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PLEA members on GPhC accreditation panels

Posted: Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

The GPhC has recently recruited new members to their accreditation panels and we are delighted to see two PLEA members, Sandra Hall and Karen Pitchford, amongst their number. Two other PLEA members, Angela Alexander and Gillian Hawksworth, are already on these accreditation panels. An appreciation of administrative law and judicial process is needed for these important roles and membership of PLEA could provide a forum for questions and debate. 

Mostly for PLEA academic members

Posted: Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

PLEA has been invited to hold a study day on the pharmacy student code of conduct and fitness to practise procedures that must now operate in all Schools of Pharmacy. The date will be Wednesday 3rd July 2013 at the University of Nottingham. Further details will follow but for now put the date in your diary, tell your colleagues and invite them to join PLEA!

Pharmacy law/ethics PhD studentship now available

Posted: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

PLEA members may wish to know:

MPhil/PhD Studentship in Pharmacy Law/Ethics (for February 2013 entry)

Department of Pharmacy
University of Hertfordshire
Applications are invited from candidates with a good first degree in law, philosophy & ethics, pharmacy, social sciences or other relevant disciplines to join a research project investigating moral distress in pharmacists.
The successful candidate will be eligible for a research studentship award from the university (approx. £13,590 per annum tax-free bursary, plus the payment of the standard UK student fees). Applicants from outside the UK/EU are ineligible for the studentship.
Research in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Hertfordshire has been recognized as excellent by the latest Research Assessment Exercise, with 35% of the research submitted being rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The department provides a very stimulating environment, offering a large number of specialised and interdisciplinary seminars as well as general training opportunities. The University of Hertfordshire is located in Hatfield, just north of London.
Further information and an application form can be obtained from Dr Cathal Gallagher, Principal Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, Tel: 01707 285075, email:

Interviews are expected to be held during January 2013, with the successful candidate beginning as soon as possible thereafter.

NHS Outcomes Framework 2013 - 2014

Posted: Thursday, November 15th, 2012

On 13 November 2012, the Department of Health published its NHS Outcomes Framework 2013- 2014. This details the outcomes and their corresponding indicators which will reflect improvements made during that period. The Department of Health aims to improve health and reduce health inequalities by focusing on the framework detailed in the news item below. The framework document states that the main objectives are to (i) provide a national level overview of how well the NHS is performing: (ii) provide an accountability mechanism between the Secretary of State for Health and the NHS Commissioning Board for the effective spend of circa £95 billion of public money and (iii) act as a catalyst for driving up quality throughout the NHS by encouraging a change in culture and behaviour

NHS Mandate

Posted: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

On 13 November 2012, the first Mandate between the Government and the NHS Commissioning Board was published. The Mandate “sets out the objectives for the NHS and highlights the areas of health and care where the Government expects to see improvements”. The NHS Mandate sets out the ambitions for the NHS for the next two years, concentrating on the following five areas: (i) helping people live longer, specifically by reducing the number of people who die from early deaths which could have been prevented by an early diagnosis and early treatment; (ii) managing ongoing physical and mental health conditions such as diabetes, dementia and depression, so that patients can become more independent and enjoy a better quality of life; (iii) helping people recover from episodes of ill health or following injury so that patients may become independent as soon as possible; (iv) making sure people experience better care and not just better treatment; and (v) providing safe care, which includes reducing the risk of avoidable health problems such as infections, blood clots and bed sores.

Please see here for the Department of Health press release.

The Red Tape Challenge

Posted: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The Red Tape Challenge commenced in April 2011 (see post dated March 2012), and since then, a number of regulations have already been revoked. The Healthy Living and Social Care theme of the Red Tape Challenge was launched on 6 November 2012. The public and healthcare professionals alike are invited to comment on over 500 regulations relating to public health, quality of care, mental health, the NHS and professional standards. The aim of this arm of the initiative is to assist the government with deciding which regulations should be removed and which should be improved upon. The window for feedback is open for 5 weeks until 11 December 2012.

For the Department of Health press release, please see here.

Department of Health consultation on national performers list for GPs, dentists and ophthalmic practitioners

Posted: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

On 19 October 2012, the Department of Health opened its Consultation on a national performers list for GPs, dentists and ophthalmic practitioners. The purpose of this consultation is to sound out opinions on the proposal to have a national list of approved general practice doctors, dentists and ophthalmic practitioners to provide NHS primary care services. Through establishing such a list, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health explained that the risk of allowing poor performers to “slip through the gaps between different local lists” will be greatly lowered. The closing date for responses is 14 December 2012.

MHRA review of sanctions and penalties

Posted: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The MHRA is in the process of reviewing the current range of sanctions and penalties for which it is responsible to ensure that these are proportionate and appropriate in the context of delivering public health responsibilities. As part of its review, the MHRA will consider whether civil sanctions would also be appropriate. Of particular interest to pharmacists is the arm of the review where consideration will be given to the balance between medicines legislation and pharmacy premises and professional regulation in the context of the supply of medicines. This will incorporate addressing specific issues such as the prosecution of pharmacists for dispensing errors, and whether such sanctions are appropriate and/or proportionate. The MHRA intend to start consulting with interested parties in the coming months.

For further information, please see the publication on the MHRA website here and on the website of the Department of Health here.   

Online Pharmacy Logo

Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The European Commission published a Consultation Paper dated 17 October 2012 in which, pursuant to Directive 2011/62/EU, it has provided suggestions with respect to a common logo for online pharmacies, which would need to be displayed on every page of the relevant website. The European Commission flags that there is a risk that this logo may be copied, and so may not be a failsafe indicator that the online pharmacy is operating legally. Therefore, in corporation with the European Medicines Agency and Member States, it intends to launch an awareness campaign. Further, Member States are under an obligation to set up a website dedicated to providing a national list of all legally-operating online pharmacies and retailers. The closing date for comments on the proposed logos is 17 January 2012.

For further information, please see the article on the IPKat blog. 

Pricing tariff consultation

Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

The DoH opened its consultation entitled Consultation on ensuring fair and transparent pricing for NHS services (the “Consultation”) on 5 October 2012. It is the intention that the National Tariff, which is provided for in the recent Health and Social Care Act 2012, will: (1) provide information in relation to the prices to be paid for NHS services; (2) ensure that increasingly accurate pricing information is obtained; (3) ensure that more efficient payments are made by tailoring the National Tariff so that it can address adequate clinical complexity; (4) encourage Monitor to ensure that there is a greater integration of services to the benefit of patients; and (5) encourage there to be a broader range of services made available to patients. The intention is that the DoH will be responsible for the 2013/2014 tariff, but that responsibility will pass to Monitor for the publication of its first National Tariff for 2014/2015. The Consultation will close on 21 December 2012.

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These news items are not exhaustive but are selected according to their relevance to pharmacy practice, NHS community pharmacy contracts and the regulation of the pharmacy profession. If you wish to add any items that you think we have missed, contact our news editor.