Guide published to help pharmacists negotiate urgent care

A quick guide to extending the role of community pharmacy in urgent care has been published by NHS England.

The online reference aims to show pharmacists how they can quickly and easily support urgent care systems in the run up to winter and beyond and signpost patients to pharmacy services.

Jonathan Benger, national clinical director for urgent care at NHS England, said: “Sometimes simple changes can have the biggest impact.

“I would really recommend that all pharmacy providers and commissioners read and act on these quick guides before winter. They are full of helpful information and real life examples of how people across the country are improving urgent care.”

Sheffield patients encouraged to think pharmacy

Sheffield pharmacists are encouraging people to think pharmacy first when treating their winter ailments as part of NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign.

Patients are being advised that local pharmacists are fully qualified to offer expert advice and treatment for many common illnesses, such as aches and pains, colds and flu, itchy skin conditions and simple eye infections.

NHS Sheffield CCG’s head of medicines management,

Peter Magirr, said: “Your local community pharmacist is a trained healthcare professional who can provide expert advice on the best treatment for a wide range of common illnesses and minor ailments.”

Junior doctors call off strike

The eleventh-hour cancellation of the junior doctors’ strike has been welcomed by the Patients Association.

Chief executive Katherine Murphy, said: “The Patients Association welcomed the announcement that industrial action by junior doctors has been called off.

“However, this decision came too late for many patients, who had already seen operations and appointments cancelled. Patients have been caught in the middle of this dispute and deserve better.”

They called on the government and the BMA to work together to find a lasting solution that will safeguard patient care.

Concerns raised about increasing cost pressures on council

Fresh concerns over the funding and provision of public services have been raised by the Committee of Public Accounts in a new report.

Care Act first-phase reforms and local government new burdens follows the Committee’s inquiry into the implementation of the first phase of the Care Act, which places additional cost burdens on local councils.

The Committee believes “carers and the people they care for may not get the services they need because of continuing reductions to local authority budgets and demand for care being so uncertain”.

They are also concerned the New Burdens Doctrine - the Government’s commitment to assess and fund extra costs for local authorities from introducing new powers, duties and other government-initiated changes – does not guarantee funding for significant new costs.