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Welsh pharmacists could access patients’ GP records from March

Four pilot pharmacies will have access to GP records from December 11
Four pilot pharmacies will have access to GP records from December 11

Pharmacies in Wales will be able to access a patient’s GP record from March 2018 if a pilot is successful, the Welsh health minister has announced.

Four pharmacies will pilot the scheme from December 11, the Welsh minister for health and wellbeing Vaughan Gething announced yesterday (November 29).

Speaking at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Wales’ Medicines Safety Conference in Cardiff, Mr Gething said that “if successful”, the pilot will lead to “a summary of key information from a patient’s GP record” being made available to all Welsh pharmacies with access to the Choose Pharmacy IT system.

According to Community Pharmacy Wales, Choose Pharmacy is an online system that enables accredited pharmacies to provide treatment for 26 "common ailments", as well as access electronic discharge letters.

Mr Gething said the benefits of sharing “vital information” from GP records with pharmacists have been “proven”.

“We are committed to extending access to the Welsh GP record to all pharmacists, once we are confident the system fully meets the needs of community pharmacists providing clinical services through the Choose Pharmacy system,” he said.

Make MURs “more meaningful”

Sion Llewelyn, manager of a Rowlands branch in Bala, north Wales, told C+D today that accessing the GP record would be “extremely useful”, as it would “enable the system to work much better”.

Pharmacies need the information to make currently “limited” medicines use reviews “more meaningful”, especially those involving statins, diuretics and potassium levels, Mr Llewelyn said.

Alex MacKinnon, director for the RPS in Scotland, said the announcement is “great news for patients and community pharmacists in Wales”.

“In England, community pharmacists have had access to the summary care record since 2015. It is clear Scotland is now lagging behind,“ Mr MacKinnon said.

2 Comments
Question: 
How could your pharmacy benefit from access to a patient's GP record?

Ivor Hadenuff, Primary care pharmacist

Access to GP records/summary care record IS a privelege, not a right. Asking patients consent is mandatory when carrying out a lot of activities in the NHS. Hospital staff including A&E have to ask patients permission to access the SCR, so let's not run away with the idea that pharmacists are somehow being singled out as untrustworthy.

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

I can imagine the idea came from this thought:-

"We need more transparency between primary care staff and I feel pharmacists could benefit from accessing patient records as part of the clinical strengthening of their position."

How it will go:

"We cannot allow pharmacists to have access to confidential information and run rogue. Therefore I impose a postgraduate training module of around 200 pages full of waffle and how misue of such privalges will result in a FTP. Thereafter, we shall get private contractors who are run by envious NHS middle management that have no knowledge of the profession to run courses to accredit pharmacists to merely have the privleage of looking at a gp record. But we must always remind them that they have a special privalegae and to never use this. From then on, we shall implmenet a framework to ensure any pharmacist that accesses a gp record shall be flagged up with an appropriate referral to an inhouse supervisor to demand an explanation for their actions. Then we shall get the pharmacists into a gladiator ring to battle it out for our pleasure!"

 

Each time progession is made in the profession, you know two things, it is for the benefit of a few and it increases surveillance and control on your own profession.

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