Pharmacists are ideally positioned provide to health advice and care to patients during the winter months. Read The Pharmaceutical Journal's special report on managing coughs, colds and flu in the community pharmacy.
Patients in Scotland are being urged to check their repeat prescriptions as part of a campaign targeting people with minor ailments and illnesses.
The adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccination Fluad will not be offered to people in Scotland aged 65–75 years, after problems with procurement of the drug by NHS Scotland.
Pharmacists have been provided with ‘responsive lines’ to use if doctors or local medical committees question the community pharmacy flu vaccination service.
The Flu Vaccination Service payment will be increasing to £9.48 in 2018/2019 following discussions between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and NHS England.
Spot checks confirming that community pharmacists have carried out medicine use reviews have been extended to a second advanced service, with another likely to follow later this year, it has emerged.
News in brief
All front line staff are expected to be vaccinated against flu in 2018, and those who are not should be asked why or even be redeployed to other areas, NHS leaders have said.
Over-the-counter cough medicines and honey, not antibiotics, should be the first-line treatment for coughs, according to draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Public Health England.
Community pharmacy teams administered at least 240,000 more flu vaccinations during this winter than last.
Making seasonal flu vaccinations mandatory for healthcare workers would be difficult, the national medical director at NHS England has told MPs.
Point-of-care C-reactive protein testing in community pharmacy to deliver appropriate interventions in respiratory tract infectionsSubscription
This pilot study sought to evaluate the potential use of point-of-care (POC) C-reactive protein (CRP) testing for respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in a rural community pharmacy in North Staffordshire, UK, in conjunction with local GP practices. The study found that the use of POC CRP testing in community pharmacies has the potential to reduce the number of GP appointments caused by RTIs and, therefore, may help reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing.
Despite the success pharmacy had in 2017 with offering influenza vaccination to people across the UK, winter 2018 is shaping up to be a difficult season, with different vaccines for different groups, staggered deliveries until December and guidance that makes patient prioritisation a problem.