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5 minutes to save a life

On Tuesday 16th October is  Restart-a-Heart day. Only 1 in 10 survive a cardiac arrest

Nitin Makadia

But let’s not just leave it to young people. We all have a responsibility to learn the basics of CPR and understand how easy it is to use a public-access defibrillator…then refresh our knowledge each year. It really takes very little time and one day you may just save a life.

So, if you were ever in a situation where someone was having a cardiac arrest, would you know what to do?…Because every minute of hesitation significantly reduces that person’s chances of survival.

The 3 critical things to do…

1. Call 999

2. Begin CPR

3. Use a defibrillator if one is available

And just because somebody else has started to take action, don’t assume they won’t need your help. They may need you to call 999 whilst they start CPR, they may need you to locate a public access defibrillator, or they may need you to take over giving CPR if they become exhausted. So…make sure you know what you can do to help.


Even if you’ve not had any formal training, hands-only CPR…without rescue breaths (‘mouth-to-mouth’)…is all that’s needed. A quick guide to how this is done is demonstrated by Vinny Jones in British Hearth Foundation’s video, Vinnie Jones’ hard and fast Hands-only CPR

Alternatively, or even in addition to this, why not download the smartphone teaching App, available on both Android or iPhone?

Public Access Defibrillator

You’ve probably seen these in public areas such as shopping centres. They are there to be used by members of the public in an emergency and require no training.

Whilst defibrillators may look a little different, they all work pretty much in a similar semi-automatic way. Usually there will be a built-in voice giving step-by-step instructions. And they are also clever enough to detect any heart rhythm and will only switch on if there is a genuine need, so there is no risk of using it on someone who’s heart function has already re-started.

Whilst they are automatic and easy to use, it’s probably a good idea to see how they work so you’re not daunted if you were to need to use one.

The British Hearth Foundation have a very good video here

So act today. Less than 5 minutes to watch the 2 videos is all it can take to save someone’s life


Pharmacy Funding Series

1st in our series of 4

Single Activity Fee

Whilst the headline message is clear…Pharmacy funding has been significantly cut…what this means is a little less clear because the funding model has changed

So what’s changed?

Until now, contractors were paid a combination of fixed payments plus dispensing fees. Those fixed payments provided the security of a certain amount of minimum income.

This is no longer the case. Those fixed payments have been rolled into the dispensing fee which is now called the Single Activity Fee, and means this part of the funding is entirely volume driven. So, if previously you were a lower dispensing volume pharmacy and relied on those fixed payments as a significant proportion of your income then, unless you qualify for the Pharmacy Access Sceme, you will see a significant reduction in income.

So, as a high dispensing volume pharmacy I must be a winner in the new contract?

Unfortunately, no. The entire funding pot for Community Pharmacy has been cut and this new model of payment simply means that, whilst everyone is affected, lower dispensing volume pharmacies will be disproportionately hit. Also, as the the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) is also funded from the reduced funding pot, it means all pharmacy contractors who are not eligible for PhAS are effectively funding it for those who are.

Useful Links


Please note: The deadline for review was end of February 2017 and is now closed

Pharmacy Funding Series

2nd in our series of 4

Funded from the reduced CPCF sum, PhAS has been designed to protect access to community pharmacy, not to protect pharmacies. The Department of Health has set criteria based on existing dispensing volume and distance to the nearest alternative pharmacy to decide who is eligible.

  • High dispensing volume pharmacies in the top 25% are not eligible
  • Any pharmacy that is less than 1 mile* from the nearest alternative pharmacy is not eligible
    • *In the 20% most deprived areas, this qualifying distance is reduced to 0.8 miles

So, if you are a low dispensing volume pharmacy that is no longer commercially viable, but have another pharmacy within the quaifying distance, you will not receive PhAS

I think I qualify, how do I apply?

If you qualify you should automatically receive the payment, there is no application process. We say ‘should’ because there is no guarantee everyone has been correctly identified. Every pharmacy that has been identified is listed by the Department Of Health here, but the list is under review and changes being made.

In order to determine eligibility you should take into account any barriers to the qualifying distance. Are there any road closures? Is there a steep incline? Have the distance measurements just been taken incorrectly? PSNC have a useful flowchart available here.

This topic is covered very well by PSNC and if you have not yet done so, you should view their webinar on PhAS, available here

Great, I will be getting PhAS so I can relax as I won’t be hit by any cuts

Unfortunately that’s not the whole picture.

Firstly, even pharmacies in receipt of PhAS are expected to make efficiency savings, although these are limited to 1% in 2016/17 and 3% in 2017/18. So there will be a slight cut in income here.

Secondly, PhAS is really only a top-up and assumes you fulfill 100% of the criteria to be eligible for Quality Payments. You will still receive PhAS but on its own it won’t be enough to match your previous income.

Useful links


Pharmacy Funding Series

3rd in our series of 4

These are a set of payments made to Pharmacy Contractors for meeting a number of specified quality criteria. It is funded from the reduced CPCF package so it isn’t new money. Failing to meet these qualifying criteria will therefore result in an even bigger loss of funding for the pharmacy.

What is the payment worth?

£75m has been allocated from the CPCF for Quality Payments. This equates to around £6,400 per pharmacy contract.

  • Each pharmacy contract can earn 100 qualifying points, so this equates to £64 per point
  • Any funding that is left through under-achievement of qualifying points will be re-distributed to those that do, so each point could actually be worth more than £64, upto a maximum set at £128 per point

What are the criteria?

There are 12 criteria that need to be met.

The first four of these are Gateway Criteria. They don’t attract any payment but are a set of pre-requisites. You have to meet these minimum requirements to get access to the Quality Payments

The next eight are the actual Quality Payments criteria which attract the funding. These are covered very well by PSNC on their website here

Although Quality Payments are only available for 2017/18 contract funding you need to have met those criteria by the qualifying date. For many of these it will be as early as 28th April 2017…and there’s plenty that needs doing before then. PSNC has produced a very useful checklist.

Help!…What do we need to do?…Can Evolve Health Solutions Help?

Your first port of call will be your LPC or your company Head Office. There is alot that needs to be put into place and they will almost certainly be planning for this.

Evolve Health Solutions can support your organisation or your LPC, and we are already in talks to provide such support.

If you need help on any aspect of the new contract, we’re here to help. Contact us via email: or call us on 07920143822.

Useful Links


Community Pharmacy Funding Changes

The Govenment has imposed a funding package for community pharmacy which was introduced on 1st December 2016. At the busiest time of the year there is a lot to take in, so here we break things down for you

Here’s what you need to know

Basic funding for core provision

Total funding has been cut for 2016/17 & 2017/18

Lower Rx volume pharmacies face a heavier burden of cuts


Pharmacy Access Scheme 

Funded from the total CPCF package protects access to pharmacy, not protection of pharmacies no longer commercially viable


Quality Payments


Funded from the total CPCF package

Contractors who fail to meet 100% of these criteria effetively face further cuts


NHS Urgent Medicine Supply

NUMSAS is an Advanced Service pilot

Phased roll-out across the UK

You must have an SOP


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