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Provisionally registered pharmacists can offer Pharmacy First service

Pharmacists in Scotland on the GPhC’s provisional register will be able to offer the NHS Pharmacy First service provided they pass a risk assessment, C+D has learned.

Employers must risk-assess provisionally registered pharmacists before they start working and need to consider whether they are trained to deliver the services that their pharmacy offers, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) said in a document published earlier this week (July 10).

“If the risk assessment deems it is within the provisional pharmacist’s competence, then they will be able to carry out Pharmacy First consults,” Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) director of operations Matt Barclay told C+D earlier this week (July 13).

Provisionally registered pharmacists will need to sign up to deliver the two patient group direction (PGD) led Pharmacy First services for patients with urinary tract infections or impetigo, Mr Barclay said.

They will also need “to declare themselves competent to do this, which may well be part of the risk assessment process,” he added.

“No barriers”

A Scottish government spokesperson told C+D earlier this week (July 13) that it can “see no barriers” to provisionally registered pharmacists providing this service once they have met all requirements set out by the GPhC for joining the register provisionally and undertaken the “appropriate training for the NHS Pharmacy First service”.

Speaking to C+D last week (July 9), CPS CEO Harry McQuillan said he did not believe it would be an issue for provisionally registered pharmacists to offer the new service.

“If you can check a prescription and hand out medication under your control, then surely you’re able to assess the patient as well, based on your competences,” he said.

The NHS Pharmacy First service will see pharmacists offer free advice, treatment or supply of medicines – supported by national PGDs – to patients presenting with urinary tract infections or impetigo.

Launching on July 29 after its planned April launch was postponed due to COVID-19, the service will provide pharmacies with a base payment of £1,250 a month from October.

Do you agree that provisionally registered pharmacists should be able to offer services?

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