North-east England local professional network chair Andre Yeung and Marton Pharmacy's Mike Maguire were the architects of the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service pilot that inspired the new national Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS). They spoke to C+D at the Pharmacy Show on Monday (October 7) to offer advice for pharmacists looking to implement the CPCS successfully.
The service launches across England on October 29, and will see pharmacies receive £14 for each consultation resulting from a referral from NHS 111 for minor illnesses and urgent medicines supply, although some pharmacy staff have expressed concern that they do not have the time or staff capacity to deliver the service.
Mr Yeung pointed out that the service is “not just about solving the problems that come your way”. Instead, pharmacy teams should understand the “three segments” of patients they may see.
“You’re going to get some patients sent through that you can definitely manage in a community pharmacy,” Mr Yeung explained. “You’re going to get some people that you definitely need to escalate to another location; for example, a GP practice.
“But then there’s a group of people in the middle where they actually need a bit of management, a bit of safety-netting, some advice – and actually they can always come back to see the pharmacist if things don’t get better or get worse.”
Watch the video to find out:
- Why pharmacists should “put themselves in the shoes” of the NHS 111 call handlers
- Why the £14 fee per consultation “feels right”
- How the service has worked out in its north-east England pilot area.