“The success of this service will be built on the success of relationships between community pharmacies and also GP colleagues,” Mr Dukes said at the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) conference, organised by the PSNC and held virtually yesterday (September 16).
This new feature of the CPCS will also “build the platform for longer term relationships between the two professions”, which “has to be a good thing”, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) CEO added.
GP referrals to pharmacies under the CPCS service have been “enabled” from November 1, following amendments to the Pharmaceutical Services (Advanced and Enhanced Services and Emergency Declaration) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Directions 2020 on August 28.
The exact launch date of the GP referrals will be subject to negotiations between the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) and PSNC.
Speaking at an online event hosted by Pharmacy London – a representative body for London LPCs – today (September 17), pharmacy minister Jo Churchill spoke of the imminent launch of the GP extension of the service. “We are working to bring on stream GP minor illness referrals to the CPCS from November,” Ms Churchill said.
CPCS referrals from GP practices were expected to be rolled out nationally “as early as April”, according to last year’s Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework. However, the rollout was postponed earlier this year due to COVID-19.
Discharge Medicine Service
Mr Dukes also updated delegates on the Discharge Medicines Service. The new essential service, originally scheduled to be introduced in July this year, is now expected to launch in January 2021, he said.
LPCs and contractors will receive the service specification and toolkit, which are being agreed on with NHSE&I, “in the very near future”, he added.
Mr Dukes also said that PSNC was pleased that its requested amendment to this year’s flu service had been agreed to.
Community pharmacies and GP practices will collaborate on the delivery of this “ambitious” service which will, for the first time, be backed by a “joint incentive scheme”, Mr Dukes said.