Around 33 pharmacies in the area will benefit from a share of the £100,000 funding set aside by the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), an LPC spokesperson told C+D today (March 11).
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Contractors will be asked to spend the money on initiatives to support the wellbeing of their teams, which could include “practical measures, programs or items to focus on safety, wellbeing and the psychological well-being of staff,” the LPC said in a statement yesterday.
However, funding can also be used to create additional workforce capacity, for example by freeing up staff to take time off.
The CCG allocation will support the capacity
South Tyneside CCG “hope this stipend will help staff in a small way to maintain primary care access and capacity”, according to the LPC.
Entrepreneurs will be required to complete a proforma invoice specifying how they will use the money, which they will receive as long as they meet a set of criteria – which will be communicated to pharmacies directly through GCC.
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Jo Farey, Associate Director of Primary Care Commissioning at CCG, said: “The community pharmacy teams in South Tyneside are truly forward thinking, inventive and always providing more and more support to our residents. They always go the extra mile and are simply a brilliant and invaluable part of our health and social infrastructure.
South Tyneside LPC Secretary Louise Lydon added that the CCG has valued the industry’s contribution for years, investing in services including Think Pharmacy FirstGP2Pharmacy and a pharmacy-led home COVID-19 service.
“These services were pioneering and over the years have been adopted by other parts of the region, while also informing the development of national services,” Ms Lydon said.
“By including community pharmacy in primary care funding, they again show their commitment to community pharmacy and the impact on patient care in the local community,” she added.
Gateshead and South Tyneside LPC hope to influence other GCCs in the area to come up with a similar offer, the spokesperson told C+D.
The Pharmacists’ Defense Association reported last month that there had been a “massive decline” in security staffing in 2021 and working conditions in pharmacies have generally deteriorated.