The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) – which launches across England on October 29 – will see pharmacies receive £14 for each consultation resulting from a referral from NHS 111 for minor illnesses and urgent medicines supply.
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) chief executive Simon Dukes said if an increasing number of patients are referred to pharmacy via NHS 111 – and possibly GP surgeries and urgent care, should the service be expanded as proposed in the five-year funding deal – it could lead to more patients “walking in, just to see the pharmacist”.
“If the consultation service is a success, which I really hope it will be…then people who have had a great service will think: ‘Well, why do I have to do that when I can just walk in?’,” he predicted at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham on Sunday (October 6).
However, under the current contract for England, there is no remuneration for pharmacies managing walk-ins, which means they will not be paid for this additional workload, Mr Dukes added.
Once the CPCS launches, PSNC will be “capturing the data, to measure the baseline and increasing numbers of people walking in” and taking this information into its annual reviews of the contract with the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) and NHS England.
The increase in patient walk-ins “will happen, and then we need to find a way of remunerating appropriately as a result”, Mr Dukes told Pharmacy Show delegates.
Read C+D's analysis of how the five-year funding deal could affect your pharmacy