New RCN publication:

Genital examination in women – A resource for skills development and assessment.

The purpose of the document is to provide standards and sample assessment tools for training in genital examination in women for nurses working in sexual and reproductive health settings, and related health and social care settings. It replaces the earlier Vaginal and Genital Examination Guidance for nurses and midwives (2006) and Competencies for nurses undertaking bimanual genital examinations (2011) and acknowledges the input of members of the FSRH Associated Members Working Group and BASHH.

Reminder to register as stakeholder for NICE Patient group directions Good Practice Guidance

Management of PGDs will change from the 1st April when commissioning of services changes. All those involved in development or use of PGDs can contribute at the  consultation stage by registering as a stakeholder now. Individuals can contribute as service providers.

To register your organisation as a stakeholder send registration details (name of contact, name of organisation, email address) to using the subject heading Patient group directions GPG stakeholder registration 2012/13

PGD authorisation in new organisational structures – DH update

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Department of Health are amending medicines legislation to:

(i) enable Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities and the NHS Commissioning Board to authorise PGDs from April 2013; and,

(ii) to ensure that existing PGDs with an expiry date after 31 March 2013 will continue to be legal until the PGD either expires or is replaced.

These changes are consequential to the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and will enable the continued use of PGDs in new health system organisational structures.

Transitional arrangements

The legislation will also incorporate transitional arrangements to ensure the continued availability of PGDs during organisational change, and to ensure that staff and organisations are not acting outside the law. These arrangements will allow PGDs to remain legal after the original authorising body (e.g. a PCT) has been abolished, and until expiry or authorisation by the new body responsible for the service in question. Responsibility for PGDs will transfer to these new bodies, and organisations ‘inheriting’ PGDs will need to put in place clear arrangements and a timetable for review and adoption/authorisation of all existing PGDs. Further advice is available in the FAQs section of this website. See links below.

The National Prescribing Centre (NPC) (now the Medicines and Prescribing Centre (MPC) at NICE) has published a practical guide and framework of competencies for organisations and professionals developing and using PGDs. See link below.

The MPC are reviewing this document, including to take account of changes to legislation and organisational structures, with the aim of re-publishing by June  2013. In advance of this updated edition, organisations delivering services under PGDs can still use the existing document to help guide them through the legal framework governing the development and authorisation of PGDs, and to provide practical guidance on their use. As summarised by Angela Bussey, Principal Pharmacist Medicines Information Project, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

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