News

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 9 November 2021

Media Coverage

BREAKING: Government announces £15.9m funding to train pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
Pharmacy Business, Shilpa Sharma, 08 November 2021

Pharmacy Business reports that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are set to receive up to £15.9 million over the next four years to support their work in multidisciplinary healthcare teams and enable the expansion of frontline staff in primacy and community care.

The funding is part of the Pharmacy Integration Programme allocation, which seeks to provide education reform for pharmacy professionals and allow them to identify career pathways.

Health Education England and NHS England will work in partnership to develop “a formal portfolio recognition process to identify the existing skills, training and experience gained by pharmacists working in primary care, allowing them to work more flexibly and better support GP services”. The two bodies will develop training in independent prescribing for pharmacists working in community pharmacy and others in general practice.

Alan Ryan, Director of National Transformational Programmes at HEE said these changes “will make a big difference to the pharmacy workforce and career development in primary care.” He continued: “New funded programmes will foster a range of skills and experiences to help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians thrive in multidisciplinary healthcare teams.”

This was also reported in the Pharmaceutical JournalP3 Pharmacy, and the Chemist + Druggist.

Energize initiative to boost renewable energy access for pharma suppliers
European Pharmaceutical Review, Anna Begley, 8 November 2021

The European Pharmaceutical Review reports that a new programme, Energize, has been launched to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the pharmaceutical value chain.

The Energize programme is a collaboration between Schneider Electric and 10 global pharmaceutical companies to engage suppliers in climate action and decarbonisation of the pharmaceutical value chain. It aims to help pharmaceutical and healthcare suppliers to address their own operational Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions through green power procurement, which in turn will reduce the participating companies’ Scope 3 emissions.

The programme will initially focus on suppliers with energy load in Europe and North America, with the intention to expand globally where interest and renewable energy market opportunity align. Corporate programme members include AstraZeneca, Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson, MSD, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi and Takeda.

Patients forced to travel 20 miles for booster amid record surge in Covid vaccine bookings
The Telegraph, Lizzie Roberts and Laura Donnelly, 08 November 2021

The Telegraph reports that record number of people have booked booster jabs since the weekend after 10 million more were able to come forward. The booking rules were changed to allow up to 10 million people aged 50 and over to secure an appointment up to a month in advance. However, problems with the system meant some have been forced to travel 20 miles for the vaccine.

More than one million people booked in since the system opened, including more than 350,000 appointments made on Monday morning, about nine times as many as the same morning the previous week.

Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said on Monday that the Government was “making it easier and more convenient” for people to book their vaccine. He continued “We know immunity will fade over time, especially among older and more vulnerable groups, so I urge everyone who is eligible to get online now”.

However, some people have been directed to vaccination centres over 20 miles from their homes or turned away due to too-early bookings. The NHS have now issued guidance to local sites advising them not to turn away anyone who is within a few days of being eligible.

 

Parliamentary Coverage

Press Release: UK health services make landmark pledge to achieve net zero

Sajid Javid has announced that all four UK health services have united to commit to net zero carbon emissions and build climate resilience through COP26’s Health programme. 47 countries globally have agreed similar ambitions as part of COP26 Science and Innovation Day.

Countries joining the UK COP26 Presidency’s Health Programme, will ensure their health systems are resilient and able to withstand environmental shifts to continue to deliver care for patients. The UK’s four health services have started work on being greener, to be ahead of the UK Government’s commitment of the entire country being net zero by 2050.

The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “I am delighted that all 4 UK health services are pledging to become net zero and it is brilliant news that dozens of countries have joined the UK in committing to reduce carbon emissions from their health systems – significantly cutting greenhouse gas output around the world.”

The commitments are made as part of the UK’s COP26 Presidency alongside healthcare systems across the world and in partnership with the World Health Organisation, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Healthcare Without Harm and others.


Full Coverage

BREAKING: Government announces £15.9m funding to train pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
Pharmacy Business, Shilpa Sharma, 08 November 2021

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are set to receive up to £15.9 million over the next four years which will help them thrive in multidisciplinary healthcare teams and enable expansion of frontline staff in primary and community care.

The funding, which is part of the Pharmacy Integration Programme allocation, will improve registered pharmacy professionals’ skills, through a range of training and development opportunities.

The programme is a part of education reform for pharmacy professionals and will allow them to identify career pathways.

Health Education England and NHS England will work in partnership to develop “a formal portfolio recognition process to identify the existing skills, training and experience gained by pharmacists working in primary care, allowing them to work more flexibly and better support GP services”, HEE said in a statement today (November 8).

The two bodies will develop training in independent prescribing for pharmacists working in community pharmacy and others in general practice.

They will also develop course accreditation processes and expand “clinical examination skills training for community pharmacists.”

Another work area includes increasing access to educational, prescribing, and clinical supervisors for pharmacy professionals working across primary care and community sectors.

Alan Ryan, director of National Transformational Programmes at HEE said these changes “will make a big difference to the pharmacy workforce and career development in primary care.

“New funded programmes will foster a range of skills and experiences to help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians thrive in multidisciplinary healthcare teams.”

Richard Cattell, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer at NHSE/I said these changes will allow pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to be “further integrated into wider healthcare delivery as part of multi-professional clinical teams in PCNs.”

Welcoming the announcement, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) chair in England Thorrun Govind said: “Access to training for independent prescribing is vital if pharmacists in England are to work routinely as part of multi-disciplinary teams across primary care to extend the provision of clinical services, especially in community pharmacy.

“To make this happen, services need to be put in place as soon as possible so that existing and future prescribers can use their qualifications to benefit patients.”

She added that “opportunities for pharmacist independent prescribers to improve patient care must always be considered”, particularly when new services are commissioned.

Pharmacy teams must be supported “with the right skill mix and sufficient staff to be able to adapt to their workload and deliver the care their local population requires.”

RPS has been commissioned by HEE to develop a primary care credential which will recognise pharmacists working at an advanced practice level.

“We have already seen a growth in primary care consultant pharmacist posts and these initiatives will provide a pathway for pharmacists to develop into senior roles as well as equipping them with the clinical knowledge and skills needed to provide day to day clinical care.”

This was also reported in the Pharmaceutical JournalP3 Pharmacy, and the Chemist + Druggist.

Energize initiative to boost renewable energy access for pharma suppliers
European Pharmaceutical Review, Anna Begley, 8 November 2021

A new programme called Energize has been launched to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the pharmaceutical value chain. ​

The Energize programme is a collaboration between Schneider Electric and 10 global pharmaceutical companies to engage hundreds of suppliers in climate action and decarbonisation of the pharmaceutical value chain. The programme is a first-of-its-kind effort to leverage the scale of a single industry’s global supply chain in a pre-competitive fashion to drive system level change.

Creating medicines and services requires a lot of energy, much of it being used by the value chain. According to Schneider Electric, the programme will help pharmaceutical and healthcare suppliers to address their own operational Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions through green power procurement, which in turn will reduce the participating companies’ Scope 3 emissions.

The programme will enable pharmaceutical suppliers to learn more about renewable energy adoption and contracting. Schneider Electric explained that, in practice, this will mean giving suppliers the opportunity to participate in the market for power purchase agreements (PPAs). The programme will initially focus on suppliers with energy load in Europe and North America, with the intention to expand globally where interest and renewable energy market opportunity align. Convened by Carnstone, the Energize programme will be designed and delivered by Schneider Electric.

“Limiting global warming to safe levels will depend on moving the entire world to renewable energy. This is not something that companies can achieve on their own. We are strong believers in the power of collaboration, and are honoured to be bringing the pharmaceutical industry together to drive the adoption of renewable energy in its supply chains,” commented Glynn Roberts, Senior Partner at Carnstone.

“We believe Energize will be a really effective collaboration of pharmaceutical companies looking to take bold climate action. Every business should be moving aggressively towards using 100 percent renewable electricity, and supporting their supply chains to do the same,” added Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, Climate Group.

Corporate programme members include: AstraZeneca, Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson, MSD, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi and Takeda.

Patients forced to travel 20 miles for booster amid record surge in Covid vaccine bookings
The Telegraph, Lizzie Roberts and Laura Donnelly, 08 November 2021

Record numbers of people have booked booster jabs since the weekend after 10 million more were able to come forward, but problems with the system meant some have been forced to travel 20 miles for the vaccine.

Others were turned away from vaccine clinics after being told they had booked a day too early, despite the NHS booking system allowing them to make the appointment.

More than one million people booked in as the system opened to millions more people last weekend, new figures showed.

The rise includes more than 350,000 appointments made on Monday morning, about nine times as many as the same morning the previous week.

In total, more than one million booster jabs have been booked in the past three days. The figure compares with one million bookings made in two days when the programme reached those aged 18 to 20 in late June.

The uptake in recent days came as booking rules were changed, allowing up to 10 million people aged 50 and over to secure an appointment up to a month in advance.

Until the change, about 14 million people in England were able to book their third jab, once six months had elapsed since their second dose.

However, changes in the NHS rules meant that 10 million more were able to come forward for bookings now. The vaccines will still be given only six months (182 days) after the second dose.

Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, said on Monday that the Government was “making it easier and more convenient” for people to book their vaccine.

“We know immunity will fade over time, especially among older and more vulnerable groups, so I urge everyone who is eligible to get online now,” he said.

However, patients reported the site offering appointments miles away from home.

Ryan Ogilvie wrote on Twitter: “I am obviously keen to get my vaccine booster, but I can’t. The closest to me is 20 miles away and only accessible by car.”

Nigel Knight wrote that the nearest centre available to Brighton and Hove was 13 miles away.

“None in Brighton or Hove when I put in my postcode,” Becky Reynolds also said. Jennifer Baker, in Hereford, said despite being six miles away from a vaccine centre: “I have been directed to somewhere 35.6 miles away.”

Other people were able to book a slot, only to be turned away at the centre as they were just one day too early for the 182-day mark.

Wendy Poppleton, 62, from North Nottinghamshire, booked her booster jab for Monday morning. However, the vaccinator explained he was not allowed to give her the dose yet and turned her away.

Ms Poppleton, who has asthma, type 2 diabetes and depression, told The Telegraph: “The Government are out there saying ‘go and get your booster jabs’, and I thought I had done everything that I was supposed to do by booking through the right channels, and even getting a booking reference, and then [I get] there and they refuse to do it.”

Howell Harris, 70, from Durham, had his second dose on May 9 and booked his booster for Saturday, one day earlier than his six-month mark.

“On Saturday morning, there were several people turned away in the short time I was queuing,” he said.

Mr Harris said he was concerned “this glitch, if it is a glitch” could be resulting in wasted vaccines “if the vax centres are left with unused supply”.

A carer in North London, who did not want to be named, was also turned away from a pharmacy on Monday after the vaccinator said she was only 181 days after her second jab.

“I saw it happening to the woman ahead of me in the queue and the [vaccinator] said it had been happening all day.”

Sites told not to turn people away

An NHS spokesman said: “In the very small number of cases where people have been able to book their booster a day earlier than the recommended 182 days, the NHS has guidance to local sites advising them not to turn away anyone who is within a few days of being eligible.”

Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and deputy lead for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “It is fantastic to see such strong uptake for the booster vaccine, with over a million people rushing to book their extra dose over the weekend and making sure they have as much protection as possible ahead of winter.

“In just seven weeks, more than 8.5 million people have received their top-up jab, including almost three quarters of over-75s. And with eligible people now able to book their booster vaccine online five months after their second jab, it is easier than ever to get protected.

“I’ve had my booster. It was quick and easy, and I urge anyone else who is eligible to take up the offer as soon as possible, as the vaccine remains the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from coronavirus.”

Press release: UK health services make landmark pledge to achieve net zero

  • All UK health services commit to become net zero and build climate resilience through COP26 Health Programme
  • Opportunity seized to cut global carbon footprint as health systems account for 5% of global emissions
  • 47 countries globally agree similar ambitions as part of COP26 Science and Innovation Day

All 4 UK health services have united to commit to net zero carbon emissions, Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid has announced today.

This ambitious move by all nations is happening alongside 47 countries – including the United States and Germany – who are pledging landmark commitments to develop climate resilient, sustainable low-carbon health systems.

Currently, health systems are substantial sources of greenhouse gas emissions – accounting for around 4.6% of the worldwide total – meaning if they were one country, health systems would be the fifth largest emitter.

The impacts of climate change represent the biggest public health challenge of this century, which could be felt around the world through greater water and food insecurity, extreme weather events and increased infectious diseases. These elements all threaten the capacity of health systems to prevent, adapt and respond to increased and new health risks.

For countries joining the UK COP26 Presidency’s Health Programme, they will ensure their health systems are resilient and able to withstand such environmental shifts to continue to deliver care for patients.

Each of the 4 health systems across the UK have already started work on being greener, with more ambitious plans already underway to be well ahead of the UK government’s commitment of the entire country being net zero by 2050.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

As a health community, we cannot simply sit on the sidelines – we must respond to climate change through urgent action, with global collaboration at its core.

I am delighted that all 4 UK health services are pledging to become net zero and it is brilliant news that dozens of countries have joined the UK in committing to reduce carbon emissions from their health systems – significantly cutting greenhouse gas output around the world.

The UK government is investing over £280 million in decarbonising the NHS estate in England through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, with a further £1.425 billion in funding confirmed for the whole public sector across this Spending Review period.

The commitments are made as part of the UK’s COP26 Presidency alongside healthcare systems across the world and in partnership with the World Health Organisation, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Healthcare Without Harm and others.

The Health Programme is a series of initiatives focusing on health sector leadership on climate change, including a focus on building climate resilient and sustainable health systems, as well as raising the voices of healthcare professionals who are advocating for stronger, more ambitious climate action.

Background
England
For the NHS in England, this will mean:

  • working with stakeholders to establish how best to embed issues like net zero, biodiversity and climate resilience in the NHS Constitution for England, with a formal review in 2022 – this follows being the first health service in the world to commit to being net zero by 2045
  • a zero-emission fleet, with the world’s first zero-emission ambulance capable of travelling 300 miles before being charged unveiled at COP26
  • all NHS suppliers will need to publish a carbon reduction plan
  • over £330 million investment in climate-smart healthcare and low-carbon hospitals, improving energy efficiency, cutting carbon emissions and tackling climate change
  • a new net zero healthcare building standard will be published and be applied to the existing commitment to build 48 new hospitals before 2030
  • ensuring health resilience is at the heart of the low-carbon transition, publishing the third UK Healthcare Adaptation Report and with the UK Health Security Agency publishing its Single Adverse Weather Plan

Scotland
For the NHS in Scotland, this will mean:

  • becoming a net zero carbon emissions health service by 2045, with the ambition to bring this forward to 2040 after consultation on its draft NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy
  • all NHS Scotland owned buildings to use renewable heat by 2038
  • working towards zero emissions of medical nitrous oxide by 2027
  • all NHS Scotland small and medium vehicles to be net zero by 2025
  • reviewing NHS Scotland supply chains and taking action to reduce their negative impacts while promoting positive effects
  • developing a Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy setting out action to achieve sustainability targets
  • preparing net zero route maps for all 22 Scottish health boards by the end of 2022 and align these with climate risk assessments and adaptation plans
  • all new buildings and major refurbishments to be carbon neutral

At his speech to NHS Scotland’s Sustainability Conference on 10 November, Scotland’s Health and Social Care Secretary, Humza Yousaf is expected to say:

The climate emergency is not just an environmental crisis – it is also a public health crisis.

I am determined to help the NHS cut emissions and create an environmentally and socially sustainable health service. Working together, we can realise the benefits for people’s health that a healthy natural and social environment can provide.

Wales
For the NHS in Wales, this will mean:

  • NHS Wales and social care is committed to the ambition for the public sector in Wales to be collectively net zero by 2030
  • by 2025, all lighting across the NHS Wales estate will be LED
  • reducing emissions will be part of all new procurement contracts for major suppliers to NHS Wales
  • by 2030, the Welsh Ambulance Service will aim for all new ambulances to be plug-in electric or low-carbon fuel
  • low carbon heating will be used in all NHS Wales new builds and renewable energy will be generated on site by 2030
  • delivery of the NHS Wales Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said:

Heath and social care in Wales has a crucial role in contributing to our collective ambition to reach net zero by 2030. We know how tirelessly our NHS and care staff have worked throughout the pandemic and that further winter pressures lie ahead. However, the climate emergency has not and will not go away and must be responded to with the same urgency that the pandemic has required of our sector.

This challenge has already been embraced across the NHS and in social care in Wales and I have been impressed by the dedication shown by healthcare professions who are driving this agenda forward and developing their own initiatives to help their healthcare settings run more sustainably.

Northern Ireland
For health and social care in Northern Ireland, this will mean:

  • developing a sustainable and low carbon health system to help meet NI emission targets
  • producing an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and subsequent action plan for the health and social care system, consistent with the Northern Ireland Executive’s Green Growth strategy
  • influencing supply chains to reduce their carbon emissions in supplying health and social care
  • a continual programme of assessing the health system’s vulnerability to climate change and identifying adaptations required for resilience

Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, said:

It is important that all nations, including Northern Ireland, contribute to collective efforts to tackle climate change. I believe that transitioning to more sustainable and resilient healthcare systems will deliver improved health for all our citizens now and for future generations to come.

HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 9 November 2021

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