Following a successful pilot with the pharmacy chain, patients can now book in-pharmacy services, such as flu jabs, smoking cessation support, hepatitis A and B vaccinations and emergency contraception, using EMIS Health's Patient Access online and app service.
More than 60 Day Lewis branches are already live, with a further 250 to follow over the next two months, Patient Access told C+D.
The app, which has seven million users, is already used by patients to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions with GP practices that have signed up.
All patients in the UK can now book a community pharmacy appointment on the app, regardless of which GP they are registered with, provided there is a participating pharmacy near them.
The service is intended to be “available to any pharmacy or pharmacy group who wishes to join”, Patient Access said.
Service outcomes fed back to GP
One “unique” feature of the service is the ability for pharmacists to send an “electronic consultation summary” back to GPs, which Patient Access said “increases patient safety and helps to deliver better health outcomes”.
This feature is subject to patient consent, and will allow pharmacists using ProScript Connect patient medication record software to send details of any service they deliver back to the patient medical record, where a GP can view it.
NHS long-term plan
The aim of the extending the appointment booking service is to make it easier for pharmacies to “play their part in relieving pressure on GP surgeries”, according to Patient Access.
Chief executive officer Jason Keane said the service will support the NHS long-term plan's aim of “driving patients to community pharmacy”, by “enabling patients to search, view and book a wide range of services” locally.
“It’s an exciting move that will harness the power of community pharmacy in a new way,” he added.
Day Lewis executive director Sam Patel said the chain is “excited to be the official launch partner for pharmacy bookings”.
“By enabling greater patient visibility of the services offered by pharmacies and more choice, we are able to support both patients and the wider health network,” he added.