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Two more areas confirmed to pilot NHS GP digital referral service

The service will see patients with low acuity conditons referred into community pharmacy
The service will see patients with low acuity conditions referred into community pharmacy

Pharmacies in West Yorkshire, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire can now sign up to receive digital referrals from a GP as part of NHS England’s DMIRS pilot.

The next stage of NHS England's Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS) pilot sees GPs refer patients with low acuity conditions – such as rashes, constipation and vaginal discharge – directly to community pharmacies via online triage systems.

The first pilot sites – in the Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria and Greater Manchester areas – were confirmed last month.

Two additional regions have now been added to the pilot, with pharmacies in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire able to offer the service from this month, while pharmacies in West Yorkshire are being invited to pilot the service from September 2, according to the service level agreements published last Friday (July 5).

Pharmacies will trial the service until March 31, 2020 and, following an evaluation, it “will be commissioned as a local enhanced service under the terms of the community pharmacy contractual framework”, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) said.

The scheme is supported by a portion of the £300 million Pharmacy Integration Fund, set aside by the Department of Health and Social Care in May 2016.

Pharmacies will receive £14 for each consultation completed following a GP referral – the same amount received for completing referrals from NHS111 – and patients will not be charged for the consultation, the NHS BSA added.

NHS England estimates that 6% of all GP consultations – 20.4 million appointments per year – could be safely transferred to a community pharmacist if the service is rolled out nationally.

Would you like to receive patient referrals direct from GPs?

janet revers, Community pharmacist

....but probably right

V K P, Community pharmacist

Bob Dunkley is a pragmatic person unlike Reeyah H who is a noctor.

Bob Dunkley, Locum pharmacist

Call me an old cynic, but I believe that patients will still want a bigger bang for their buck- and want to see a bone fide GP. No matter how well intentioned the pharmacist, no matter how good it is for pharmacy’s image, no matter how much the pharmacist wants to play at doctors, in the end the public still want to see a medically qualified person, not a pharmaceutically qualified person acting as a doctor.

Community Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Quite correct... it's all about reducing costs and we are seen as the cheaper option primarily.More pressure for pharmacy then....What's happened to those 'Pressure in the Workplace' enquiries ? Now pharmacists are being expected to do more and more for less and less ...Not fair.

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

You are an old cynic. 

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