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BREAKING: Pharmacists able to update GP records from today

Tech company Cegedim has become the first IT provider to allow pharmacists to update GP records with Pharmacy First consultation data, C+D has learned. 

From today, pharmacy consultation data will be automatically added to GP systems, C+D can reveal.

“We’re excited to be the first pharmacy provider to go live with GP Connect’s Update Record integration”, pharmacy software provider Cegedim told C+D today (April 3).

Senior product lead for Cegedim’s UK community pharmacy division Leanne Hackett said that “as of today”, every Cegedim user “who completes a Pharmacy First [consultation]…will also update the patient’s GP record via GP Connect”.

Information from pharmacy contraception and hypertension case-finding service consultations will also be added automatically with the new functionality, she told C+D.

She added that Cegedim is working “closely with the NHS to deliver the next phase of the GP Connect integration”, which will allow pharmacists to “access more easily the GP patient care record, surfacing additional clinical details”.

Hackett said that the new update is “another important step towards community pharmacy working in closer collaboration with primary care – enabling more joined up and informed decision making”.

“It is also recognition of pharmacy’s clinical skill set and the vital role it plays in providing patients with an accessible front door to care,” she added.

 

No “clinically urgent” or sensitive data

 

Last week (March 26), Community Pharmacy England (CPE) said that the three other Pharmacy First IT suppliers - PharmOutcomes, HXConsult and Sonar - were also “preparing to begin rollouts”.

It added that the new functionality should not be used for “sending clinically urgent, safeguarding or time-sensitive information” or for any information that “should not be viewed by the patient themselves or by clinicians in other care settings”.

Pharmacy colleagues should “continue to use their existing methods” to contact GP practices in these situations, it said.

And it added that updates from pharmacy consultations that do not fall under the Pharmacy First, contraception or hypertension services “should continue to be sent through NHSmail”.

 

“Cumbersome” systems since January

 

In November, the negotiator said that pharmacies would have access to and be able to update GP records via GP Connect for the new Pharmacy First service.

However, no GP Connect functionality was available to pharmacists when the service launched on January 31. 

At the time, MPs criticised the delay, with shadow pharmacy minister Preet Kaur Gill saying that “the government has had 12 months to get that ready, but from what I am hearing…it is still not live”. 

Instead, pharmacies had to “download [their consultation notes] and email it across to the GP - that is cumbersome”, she added.

In February, the government admitted that pharmacies delivering the new Pharmacy First service could be stuck with “not ideal” alternative IT systems for “months” before having full access to GP software.

 

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