using the 'enrol me' button within PharmOutcomes just asks you to confirm you're familiar with the service and will follow the SLA
  2. A member of staff who rang  a surgery and said that the pharmacy was too busy today. The service needs to be available all the opening hours of the pharmacy.
  3. A member of the team who told a patient that the pharmacist today ( a locum) couldn't provide Extended Care without checking with her. Many locums DO provide Extended Care - you just need to check with them.
  4. A pharmacist who referred a patient back to the surgery after being referred to them with excess mucus. They never used the text box within the PharmOutcomes module to explain WHY they felt the patient should be seen at the surgery. We know this because the patient was one of the practice receptionists.
  5. A patient was referred to the pharmacist with a loss of hearing. The pharmacist spoke to the patient and referred them back to the practice. The PharmOutcome module was completed as 'appropriate advice given' but nothing was put in the freetype box so the practice didnt know if the advice given related to ear wax, congestion and catarrh, or an infection.  Just as we ask for information to be put in the reason for referral box, so the practices appreciate a fuller description of the action the pharmacist has taken.
If you're a pharmacist please think about the information you pass back to the surgery. What information would you want if you were in their shoes? Also think how these examples get communicated to your locums.
If you're an Area Manager, how can you encourage your pharmacy staff to work as a team to deliver this and other services to a consistently high standard. And have you asked your regular pharmacists to get accredited to provide Extended Care, etc  if they are not already?
If you're a team member, please think about checking with the pharmacist what services they can offer, and also reminding him/her of the need to check for CPCS referrals and deal with them promptly throughout the day.
Many pharmacists aren't used to having to provide written information back to the surgery. Many surgeries are not used to sending formal referrals to community pharmacists. So it relies on trust that both parties will deliver their side of the agreement. And good communication will help develop or kill off this and other future services. So if you are having problems with services, go and have a conversation with the practice and see if there's a way you can both work together better.
On a related note, we hear anecdotally that many pharmacy teams are not really aware of what services their pharmacy are contracted to provide - or what the services entail, and what they need to tell relief and/or locum staff about the services.
Here's a bullet-point guide on how to ensure better awareness in your team and beyond - every team member should do this to ensure continuity of communications!
  1. Log on to PharmOutcomes - click on the Services tab. The services that the pharmacy are signed up to provide are listed in the left-hand column. 
  2. The information about ALL services commissioned in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is available at A summary document which explains all about service requirements and accreditation is available to download there too. 
  3. All team members should have access to this document; ensure there is sufficient members able to access the NHS Shared Mailbox and PharmOutcomes - and that they do so frequently.
  4. Ensure relief and locum staff are briefed on service provision before their shift wherever possible, or leave the services summary for them to access on arrival if necessary - this could be annotated to show which services the pharmacy is signed up to deliver.

Humankind - Staffordshire Treatment and Recovery Service (STaRS) - New Services AND Updated SLAs

We are pleased to confirm that two NEW services are being launched through Staffordshire pharmacies by our lead provider in Substance Misuse, Humankind/STaRS. The two new services are:
  • Provision of take-home naloxone (THN)
  • Provision of Hepatitis B Vaccination
These services will launch from April, although we are still working with Humankind/STaRS to develop the PharmOutcomes modules and get relevant training in place for these so the actual start date may be a little later in the month. In advance of the Humankind training, pharmacy professionals registering to provide the new services may wish to: All existing providers of Supervised Consumption or Syringe & Needle Exchange services are welcome to register to provide these new services, a copy of the new SLAs for these services will be available on our website very soon.
Once these are published, all signed SLAs are returned to
Furthermore, the existing Service Level Agreements for Supervised/Observed Consumption are also now updated and will need to be signed by an authorised signatory within your organisation and returned to Humankind ASAP.
NHSE&I have been working on plans for pharmacy openeing on the following Bank and Public Holidays:
  • Good Friday 15th April
  • Easter Sunday 17th April
  • Easter Monday 18th April
  • Early May Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May
  • Spring Bank Holiday Thursday 2nd June
  • Queen's Platinum Jubilee Holiday Friday 3rd June
As a result of this work, a number of contractors had been served with Directions notices to open on "rota" on one or more of these dates, and NHSE&I have sent chasing up emails to non-responding pharmacies for rota directions. They have given a final deadline of 18th March 2022 to accept the directions or  will assume that the pharmacy will open as directed on coming bank holidays.
Please ensure that you have checked your shared mailbox for any outstanding direction notice emails - they will come from: PHARMACY-WESTMIDLANDS (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24) <>.
If you have received a Direction notice, please respond to the same email address no later than 18th March to confirm receipt and that you will open as requested.

The launch event for Connected Pharmacy for Cohort 2 of the Midlands-wide programme (including Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent)  was held on 1st March. Around 150 pharmacists, techinicians and others working across all pharmacy settings joined the event enabling a chance to meet, train and work with peers on topics of common interest.  
The next stage of the programme is the local workshops; in Staffs & Stoke there are two options for these, as detailed below, and although Workshop 1 / Option 1 has taken place this week (we had over 40 join that too, which was great!) the Option 2 sessions are still available. For any colleagues who had not yet registered and want now to join the programme, please click the link below to register, once you have done that the programme team will send a link to view a recording of the launch event which sets the scene for the whole programme.
The programme outline and objectives are as below:

Unlocking and integrating pharmacy networks across the Midlands

The world of pharmacy is in the middle of the biggest transformation of the NHS ever.  Amidst turbulence and uncertainty lies opportunity and innovation. For the first time we have the opportunity to connect and integrate pharmacists across systems, to serve patients more affectively. Take advantage of a fully funded NHS England developmental program to help you to manage conflicting priorities and connect with others in support of better patient outcomes. 

You will learn to : 

  • Understand how the new NHS priorities relate into your current daily activities; 
  • Connecting Pharmacy teams across interfaces to provide seamless care; 
  • Create protected time/headspace to highlight and address real challenges in your day to day work; 
  • Building personal and team resilience through local connections and networks; 
  • Improve your work/life balance whilst delivering a modern pharmacy service; 
  • Improve your communication and influencing skills and techniques in line with GPHC competency framework. 

The programme is a series of three sessions – with a launch date on 1st March and two workshops (see below for dates). The Launch is for one evening date followed by the workshops which are flexible and so you have two dates to choose from for workshop 1 and workshop 2 

We are really keen for as many of you to come as possible and will be sending the invitations out to our community pharmacies, CCGs, practices, PCN and hospital colleagues. 

Dates for Stoke and Staffordshire 

  • Launch – 1st March 7-8pm (recording available for all new programme registrants)
  • Workshop 1 –Option 2 only: 29th March 
  • Workshop 2 – Option 1: 6th April or Option 2: 27th April 

To register for the launch and workshops please click on the link or button below


Listening Skills & Emotional Health Training


South Staffordshire LPC want to support the health and wellbeing of their teams. As many pharmacy teams work very much in isolation from colleagues both within and outside of their organisation, the potential for significant impact on team members’ mental wellbeing is high.
Funding has been provided by the Local Professional Network (LPN) for Shropshire and Staffordshire for pharmacists and their team members to undertake the Listening Skills & Emotional Health Training workshop, provided by Samaritans. Whilst other resources are available to support better mental health and wellbeing (eg Pharmacist Support, or Looking After You Too which is available to all primary care staff) LPCs felt that specific support would not just benefit individuals concerned but the whole pharmacy team.

Pre course information
• Digital delivery platform: Zoom
• Course duration: 1 Session – 2 ½ hours
• Pre-course preparation: Please ensure you have:
– Strong internet connection to enable effective interaction in this format
– Access to a quiet area
– Ideally access to headsets with a microphone to exclude external noise interruption
• Course resources:
– The Listening Wheel handout
– Emotional Health Scale handout
At the end of this course attendees will be able to:
• Understand the Emotional Health Scale
• Consider personal resilience
• Use effective listening tools and techniques to acknowledge difficult feelings and circumstances
Course topics
• Introductions and understanding the context/types of conversations found challenging
• Samaritans emotional health scale and resilience – apply this to the context, how do challenging conversations affect delegate emotional health in the moment and later
• Introduce Samaritans listening wheel and skills around listening and asking open questions
• Techniques around discussions with people with mental health difficulties and suicidal feelings
• Short skills practice
• Summary of learning
• Further reflections on the emotional health scale

Please make your booking request via the booking form on the LPC website by clicking the button below; we do ask that if you commit to making a booking, then please ensure that you make every effort to attend or contact us to cancel your place at the earliest opportunity, thank you.


Optimising the care of people with respiratory disease

At the above meeting last week, a group of a dozen pharmacists (from community, CCG and hospital settings) met to hear from Vicky Campbell, Respiratory Specialist Nurse from MPFT about how pharmacists and their teams can best support patients with respiratory disease. Thanks to Vicky for her presentation and Chiesi for their support in organising the meeting.
After the meeting, Vicky shared this message:
"Lovely to see you and your colleagues on Wednesday evening; please find attached posters for contacting South Respiratory Services if colleagues wish to discuss a client.
I have also attached the referral form for the Community Respiratory Teams if pharmacy colleagues wish to refer to a Respiratory Nurse or for Pulmonary Rehabilitation."

These documents can now be downloaded from the LPC website at:
We are hoping to run a similar event in the East of our area sometime during the Spring.

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment 2022 - LAST CHANCE to complete the Contractor Questionnaire
As we have already highlighted, Staffordshire Health and Wellbeing Board are in the process of working on the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) 2022, in co-operation with your LPC.
Very many thanks to those of you who have completed the pharmacy questionnaire on PharmOutcomes which is provided in order to ensure that all contractors have the opportunity to update services provided, facilities etc. prior to publication of the draft PNA for consultation. We appreciate just how busy you are currently however please do take the time to complete this so that the picture of service availability is as complete as possible across the area.
Note that Core and Supplementary Opening Hours information will be provided centrally by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Please can every contractor complete the survey (found under the Services tab) ONCE ONLY for each pharmacy premises; multiple pharmacies PLEASE discuss with your line manager prior to completing, many thanks!
The survey will remain open until the 31st March, after which time the data will be provided to Staffordshire County Council Public Health team to begin analysis and summarise for the draft PNA.
After this date, the only other opportunity to add or update the data will be once the draft PNA has been published for consultation, which is likely to be early in the summer.
REMINDER - CPCS IT: last chance to confirm your choice of system

The national procurement of IT support for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), will cease at the end of March 2022.

It is therefore vital that community pharmacy contractors that want to continue providing CPCS, confirm their choice of CPCS IT system AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Failure to do so could impact referrals and service continuity.

Note, those contractors who choose to stay with their current IT provider still need to confirm this.

The verified CPCS IT system suppliers are:

Supplier Validation status*
Cegedim Anticipated to be validated prior to April 1st 2022
PharmOutcomes Validated
Positive Solutions Anticipated to be validated on or after April 1st 2022
Sonar Informatics Validated

*Some suppliers have a solution which is already validated and available whilst others are working towards readiness or planning to get ready on or after 1st April 2022. Some suppliers’ solutions will only work as part of a Patient Medication Record (PMR) system.

The NHSE&I CPCS IT Provider ‘Switching/confirming guide’ explains the options are:

  1. Switch to another CPCS IT provider (you must inform them well in advance so they can confirm the switch has been successful); or
  2. Stay with existing CPCS IT provider (you must notify them so they can confirm a new service agreement with you) - for South Staffs contractors, this is PharmOutcomes - simply click the orange button "sign up now" on the bottom right-hand side of thier sign-in screen (see the image below)
Finally, PSNC have page dedicated to CPCS IT choice, guidance and support at:
LAST CHANCE  to undertake "catch-up" New Medicine Service provisions - ENDS 31ST MARCH 2022
The temporary introduction of catch-up NMS allows contractors to offer patients who were prescribed a new, eligible medicine (including from the expanded conditions) during the COVID-19 pandemic, but who did not receive the NMS at that time, additional support.
The catch-up service may be offered to eligible patients between 1st September 2021 and 31st March 2022.
Eligible patients must have:
  • Had a medication which falls into the eligible therapeutic categories newly prescribed between 1st April 2020 and 31st August 2021; and
  • Not previously received an NMS in respect of that prescribed medicine when it was originally prescribed.
The extract from the NMS Service Specification below describes how the NMS can take place - cruicially, the contractor does NOT have to have dispensed the first prescription for the new medicine (paragraph 24), and the usual stages of the service may occur outside of the usual specified timeframes (paragraph 24) - and a follow-up appointment is not always necessary (referenced in PSNC guidance). 

Catch-up NMS

21. To support patients who were prescribed a new medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, but who did not receive the NMS at that time, contractors can offer patients meeting the followingcriteria a catch-up NMS:
a. Had a medication which falls into the eligible therapeutic categories listed in paragraph 3, newly prescribed between 1st April 2020 and 31st August 2021; and
b. The patient had not previously received an NMS in respect of that prescribed medicine when it was originally prescribed.
22.A catch-up NMS may be offered to eligible patients between 1st September 2021 and 31st March 2022.
23.A catch-up NMS will ordinarily follow the standard NMS path as described above, however, it is recognised that patients are likely to have started using the new medicine(s) and may have been established on the regimen for several months, so the timings of the different stages may
be varied from the standard approach.
24. It is expected that in most cases the contactor will have dispensed the first prescription for the eligible medicine(s) at the point it was initially prescribed. However, it is recognised that the patient may have changed their community pharmacy since the medication was initially dispensed. Therefore, to provide a catch-up NMS the contractor does not have to have dispensed the first prescription, but the contractor should confirm with the patient that they have not previously received an NMS in respect of that medication. 
Staffordshire Sexual Health Services
The current contract for provision of EHC ends at the end of March - and the new lead provider (Central Health Solutions Ltd) - have emailed all existing providers to gain expressions of interest to continue to provide EHC after 1st April, and to sign up for the new chlamydia/gonorrhea test kit distribution and chlamydia treatment services.
We understand from a few contractors that these emails may have ended up in spam folders, so if you are a current provider of EHC and have not seen an email from Central Health PLEASE check your spam folder first - if you are still unable to find any communications, please email
All the relevant paperwork (SLAs and PGDs) have been shared, and a couple of these need some clarification or amendment; these will be posted on our website when the final versions are available.
Flu Letter 2022-23 Published - Removal of 50-64 age group from free NHS vaccinations

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) recently published their flu vaccination reimbursement letter for the 2022/23 season.

Reimbursed vaccines and eligible cohorts

The letter provides information on the flu vaccines which will be reimbursable under the 2022/23 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service (Flu Vaccination Service), for the two cohorts (65 years and over and at-risk adults aged 18-64).

While the reimbursable vaccines for the coming season remain unchanged, there are changes to the first line vaccination recommendations.

The letter also highlights that in 2022/23, the NHS flu vaccination programme will only be offered to patient groups eligible in line with pre-pandemic recommendations.

The cohorts relevant to the community pharmacy service that were eligible in the 2021/22 season but that are not included in the cohorts for 2022/23 are those aged 50 to 64 years and primary care staff.

Flu vaccine ordering and planning

The letter advises:

  • Due to manufacturing processes and commissioning arrangements, some vaccines may only be available in limited quantities. Therefore, it is recommended that orders are placed with more than one manufacturer to ensure providers receive sufficient stock.
  • It is not anticipated that any stock will be centrally procured by the Department of Health and Social Care for the 2022/23 season. Community pharmacy contractors are therefore strongly urged to order sufficient volumes of vaccine to serve their eligible populations in order to provide coverage at least equal to and ideally exceeding 2021/22 uptake levels.

It is important that all contractors that provide the Flu Vaccination Service review the contents of the letter and use the information contained within to inform their ordering of flu vaccine for the season ahead.

PSNC has been advised that the manufacturers of vaccines are remaining flexible to meet the needs of the national flu vaccination programme, so where contractors have ordered their vaccines directly with manufacturers and wish to amend their order following the publication of the reimbursement letter, they are advised to contact the manufacturer to discuss this.

Read the NHSE&I letter on flu vaccines for the 2022/23 season

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on the plans for Living with Covid last month, your LPC is concerned that there may be conflicting messages within the plan - for example, members of the public who test positive for Covid are no longer required to self-isolate, however are encouraged to do so; healthcare staff who have tested positive however should not attend work until they have had two negative LFD test results taken 24 hours apart. The first test should not be taken before day 5 after their initial positive test. These tests need to be 24 hours apart, and providing they are medically fit, they can return to work on the morning of day 6 providing they tested negative 24 hours earlier.
As a minimum, contractors should be alert to the ongoing changes, and particularly ensure staff are aware of the above requirement on isolation followinga positive test. We would also encourage contractors to revisit their workplace Covid risk assessment in the light of the changes outlined.
Further information on COVID-19 testing for pharmacy staff and self-isolation guidance can be found on the PSNC website at:
Copyright © 2022 South Staffordshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee, All rights reserved.

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