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Contractors given three days to sign up to Pharmacy First IT systems

Community Pharmacy England (CPE) has said that pharmacies must sign up with an IT supplier for the upcoming Pharmacy First service by Friday, while admitting it is unsure “whether the necessary IT systems will be ready”.

The negotiator has said that pharmacy contractors have until January 19 to “sign up to provide Pharmacy First on Manage Your Service (MYS)” and “sign up with an IT supplier”.

CPE said yesterday (January 16) that contractors who don’t sign up will not be included as “live” Pharmacy First providers on the directory of services (DoS) used by NHS 111 to make pharmacy referrals from January 31, “assuming” that is “the eventual start date for the service”.

Read more: Pharmacy First cash may get sucked into core funding ‘black hole’, warns NPA boss

Previously, CPE had said that pharmacies can “start providing” the Pharmacy First service officially from February 1.

The negotiator added that pharmacies can choose to either continue “to use their community pharmacist consultation service (CPCS) IT system supplier for Pharmacy First IT support” or opt to use another NHS-assured supplier.

Read more: Revealed: ‘Over 90%’ of pharmacies signed up to deliver Pharmacy First

It said that the four IT system suppliers NHS England (NHSE) is currently working with are:  

 

IT systems may not be ready in time

 

CPE accompanied the deadline with an admission that it is yet to make a decision “on whether the necessary IT systems will be ready to support the launch of the service”.

“A significant amount of work to get NHS, pharmacy and GP IT systems ready to support the service is still ongoing”, it said. 

The decision “will be made shortly” and “communicated by NHSE to pharmacy owners”, it added.

When details about the new service were revealed at the end of last year, CPE said that the launch of the Pharmacy First at the end of this month was subject to the necessary IT being ready.

Previously, C+D predicted that Pharmacy First IT system delays would “cause despair”.

 

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