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Pharmacists could undergo CPD workshops on CPCS from April

HEE: CPD workshops will update pharmacists' clinical assessment and examination skills
HEE: CPD workshops will update pharmacists' clinical assessment and examination skills

Pharmacists providing or “intending to deliver” the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) could attend CPD workshops on the service from April, under NHS England plans.

In a procurement notice published on the government website last month, Health Education England (HEE) said it is looking for a training provider to deliver face-to-face continuing professional development (CPD) workshops to pharmacists on the CPCS.

Interested parties have until next Friday (December 13) to submit their bids and the successful provider will be awarded a one-year contract worth £3 million.

Training so far

Since its launch on October 29, more than 10,000 pharmacies in England have signed up to provide the CPCS, which sees them receive £14 for each consultation they complete following an NHS 111 referral for minor illnesses and urgent medicines supply.

Up to 2,500 voluntary training places have been made available up to March via the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, to help pharmacists deliver the service.

HEE said the new provider will need to ensure its training is focused “on realigning and updating the practical, clinical assessment and examination skills of pharmacists”.

Pharmacists attending the workshops – which are expected to commence from April next year – will also be given “an overview of the CPCS and how this sits alongside urgent care, general practice, and the wider NHS healthcare system”, according to the notice.

The provider will also be asked to evaluate its training, “including follow up of impact in practice within a three month timeframe of completion”.

The workshops will be delivered across the seven NHS regional areas: north east; north west; Yorkshire and the Humber, east Midlands, west Midlands, east of England, London, south east and south west.

AIMp chief welcomes “in-depth training”

Speaking at the Sigma Pharmaceuticals seminar in London on Sunday (December 1), the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) chief executive Leyla Hannbeck welcomed the “in-depth” CPCS training that is being commissioned by HEE, which she confirmed pharmacists should be able to access in “late spring”.

“There will be more communications on that, in terms of what it involves, but it has to do very much with assessment training and training in relation to diagnosis,” she said.

Ms Hannbeck, who sits on the urgent care delivery and implementation group, that was set up by NHS England and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee to support the rollout of the CPCS, said one of the biggest issues brought to her attention is that locum pharmacists “sometimes don't know what to do”.

“NHS England is very keen to make sure that it communicates that locums will need to be trained on the CPCS,” she said.

All the issues raised by contractors so far – which also include problems linked to receiving NHS 111 emergency referrals for controlled drugs – will form part of NHS England’s operational guidance on the CPCS, which Ms Hannbeck said is “coming soon”.

Do you have any questions around the CPCS? Tune in to C+D’s Facebook Live interview with Andre Yeung on December 10, for your chance to ask the architect behind the local scheme that influenced the national service about the CPCS.

Submit your questions in advance by emailing [email protected]

Do you think all pharmacists delivering the CPCS should attend this training?

Medicine Master, Primary care pharmacist

All this for £14 when will pharmacy ever learn?


Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Who believes the service will be extended to GPs and hospitals ?

anti-depressed Pharmacist, Manager

This profession is a joke, can you imagine Mechanics fitting new breaks to cars without any training.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

The service has been rushed in to try to sweeten the blow from the cut in MUR's and subsequent funding shortfall for pharmacies.  Maybe they hope that it will fail to show that community pharmacies are incapable of delivering new services and so deserve to close.

As a locum I am fully aware that I need to be trained but it has been extremely difficult to find appropriate training especially in the completing papaerwork side of the scheme.  NUMSAS I could complete but this seems to have a whole new level of hoops to jump through.

Yet again the cart seems to have been placed in front of the horse!

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

I'm sick of all this! Who starts a new service and then adds at the end....

"Oh, by the way, the training for this service starts in 6 months' time" ?  

F'ing pathetic! And more fool Mr Dukes and the PSNC or whoever agreed to this dog's breakfast.  Can you imagine GPs agreeing to such an OMNISHAMBLES ! 

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

In other news, the navigators of The Titanic are being given night vision goggles and iceberg awareness training

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

You couldn't make it up if you tried!!!! All the audits plus CPCS in one go. We all know 111 call handlers training is shambolic and some of the referrals to pharmacies have proven that. I think we should all opt out of CPCS once we've got our payments and let the rest of the NHS deal with this mess. 

How High?, Community pharmacist

Yes but we won't because there's always a contractor near you that will sell his his granny to make 10p

Richard MacLeavy, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Normal course of implementing a new product or service anywhere in the world. 

Step 1: Design service and operational guidance

Step 2: Train staff on service with referance to operational standards and guidance

Step 3: Launch service with everyone trained, ready to go and supported with guidance for referance

NHS way of implementing new service

Step 1: Launch Service

Step 2: Organise training through your training partners which you will begin to tender for a couple of months after launching the service

Step 3: Prepare operational guidance ready for an unspecified date in the future

Step 4: Wonder why its all going so wrong - Prehaps we need another conferance in some far off exotic location!!!

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director


I know my job. 

The referal system does not work

Got one yesterday with "signs of whooping cough" on it, which requires antibiotics, GP was closed, OOH was not open for another 2.5h. Called 111 back and was told that the patient mam would need to go back through the 111 system again later when OOH was open and it was not possible for them to do it now.


Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

Been there with a request for tramadol - OOH not open until 6pm, local surgery closed and an angry patient expecting to collect tramadol from pharmcy immediately.


Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

why does the word "undergo" make it sound about as attractive as tooth extraction?

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Why wasn't this in place BEFORE the service commenced? My concern with this is the service will have been live for 6 months by the time the training is available - plenty of time for it to either fly or sink, depending on delivery.

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Everything is done on the hoof. I wonder how area managers will get pharmacists o hit their targets. Get those referral numbers up or you're sacked !! 14 quid !!!

C A, Community pharmacist

The problem is they're referrals, all you can do is tell people to call 111, and it might not even get referred back to you, I had two the other week, one that had lost medication while on holiday and came back on a Saturday when the surgery was closed, and they "didn't pay for their scripts" so got signposted to 111, and one that had ran out of pregabalin that "but I need it" and got signposted to 111. I'll let you guess what happened - a clue is I only got 1 CPCS

Fire Walker, Community pharmacist

My thoughts exactly! 

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