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Half of intended pharmacies register for urgent supply pilot

NHS England: Timescales for the NHS 111 referral will vary

Just half of the intended number of pharmacies have signed up to NHS England’s emergency supply service pilot, the commissioner has confirmed.

While 20% of pharmacies in England are expected to join the pilot, as of last week “approximately 10% of all community pharmacies” were registered to provide the service, the commissioner confirmed to C+D last Friday (April 21).

Each area needs a “critical number of pharmacies” signed up to the NHS 111 urgent supply referral service before it can go live, NHS England added.

Under the Pharmacy Urgent Care programme announced by the Department of Health in October 2016, community pharmacies will receive £12.50 for any request for urgent medicine received via NHS 111.

“A phased introduction” of the scheme began in December 2016 and was expected to run to March 2017, with the pilot ending in March 2018.

Contractor "annoyed" by delays

As of April 3, just 17 of the 350 pharmacies in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw – which was chosen to participate in the final phase of the pilot scheme – had signed up to provide the service, Barnsley local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) secretary Thomas Bisset told C+D earlier this month.

“I was originally annoyed that Yorkshire was supposed to go live in March and we didn’t have a meeting [with the local NHS England team] until nine days into the month,” Mr Bisset said.

Despite an appetite from pharmacists to sign up to the pilot scheme, “pharmacists aren’t applying because they are waiting for an NHS email address – [a requirement of providing the service] – not realising that they need to ask to do [the service] to get an email address”, Mr Bisset said.

"Timescales will vary"

A spokesperson for NHS England said the “phased implementation” of the pilot means “timescales will vary between areas”.

“A number of areas are running [the scheme] as part of the pilot, including the whole of the London region, [the] north east and Cumbria, along with some clinical commissioning group areas in the south, [and the] Midlands and east region,” they added.

The remaining areas across the country will go live by June, NHS England said.

Have you applied for the urgent supply pilot scheme?

Anil Patel, Community pharmacist

The article should ask the NHS - how many emails or applications are pending!

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

the whole setting up of pharmacy emails has been a shambles- finally got told what my shared email address was last week, although it still dosn't  seem to work. Was sent 3 different variations of my own name for persoanl email address. I have not completed signing up for numas yet as i don't see the point until shared email works

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

I've had exactly the same experience - don't think my shared email even actually exists since I've not been able to search for it

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

mine dosn't , as i've sent a test email from my personal account- and it bounces back

Nat Mitchell, Community pharmacist

The scheme sounded convoluted, but we gave it a go anyway as we have to try to engage with new services.  My first two experiences were worse than I feared they would be and we decided to de-register.  Reinventing the wheel springs to mind.  If a pharmacist was consulted at any stage of it's design then I'd be amazed.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

“pharmacists aren’t applying because they are waiting for an NHS email address – [a requirement of providing the service] – not realising that they need to ask to do [the service] to get an email address” - surely this isn't true - we need to apply for an email address for the quality payment scheme regardless of whether we are registering for this one? I had our LPC on the phone today because they are getting mucked about by NHS England over this.

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