NPA viewpoint: boosting clinical knowledge

Keeping clinical knowledge up to date is important in ensuring the safest and highest quality service to patients, says the NPA

It can be difficult for support staff to access reliable information and keep learning records up to date. Pharmacy teams can now benefit from the new NPA CPD hub, which offers members free access to clinical articles, the latest research studies and a full range of topics to support the everyday running of the pharmacy. With content being developed regularly by Communications International Group (publisher of Training Matters and Pharmacy Magazine), all pharmacy teams have to do is log on to the CPD hub from the NPA website to gain access to personalised content and record their learning time, making it easier to spend more time with patients.

Setting up an immunisation service

The hub also gives support staff the opportunity to refresh their knowledge on immunisation services within pharmacy via a special CPD module: Immunisation Services within Community Pharmacy.

While the occasional walk-in immunisation can be accommodated during quiet periods, it is good practice to schedule specific appointment times. This allows pharmacies to ensure that there is a second pharmacist on duty to cover routine dispensary duties and other aspects of pharmaceutical care provision. Providing clinic appointments at times that are convenient for the patient (e.g. evenings and weekends) has been one of the strengths of community pharmacy immunisation services.

Patients will be required to stay for at least 10-15 minutes after their immunisation in order to be observed for immediate adverse effects post-vaccination. They should therefore be seated in an area where they can be observed by a member of staff at all times. 

Good organisation involving all members of the pharmacy team is required to run successful immunisation services. Record forms that combine key information and space for written patient consent can simplify the paperwork, for instance. 

The publicity developed to promote a pharmacist-led immunisation service needs to ensure that the public get the right messages concerning the target group of patients and the service they can expect from pharmacy.

Remember – pharmacy teams also have access to NPA promotional materials to promote a flu vaccination service to patients and the public.

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