People with minor illnesses or who need medicine urgently have been referred to local pharmacies, relieving pressure on doctors | Department of Health and Social Care
The Department of Health and Social Care has issued information relating to the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service which was introduced in October 2019. The service enables NHS 111 health advisers to refer patients with minor illnesses to their local pharmacy for assessment and treatment. More than 100,000 patients have had appointments with expert pharmacists in the last 10 weeks.
Further detail at Department of Health and Social Care
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published Using pharmacists to help improve care for people with type 2 diabetes. This document is aimed at policy makers and education/service commissioners within the NHS in England and makes recommendations for how pharmacists can play an increasing role in the prevention, early detection, care and support of people with type 2 diabetes.
To improve care for people with type 2 diabetes, the RPS are calling for:
- Pharmacists should work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to play a greater role in prevention and detection services for type 2 Diabetes
- Pharmacists should play an active role in optimising medicines, improving the health, wellbeing and safety of people with type 2 diabetes across the NHS
- Pharmacists in specialist and generalist roles should be given access to the most up to date education and training to support people with multiple conditions
- NHS organisations need to establish and embed the role of consultant pharmacists in diabetes across the NHS should ensure improved outcomes in the management of people with type 2 diabetes, promote collaborative practice, multidisciplinary team working, quality improvement and research.
Full detail at Royal Pharmaceutical Society
See also: Pharmacists must be integrated into diabetes care | RPS press release
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has launched a video animation explaining how community pharmacies are likely to fit into the NHS of the future
As well as showcasing the work that pharmacies already do, the video describes the transformation that community pharmacies will need to undertake over the coming months and years. The video was based on the ambitions for community pharmacy that have been set out by NHS England and the government.
Full detail: Future of pharmacy: an animation
The government has announced how it will take tougher action on fraud and save hundreds of millions of pounds for the NHS over the next 5 years, increasing the money available for improving patient care | Department of Health and Social Care
The new approach will start with a commitment to halve prescription fraud, which costs the NHS £256 million a year. Prescription exemptions will be digitised, allowing pharmacies to check whether the patient does not have to pay charge before their medication is dispensed. This will be piloted next year, before being rolled out across the NHS. The focus on prescriptions is one aspect of a wider crackdown on NHS fraud, which will prevent up to £300 million being lost to fraud by April 2020.
Further measures being introduced to stop fraud include:
- a new partnership between the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) and the fraud prevention service Cifas, allowing NHS counter-fraud professionals to access Cifas data
- more collaboration and data sharing between the NHS Business Services Authority and NHSCFA to identify the small number of pharmacists and dentists claiming payments for services they have not carried out
- the introduction of a new counter-fraud profession in central government, bringing together around 10,000 counter-fraud specialists, including 400 focused on fraud in the NHS
Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care
University of Nottingham
This evaluation report showed that clinical pharmacists significantly increase patient appointment capacity and reduce pressure on GPs. More than 490 clinical pharmacists were placed in over 650 practices across England in the pilot project which supports the aim of having over 2,000 clinical pharmacists working in general practice by 2020/21 – a ratio of one per 30,000 patients. The research team investigated the work of the newly created clinical pharmacist roles from the perspectives of the pharmacists, those working immediately with them in their roles, professional stakeholders and patients.