Bulletin 01.05.2012

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Bulletin 01.05.2012

Nurses and Pharmacist Independent Prescribing of Controlled Drugs
Government agreed changes to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 mean that nurses and pharmacists registered as independent prescribers will be able to prescribe controlled drugs where it is clinically appropriate and within their professional competence. They will also be able to mix a controlled drug with another medicine for patients who need drugs intravenously, as well as supply or administer morphine and diamorphine under Patient Group Directions (PGDs), for urgent treatment of very sick or critically injured groups of patients. Further details on the update to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 relating to nurse and pharmacist independent prescribing of controlled drugs (Misuse of Drugs (Amendment No.2) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2012 (Statutory Instrument 2012/973)), which came into force on 23 April 2012 are available on the DH website

Smoking Indicators in QOF Business Rules
There is an error in the current business rules (v22) regarding the QOF indicators Smoking6 and Smoking8. The business rules currently state that there has to be a referral date AND a delivery of pharmacological agent date for a patient to belong to the numerator (i.e. a code is needed both from the REFERSSA codeset AND a code from the PHARM dataset). NICE have confirmed that the intention of the indicator is to get practices to offer support and treatment (with the emphasis on ‘offer’ not the patient ‘accepting’ ) and have agreed to merge the two code clusters for PHARM_COD and REFERSSSA_COD, which means only one code will be required to cover both ‘referral and treatment’. This will be changed in the April READ code release.

RCN Guidance
Following the changes the RCN made to their members’ indemnity scheme, GPC has produced this guidance for practices to ensure all staff are suitably covered for the roles that they perform.

Direct Access to Diagnostic Tools for Cancer
The Department for Health has published Direct Access to Diagnostic Tools for Cancer: Best Practice Referral Pathways for GPs guidance here.

Changes to Practice Boundaries
Permanent changes to practice boundary arrangements and the relaxing of the closed list regulations come into place at the end of April. We are awaiting the new Regulations but, in the mean time, please take time to re-read the GPC guidance linked to Bulletin 140 on this bulletin page. Secondary guidance is available here

European Funding Opportunities
The BMA Brussels office have produced a European funding guide which provides an overview of the European funds that offer grants for health-related projects.

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