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County Durham & Darlington
Local Pharmaceutical

Tel: 0191 378 4831
email: greg.burke@durhamlpc.org.uk

Pharmacy in Durham and Darlington
News Archive


Durham City pharmacy hosts MP visit

Durham City MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods, visited a community pharmacy in her constituency for a lively discussion about issues dominating the pharmacy landscape.

Greg Burke, Chief Officer of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC), joined staff from Bowburn pharmacy in welcoming Roberta.

It was very reassuring to hear Roberta’s strong support for community pharmacy and for her to acknowledge the fantastic work being done by pharmacies throughout her constituency and beyond.

Roberta is aware of the current consultation regarding community pharmacy funding and the possible implications of the Government’s proposals for pharmacy, and more importantly, for patient care. Roberta has agreed to try to raise the issues as Parliamentary Questions in the House of Commons.

Pictured with Roberta are (from the left) Hieu Truong Van (pharmacist), Phyllis Whitburn (pharmacist), Nigel Nimmo (pharmacist) and Greg Burke (LPC Chief Officer.

Phil Wilson accepts capaign cardsLocal MP shows support for community pharmacy (15/04/16)

In response to a letter received from the Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Mr Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield, visited AD Phillips pharmacy in Trimdon Colliery recently to demonstrate his backing for the Support Your Local Pharmacy campaign.

Colin Vallance (far right), pharmacist at AD Phillips and LPC member, handed Mr Wilson almost 300 campaign cards signed by concerned patients. Colin was also able to inform Mr Wilson that almost 2000 patients of the pharmacies in the Trimdons and Sedgefield had signed the National Pharmacy Association petition urging the Government to abandon its plans to cut pharmacy funding. Pictured with Phil Wilson and Colin Vallance are (from the left) Greg Burke, Chief Officer of County Durham Darlington LPC and pharmacy contractor Alan Phillips.

Mr Wilson has agreed to raise the issues with the Government and will use the campaign cards as evidence of the strength of local feeling.

GP Saturday morning surgeries in Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield (Updated 30/03/16)

Are you registered with a GP practice in the Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield areas? If so, click here for information about weekend opening.

Weekend Access to GP Appointments (DDES) (231KB)

GP Saturday morning surgeries in North Durham (06/05/15)

Are you registered with a GP practice in the North Durham area? If so, click here for information about weekend opening.

Weekend Access to GP Appointments (ND) (100KB)

Pre-bookable Weekend Surgeries in Darlington (08/05/15)

Pre-bookable weekend appointments are available to all patients of Darlington who struggle to attend their surgery during the working week due to work commitments, childcare problems or needing a carer to attend with you. These appointments are available on a Saturday and Sunday between 8.00 and 2.00 and are booked through the patient’s own surgery. All weekend appointments are held at Denmark Street Surgery Annexe with parking and pharmacy facilities on site. The surgeries are covered by local Darlington doctors who, with your consent, will have full access to your medical records to help with your ongoing care.’

More information can be accessed through Healthcare Darlington Ltd’s website: http://primaryhealthcaredarlington.co.uk/ via the 'Services' tab.

Independent Advocacy for NHS Complaints (11/06/13)

There have been some significant changes in the provision of NHS Complaints Advocacy across England from 1st April 2013. The Carers Federation is continuing to support people to make a complaint about NHS services in Co Durham and Darlington. To contact them telephone: 0808 802 3000 or visit www.carersfederation.co.uk/services/independent-complaints-advocacy/


Pharmacies that are open during the Bank Holidays over Christmas and New Year 2015/16 (07/12/ 2015)

Even though there are a number of Bank Holidays during the forthcoming seasonal period, Community Pharmacies will continue to provide a service, albeit a reduced one. Click below for details of pharmacy opening times over the festive period.

This information is provided to us by NHS England but may be subject to change. We recommend that you telephone a Pharmacy to check they are open and can provide the service you need before you set off.

Pharmacies that are open on the August Bank Holiday (1 August 2015)

A number of Community Pharmacies will continue to provide a service, albeit a reduced one, on the August Bank Holiday. Click here for details of pharmacy opening times on 31 August.

This information is provided to us by NHS England – North but may not be entirely accurate. We recommend that you telephone a Pharmacy to check they are open and can provide the service you need before you set off.


Pharmacies that are open during the Bank Holidays over Christmas and New Year 2014/15 (13 December 2014)

Even though there are a number of Bank Holidays during the forthcoming seasonal period, Community Pharmacies will continue to provide a service, albeit a reduced one. Click here for details of pharmacy opening times over the festive period.

This information is provided to us by the Darlington, Durham and Tees Area Team but may not be entirely accurate. We recommend that you telephone a Pharmacy to check they are open and can provide the service you need before you set off.

‘Keep calm’ and ask your local pharmacist this winter (21 November 2014)

‘Keep calm and ask your pharmacist’ is the message from the NHS in the North East this winter.

People with common winter ailments and illnesses who don’t need to see a doctor or nurse are being urged to pop down to their local Pharmacy to seek advice from the expert on their doorstep. And with many of the North East’s 619 Pharmacies offering a mixture of early morning and late night opening, the chances are you’ll find the advice and medicines you need there and then without having to make an appointment with your GP - freeing up appointments to those with more serious health issues.

The ‘Ask your Pharmacist’ key winter message is part of a regional campaign urging people to ‘Keep Calm’ and use the NHS responsibly as it approaches its busiest time of the year.

That message is backed by the Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPC), the bodies that represent community pharmacies in the region. Greg Burke from County Durham and Darlington LPC said: “Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines and are ideally placed to offer advice on many of the common ailments that people suffer from during the winter.

“By working together, we can all play our part in helping to ensure that we use NHS resources wisely this winter and free up GP appointments and A&E consultations for those people who need them and have the most complex health needs.”

There are 619 Pharmacies across the North East. Details are available on www.nhs.uk or calling the NHS 111 service, which is free from landlines and mobile phones. Many Pharmacies have early morning or late night openings.

NHS organisations across the region in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Darlington and Teesside are joining together to back the ‘Keep Calm’ campaign which gives advice on how to treat a range of common winter conditions by keeping a well-stocked medicines cabinet at home or speaking to your local pharmacist.

Rob Pitt, at Neville Pharmacy in Newton Aycliffe said: “Pharmacists are highly trained and can offer advice on many of the common winter ailments. You can be seen quickly without having to make an appointment and the majority of pharmacies have a private consultation room, where you can sit down with your Pharmacist for advice.

“A recent study showed that nearly 90% of the population are within a 20 minute walk of a pharmacy.

“Our convenient location right on your doorstep, together with the wealth of advice we can offer means that we are a convenient alternative for patients who would normally visit their GP or A&E department, leaving those appointments available for those with the greatest and most urgent health needs.”

The Keep Calm campaign launched on 17 November, to tie in with National Self Care Week and European Antibiotics Awareness Day, and includes a dedicated website – www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk with information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region. The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

  • Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist
  • Keep Calm and call 111
  • Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer

Don’t forget to follow the campaign on Twitter: @keepcalmne and use the hashtag #keepcalmne when you Tweet.

Diabetes Services in Co Durham and Darlington (04/11/14)

The three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in County Durham and Darlington, who are Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG, North Durham CCG and Darlington CCG, are looking into ways they can bring diabetes services together across the area, where the whole health community joins in partnership to ensure that patients are placed at the centre of their care.

The CCGs are committed to making sure that people in receipt of diabetes services have the opportunity to share their experiences, opinions and views, to ensure that the best possible services are commissioned (bought in) for local people, and using this feedback to make changes in local services.

Click here to access a poster giving details of focus groups which have been arranged to give people who are affected by diabetes the opportunity to have their say on how local services can be improved.

My NHS - for patients in Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield (17/03/2014)

Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group is inviting local residents to sign up to “My NHS”, an initiative that is designed to allow local people and organisations to have a greater say in the way health services are delivered in their area.

More information can be found by clicking here or you can download a leaflet below:


"The Earlier, The Better" (updated 10/02/2014)

People in Durham, Darlington and Tees are being encouraged, by a new national campaign, to seek medical advice early and not store up health problems. Health experts from NHS England are supporting ‘The earlier, the better’ public awareness campaign, which is aimed at nipping health problems in the bud and reducing unnecessary, stays in hospital. The campaign is particularly targeting people aged over 60 years old and the friends and family of older people.

The campaign follows NHS England’s national urgent and emergency care review, published in November last year, which highlighted the rising number of emergency admissions to hospital that could have been avoided. The review also highlighted the need to improve care outside of hospital and to increase public understanding of the alternatives to A&E.

Mike Guy, medical director for Durham, Darlington and Tees area team for NHS England, said:

“If you deal with a problem when you first realise something is wrong you will give yourself the best possible chance of getting back to full health quickly. Leaving a problem to get worse can put your long term health at risk.

“This campaign highlights that there are many places where people can get quick medical advice easily. If you feel under the weather, why not pop into the local pharmacy, visit www.nhs.uk/asap or call NHS 111 for advice on what to do. If the symptoms do not go away, then go and see your GP. Of course if it’s an emergency then go to A&E.”

Look out for posters on bill boards, bus stops, shopping centres and supermarkets, including places near pharmacies. Adverts will also feature in national newspapers, magazines and range of websites, as well as on commercial radio stations.


Pharmacies that are open during the Bank Holidays over Christmas and New Year 2013/14 (23/12/13)

Even though there are a number of Bank Holidays during the forthcoming seasonal period, Community Pharmacies will continue to provide a service, albeit a reduced one. Click here for details of pharmacy opening times over the festive period.

This information is provided to us by the Darlington, Durham and Tees Area Team but may not be entirely accurate. We recommend that you telephone a Pharmacy to check they are open and can provide the service you need before you set off.

CASH (Contraception and Sexual Health) Clinics (updated 30/10/2013)

Please note that the CASH service will be open on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as follows:

Shotley Bridge Hospital 4.00pm – 5.00pm
St Margaret’s Health Centre 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Richardson Hospital 5.00pm – 6.00pm
Escomb Road 8.30am – 11.30am
Spennymoor Health Centre 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Wheatley Hill Clinic
4.30pm – 5.30pm

Central Offices:

Framwellgate Moor Clinic Central Appointment Booking & Administration Office. Tel: 0191 382 6881 : 9.00am – 4.00pm
Peterlee Health Centre Central Administration Office. Tel: 0191 518 0557 : 9.00am - 4.00pm

Geneto-urinary Medicine (GUM) Departments (updated 23/12/2013)

The Geneto-urinary Medicine Service will be available over the Christmas period as follows:

Bishop Auckland General Hospital – 01388 455700 (Ring during clinic opening times for appointments)
Darlington Memorial Hospital – 01325 743203 (Ring during clinic opening times for appointments)
University Hospital of North Durham - 0191 333 2660/2661 (Ring during clinic opening times for appointments)

Morning Clinic
Afternoon Clinic
Morning Clinic
Afternoon Clinic
Morning Clinic
Afternoon Clinic
Monday 23rd Dec
8.30am – 11.30am Drop in 2.00 – 5.00pm Appt only 9.00am – 12.00 Noon 2.30pm – 6.00pm 9.00am – 12.00 Noon 2.00 – 4.30pm Drop in
Tuesday 24th Dec
9.00am – 1.00pm Drop in Closed 9.00am – 12.00
Appt only
9.00 – 2.00pm
Drop in
9.00am – 12.00 Noon Closed
Wednesday 25th Dec
Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed
Thursday 26th Dec
Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed
Friday 27th Dec
8.30am – 11.30am Appt only Closed 9.00am – 12.00 Noon Closed 9.00am – 12.00 Noon Closed
Sat 28th & Sun 29th Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed
Monday 30th Dec 8.30am – 11.30am Drop in 2.00pm – 5.00pm Appt only 9.00am – 12.00 Noon 2.30pm – 6.00pm 9.00am – 12.00 Noon Drop in 2.00 – 4.30pm Drop in
Tuesday 31st Dec 9.00am – 1.00pm Drop in Closed 9.00 – 12.00 Appt only 9.00 – 2.00pm Drop in 9.00am – 12.00 Noon Closed
Wednesday 1st Jan Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed
Thursday 2nd Jan 9.00am – 12.00 Appt only  Closed 10.30am – 1.30pm   3.00pm – 6.00pm  10.30am – 1.30pm   3.00 – 6.00pm
Friday 3rd Jan 8.30am – 11.30am Appt only Closed 9.00am – 12.00 Noon Closed 9.00am – 12.00 Noon Closed

Campaign against medicine shortages (09/10/13)

Your local pharmacies are campaigning for the government to recognise that UK patients are suffering as a result of prescription medicine shortages. Please show your support by downloading and completing the following form, or by signing the online petition by October 12th at ipetitions.com/petition/sort-out-stocks

SOS Medicine Shortage Petition

Closure of PCT PALS service (05/03/13)

Please be aware that the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at NHS County Durham and Darlington will close on 31 March 2013. For support after this date, please contact 0800 195 7998 where a recorded message will direct you to alternative services. Click on the links below for further information and for details of how to access information and support with effect from 1 April 2013

PALS Closure
PALS Points of Contact

New organisations called Health Watch have been established to provide patient advice and information. The relevant telephone numbers are as follows:

County Durham residents: Freephone 0808 801 0384
Darlington residents: Freephone 0808 801 0383

Co Durham & Darlington pilot a new NHS 111 telephone number

If you live in County Durham or Darlington, you can now call 111 when you need help fast, but it isn't a 999 emergency. You can ring 111, 365 days a year, to reach a full range of local health services, including out of hours doctors, community nurses, emergency dental care and late opening pharmacies. Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free - just like 999.People should use the NHS 111 service if they need help or advice urgently but it's not a life-threatening situation. Call 111 if:

  • It's not a 999 emergency;
  • you don't think it can wait for an appointment with your GP; or
  • you don't know who to call for medical help

For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP or dentist in the usual way, and for immediate, life-threatening emergencies, please continue to call 999.January 2011


City of Durham MP visits local pharmacy

A HOST of health services are being offered to the community appointment-free thanks to the efforts of local pharmacists.

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman Woods was briefed about the array of services being provided on top of the traditional prescriptions and dispensary work. She visited M&M Pharmacy in Meadowfield, near Durham, where she was given a tour by superintendent pharmacist Patricia King, who is also a member of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

Many of the walk-in services allow patients to stay healthy, in their own homes and out of hospital as pharmacists help them manage chronic health issues. Wide ranging in their scope, they include a minor ailments clinic, for issues such as colds, coughs, fevers, headlice, hayfever and flu vaccinations. For patients who have difficulty getting to the pharmacy pharmacists will visit them in their own homes to carry out medicine reviews, ensuring they are on the most appropriate drug, the right dose and taking their medication.

They also offer advice on gluten free food, smoking cessation and are effective in engaging with hard to reach communities, particularly men. Roberta Blackman Woods commented, “One of the things that puts men off is the two stages of having to make an appointment then turn up to see the doctor – pharmacies cut through this issue as you just need to go once.”

Other services include an anti-coagulant clinic, alcohol intervention advice, emergency hormonal contraception, blood pressure and cholesterol checks.

“There is evidence to show that many people stop taking their medicines after a few weeks and without consulting their doctors,” Mrs King said.“If you give them support, explain what the drugs do and listen to their concerns it is much less likely that they give up. A lot of people come out of hospital and feel forgotten about and struggle to understand what they should be doing.“It is vital that we develop are services all the time especially as we have an ageing population, living longer, who might have mobility problems.”

Mrs Blackman Woods added: “The pharmacy is often the heart of the community and people really appreciate how accessible their services are. It is great that they are taking the time to train their staff to support the public on so many important issues.“Staff are so friendly and approachable that they gain the trust of people which means they can be effective in getting patients to change their lifestyles. They don’t try and tell them what to do but help them become more informed."

Nicotine Replacement Therapy Quit Kits (31/12/2010)

Some of you will have seen news items about the availability of free NRT "Stop Smoking" Quit Kits through community pharmacies in January.

The Quit Kit distribution was organised by the Department of Health tobacco team, which released the following statement on 30th December:

"Unfortunately the Quit Kit initiative was reported inaccurately in the media ahead of schedule, we do apologise for any inconvenience this has caused. DH has been in discussions with community pharmacy bodies including the NPA about supplying Quit Kits to independent pharmacies and is currently confirming supply details. In the meantime, if you have customers looking for Quit Kits please do direct them to nhs.uk/smokefree or the the Smokefree helpline: 0800 169 0 169."

Darlington MP explores the value of her local Community Pharmacy

Jenny Chapman, MP for Darlington, visited Rowlands Pharmacy on Victoria Road recently. The visit had been organised by the Local Pharmaceutical Committee. Jenny (on the right in the picture) met with representatives of Rowlands including the pharmacy manager, Ven Amerineni, and Rowlands Area Manager, Kathryn Brown. She was given a tour of the pharmacy and chatted to staff during the visit. Jenny also had an NHS Health Check (right), a free service provided at the pharmacy and in seven others across Co Durham and Darlington. The check helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes by monitoring height, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and family history.

Jenny commented on how busy the pharmacy was: staff informed her that this reflects the valuable service pharmacy provides to the communities they serve. Customers attend their local pharmacies because they are convenient and accessible, pharmacists and their staff are available without the need to make an appointment and can assist in all manner of areas including the treatment of minor ailments, advice on how to give up smoking and sexual health issues


MP Grahame Morris visits a local pharmacy

Grahame Morris (left), MP for Easington, on a recent visit to Lloyds Pharmacy, Blandford Place, Seaham, saw first hand how pharmacies deliver key front line health services to their patients.

Grahame met with representatives from the pharmacy profession, including the Local Pharmaceutical Committee, and was very interested to learn more about the range of services available to patients in pharmacies throughout Co Durham and Darlington, services such as smoking cessation, sexual health and NHS Health Checks. He was particularly interested in the minor ailments scheme, a scheme aimed at promoting self care and improving access to medicines without the need for the patient to visit their GP surgery for a prescription. The medication included in the scheme is free to patients who do not pay for their prescriptions.

After having a blood pressure check at the pharmacy Mr Morris said:

“ High blood pressure is a hidden killer. Often there are no symptoms until it is too late with high blood pressure leading to stroke and heart attacks. Prevention is always better than cure and I would encourage everyone to use the fantastic NHS service provided by community pharmacies and get a free blood pressure check.”

LPC Elections (16/02/10)

The current LPC stands down at the end of March 2010 after its four year term; we have undergone a process of electing and appointing new LPC members to join the LPC that will start in April 2010. With effect from 1st April 2010 the committee will still comprise 14 members. There has been a change in the LPC constitution (as adopted by contractors) to ensure that LPC members match the distribution of owners across the PCT area. This means the Company Chemist Association (CCA) can appoint seven members; (CCA companies include National Co operative chemists, Boots, Lloyd’s pharmacy, Rowlands, Superdrug and the supermarket pharmacy chains). The following representatives have been reappointed to the committee: Warren Cunningham and Geraint Morris (Boots UK Ltd), Pete Horrocks (Lloyds), Andre Yeung (National Co operative Chemists) and Ven Amerineni (Rowlands). Two new CCA representatives have also been appointed; Sukling Edwards (Boots UK Ltd) and Senthan Kathirgamanathan (Superdrug).

An election has been held amongst independent contractors to determine who will fill the remaining seven places on the committee. The Independent contractors who have been elected are:
Neil Chapman (Clemitsons), Dawn Cruickshank (J Low Ltd), Noel Dixon (Dixon and Hall), Christine Forster (Welsh Chemist), Peter Grundy (M Whitfield Ltd), Patricia King (M & M Chemists) and Colin Vallance (AD Phillips Pharmacy).

The revised composition of the committee has meant that we have had to lose two of our independent contractor members: Simon Elliott and Iain Crispin will be leaving the LPC at the end of March. The committee would like to thank them both for the work they have done on behalf of the LPC and community pharmacy in general.

Appointments to the post of LPC Chair, vice chair and treasurer for the new committee will be made in the coming weeks.

111 is new national number for non-emergency healthcare (06/01/10)

A new free three-digit number, 111, making it easier for patients to access non-emergency healthcare wherever they are, 24 hours a day, has been given the go ahead by telecoms regulator Ofcom. The new 111 service will be piloted in the east of England, East Midlands and the North East starting in 2010 to evaluate the benefits before potentially rolling it out nationally. The service aims to assess callers' needs to ensure they receive the right service, first time. It will route patients to a locally available service or provide appropriate advice and information.


Contraception and Sexual Health (CASH) Clinics (21/12/2009)

As from Monday 14th December 2009 there will no longer be a Contraception and Sexual Health (CASH) session at Kepier Clinic, Gilesgate, Durham.

Simon Clark leaves the Committee

Simon Clark, Area Manager for Your Local Boots Pharmacy, has resigned his position as a Company Chemists Association (CCA) member on the LPC with immediate effect. Simon’s job has taken him away from regular contact with Co Durham and Darlington and he feels that his place should be given to someone who has a closer working relationship to the area.

Simon has been a member of the committee for over two years and served as its vice chair for the majority of that time. He stated that it has been an honour to work with the committee and represent the contractors of Co Durham and Darlington at an exciting time for the profession.

The LPC would like to thank Simon for all the work he has done on behalf of contractors and the committee and to send him best wishes for the future.

New Company Chemist Member joins the LPC

Simon Adamson has resigned his post as LPC member. Simon works at Boots UK Ltd in Chester le Street and was a Company Chemists Association member of the Committee. The LPC would like to thank Simon for the work he has done, both as a member of the Committee and the Durham DAAT/LPC working group.

The vacancy occasioned by Simon’s resignation has been filled by Geraint Morris (left), Area Pharmacy Manager, Teesside and South Durham Area, Boots UK Ltd. Geraint provided the following information:

“ I am employed by Boots UK as an Area Pharmacy Manager supporting Local Pharmacies within Durham, Darlington, Teesside and North Yorkshire.
I qualified in Brighton before moving North with my family and have enjoyed working with various pharmacy development groups, PCTs and DAAT groups.
I am proud to be a community pharmacist and for over 18 years I have enjoyed looking after the healthcare needs of my patients and my customers within my community whilst delivering on business objectives.The diversity of my current role and my experience of managing a number of pharmacies across County Durham will provide me with insights that will hopefully be beneficial to the committee.”

Andre Yeung joins the Committee

Andre Yeung, manager of the National Co-operative Pharmacy in Consett, joined the LPC as the Co-operative member in December. Andre provided the following information:

" I became a pharmacist in June 2000. I came back from London where I did my Pre-Reg year with Lloyds Pharmacy and started work for the family business - Raygale Ltd. I managed the company alongside my father - James Yeung - until its sale in 2006. Since then I have worked as a locum pharmacist for Co-operative Pharmacy and more recently as manager of Co-operative Pharmacy in Consett.

" I live in Gateshead with my wife Laura and my 2 year old daughter Amelia. I'd say I am a pretty experienced community pharmacist and have a real interest in the provision of quality customer orientated services to patients."

Andre attended his first LPC meeting in January.


White Paper Engagement Event

LPC Vice Chairman, Simon Clark addressing the event The White Paper Engagement Event on 30th September at Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield was a great success. Speakers included Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee Sue Sharpe, and attendees included Co Durham PCT Director of Public Health, Tricia Cresswell and Chief Executive of NHS County Durham, Yasmin Chaudhry.

PSNC Chief Executive visits the LPC (26/08/08)

Sue Sharpe, Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, (shown left with Pat King, LPC Chair) attended the August Local Pharmaceutical Committee meeting. Sue had been invited to talk to members and contractors about how community pharmacy funding is negotiated nationally and to respond to questions regarding the current difficulties being experienced by contractors.

Sue explained the issues around the sources of funding for community pharmacy and the complicated negotiation process that is followed to determine the levels of funding each year. Unfortunately Sue wasn’t able to give an assurance that there will be an immediate end to the financial problems being encountered by contractors. However, PSNC is aware of the extent of these difficulties and is lobbying hard with the Department of Health to try to ensure that these problems are alleviated as soon as possible.

A more comprehensive account of the meeting will be included in the next edition of the LPC Newsletter; notes from the meeting will also be posted shortly on the website.

Our Vision, Our Future. Our North East NHS

All Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) have now published their local “vision” documents, as part of the overall Darzi “Next Stage” review process. These are important strategic documents, setting out long-term plans for health services within the region. The publication of the report starts a 3 month consultation on the proposal for services within each SHA. Click on the link below to access the document.

Our Vision, Our Future, Our North East NHS (2.26MB)

Our Vision for Primary and Community Care (14/07/08)

'Our vision for Primary and Community Care', published as part of the Next Stage Review of the NHS, sets out the future direction for primary and community care in England, where essential standards are ensured and excellence is rewarded. It focuses on personal and responsive health care - providing integrated care based around the person, not just their individual symptoms or care needs. The strategy underlines the central role primary and community care services play in keeping people healthy, preventing illness and promoting healthy life styles as well as tackling regional variations in health and well-being.

NHS Next Stage Review – Final Report

Lord Darzi launched the Next Stage Review final report on Monday 30 June. “High Quality Care For All” sets a new foundation for a health service that empowers staff and gives patients choice. It aims to ensure that health care will be personalised and fair, include the most effective treatments within a safe system, and help patients to stay healthy. PSNC has produced a summary of the Review; click here to access that document:

PSNC Briefing on the NHS Next Stage Review – High Quality Care For All (122KB)

GP Led Health Centres - PCT Consultation

Co Durham and Darlington Primary Care Trusts are currently running public consultation exercises around the proposals to open a GP led Health centre in Easington and one in Darlington.

Details of the consultation and how to submit your comments can be accessed by clicking on the links below.

Consultation on Proposals for Improved Access to GP Services in Darlington (32KB)
Consultation Questionnaire Darlington (22KB)
Consultation on Proposals for Improved Access to GP Services in Co.Durham (138KB)
Consultation Questionnaire Co.Durham (23KB)

Medicines Use Reviews News Article

Hopefully there should hopefully be an article appearing in the local press (Northern Echo etc.) in the next few days promoting the availability of MURs in community pharmacies.

It is a human interest story and focuses on a patient who acknowledges that his attendance for an MUR has had a very positive impact on his quality of life.

Please click on the link below to access the article:

Medicines Use Review Article (29KB)

Mr Alan Phillips

Alan Phillips, a community pharmacist in the Sedgefield locality, has resigned from his post as LPC member. As well as being a long standing member of the committee Alan also held the post of LPC secretary for over twenty years. In both those roles he has worked hard to ensure community pharmacy gets the recognition it deserves within the local health economy. Alan was also an active member on several of the LPC’s sub committees. He will continue as the community pharmacy Practice Based Commissioning representative in Sedgefield and also as a member of the Sedgefield Pharmacy Development Group.

On behalf of community pharmacy the LPC would like to thank Alan for all his work over the years and to send best wishes for the future.

David Miller

David Miller, a community pharmacist in the Sedgefield locality, has resigned from his post as LPC member. David is a long standing member and past chairman of the Committee. In both those roles he has worked hard to ensure community pharmacy gets the recognition it deserves within the local health economy. David was also an active member on several of the LPC’s sub committees and was one of the community pharmacy representatives on the panels convened by the PCTs to hear pharmaceutical services hearings. On behalf of community pharmacy the LPC would like to thank David for all his help over the years and to send best wishes for the future.


Opening Times over Christmas and New Year

At the November meeting of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Kate Huddart, Head of Medicines Management for Co Durham and Darlington PCTs, informed members of the PCTs' policy in relation to pharmacy opening times over the forthcoming holiday period. The PCTs have determined that all pharmaceutical contractors must adhere to their core hours over the festive period i.e. 100 hour pharmacies must open for at least 100 hours each week and 40 hour pharmacies must open for at least 40 hours each week. The regulations do state, however, that for the purpose of calculating the number of hours that a pharmacy is open during a week that includes Christmas Day, and/or a Bank Holiday, it shall be deemed that the pharmacy did provide its contracted hours on those days whether it was open or not. In other words, when a pharmacy does close on Christmas day and/or a Bank Holiday it does not have to provide these hours elsewhere in the week. At the meeting the LPC recognised and endorsed the PCTs' position on this issue and advises all contractors to ensure that they comply with the terms of their contract in relation to this matter.

Appointment made to Independent Contractor Vacancy

At its meeting on 17th October 2007 the Local Pharmaceutical Committee confirmed an appointment to the Independent Contractor post on the Committee that had been vacant since January of this year. Simon Elliott, major shareholder in Haswell Pharmacy and a well known locum pharmacist, was unanimously voted on to the Committee until 31st March 2010.

Simon commented: "I was delighted to hear recently that I had been appointed to the Committee. I look forward to working with the members to help promote the excellent work being carried out within community pharmacy. I believe my work as a locum has established links with many pharmacists/contractors; this may assist communication between them and the LPC. I can also view pharmacy issues from the perspective of both a contractor and a locum pharmacist."

Simon will attend his first meeting of the Committee on 21st November.

Community Pharmacy Strategy Launch Event Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield 4th October 2007

The Local Pharmaceutical Committee hosted the Community Pharmacy Strategy Launch event at Hardwick Hall (right) on 4th October 2007. Delegates included representatives from both County Durham and Darlington Primary Care Trusts, Practice Based Commissioning Group Chairs, a Member of Parliament and patient representatives and there was an excellent attendance. Patricia King, LPC Chair, and Simon Clarke, LPC vice chair, opened the conference with an introduction to the LPC. They were followed by Mike King, Head of LPC and Contractor Services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) who gave a national perspective on issues that were relevant locally eg minor ailment schemes and Practice Based Commissioning. The LPC is very grateful to Mike for his attendance as he had stepped it at the very last minute to replace Sue Sharpe, Chief Executive of PSNC, who unfortunately was unwell. Delegates then participated in five interactive workshops on the following topics:

  • Minor Ailments
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Sexual Health
  • Anti Coagulant Services
  • Cost Improvements

These workshops generated a great deal of interest and discussion and proved to be very educational for those attending who were not familiar with the diversity of services offered by community pharmacies. The LPC would like to thank the facilitators of those workshops John Hall, Peter Horrocks, Noel Dixon, Ian Conn and Simon Clarke for their work both on the night and in leading up to the event. The evening was closed by Patricia King outlining how community pharmacy is looking to the future and determining how best to shape its services to fit in with the ever changing health service environment. Colin Morris, Chief Executive of Darlington Primary Care Trust, thanked the LPC for organising the event, an event he found both interesting and stimulating. These sentiments were echoed by Stewart Findlay, Chair of Durham Dales Practice Based Commissioning Group, who said that he had seen many opportunities where community pharmacy can provide services that would be of tremendous benefit to patients.

LPC Strategy Document

Over the last two years a number of key policy documents have been published highlighting new and innovative ways for community pharmacy to work with Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). The Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) has undertaken a significant piece of work to review these documents. This has culminated in the production of a comprehensive Strategy Document. The document highlights the ways in which community pharmacy can help to make significant contributions to the health and well being of the residents of County Durham and Darlington. Please click on the link to access the document.

Strategy Document 2007 (1.4MB)

New LPC Chair Appointed

At the June meeting members of the Committee elected Mrs Patricia King as the new Chair of County Durham and Darlington Local Pharmaceutical Committee. Patricia was previously Vice Chair.

Mrs King is Managing Director of M & M Chemists Ltd which runs four branches across County Durham and one wholly internet pharmacy.

Of her appointment Patricia said: "I was delighted to accept the nomination of LPC Chair for the next two years. I look forward to carrying on the excellent work of my predecessor by moving forward on the challenging agenda that faces community pharmacy in the future. It is clear that we have some very enthusiastic and committed pharmacists working in County Durham and Darlington. My role, and the role of the Committee as a whole, is to ensure that we work on behalf of these pharmacists to promote the vital role we play in improving patient care.”

Mrs King succeeds Mr David Miller who had been Chair for three years. Mr Miller said at the end of his tenure in office: "It has been a privilege to hold the post of chair of the LPC and to work with so many people who share my aim of maximising the potential of community pharmacy. I look forward to continuing this work as a member of the LPC."

Mr. Simon Clark, Area Development Manager of Alliance Pharmacy, was appointed Vice Chair at the July committee meeting.

New Chief Officer appointed

Mr. Greg Burke, formerly Primary Care Contracts Manager at Durham Health Authority and Darlington PCT's Planning Manager, has been appointed Co. Durham LPC's new Chief Officer.


PCT Reconfiguration

From 1st. October, 2006 five Co. Durham PCTs will merge to become County Durham PCT: Derwentside, Durham Dales, Durham + Chester-le-Street, Easington and Sedgefield. Darlington PCT is retained, as are all four Cleveland PCTs: North Tees (renamed Stockton-on-Tees Teaching), Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Langbaurgh (renamed Redcar + Cleveland).