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PSNC announces mandatory valproate audit for 2022-23

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PSNC announces mandatory valproate audit for 2022-23

All community pharmacy contractors in England must complete a national clinical audit focusing on sodium valproate during 2022-23, the PSNC announced yesterday.

The negotiator revealed that this year’s audit will have the “aim of reducing the potential harm caused by taking valproate during pregnancy”. 

Pharmacies are required to carry out the audit over a six-week consecutive period of their choosing up until a final completion deadline of March 21.

The PSNC said the workload “is expected to be manageable for all contractors as the number of patients covered by the audit is small”.

The national clinical audit will be based on a similar exercise carried out as part of the Pharmacy Quality Scheme during 2019-20. 

NHS England published the finding of the 2019-20 PQS audit in August this year, revealing that over 10 per cent of patients were not given a valproate safety card with their medicine.

PSNC services director Alastair Buxton said: “Originally it had been agreed that this audit would be included in the 2022-23 PQS but due to the delayed start of the scheme, PSNC negotiated the removal of some of the scheme’s requirements.

“However, PSNC is pleased that NHSE agreed to our suggestion of repeating this important audit in 2022-23. Pharmacy teams have a vital role to play in ensuring valproate is prescribed and dispensed safely.

“Many contractors have told us they want to see the results of previous audits shared and the audit cycle being completed; this audit will achieve that aim, building on the important work that pharmacy teams completed in the 2019-20 PQS and supporting further action to address this important patient safety issue.”

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