New NHS Pharmacy Regulations laid
New NHS regulations have been laid today to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for community pharmacy contractors.
Some changes relate to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but others were previously agreed as part of the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and were originally planned to be introduced in July 2020.
The pandemic-related additions to the Terms of Service are:
- The introduction of a Pandemic Treatment Protocol, which can be used to allow for the supply of medicines for the prevention or treatment of diseases for a current or anticipated pandemic, such as coronavirus;
- The flexible provision of flu and coronavirus vaccination or immunisation services during a pandemic;
- Contractors must facilitate remote access to their services to a reasonable extent; and
- Owing slips may be in an electronic form as well as a hard copy form.
Other key new regulations, agreed as part of the five-year CPCF, include:
- The introduction of the Discharge Medicines Service, as a new Essential service from 1st January 2021; and
- The requirement for all pharmacies to meet the Healthy Living Pharmacy Level 1 requirements (with compliance with some of these requirements being delayed until 1st April 2021).