On the back of the NHS long term plan first released in 2019 we saw an urgent need to support pharmacies on their journey to becoming the front door to healthcare to play a far greater role to help a seriously stretched primary care network. The launch of the Primary Care Recovery Plan earlier this year was a further significant recognition of pharmacists for their professional skills and the need to empower them to do more to improve patient outcomes.
Cegedim’s vision and strategy is to be the UK’s most intelligent and powerfully simple pharmacy business solution, as we recognise this is what pharmacy deserves. For pharmacies to thrive and survive we knew we needed to deliver more than a PMR dispensing solution, we needed a complete business solution that works for the greater good of pharmacy. This vision has seen us deliver a number of products and solutions that already play a significant part in helping pharmacy to be that front door to healthcare and help in the adoption of new vital revenue streams with fast and intuitive delivery of Clinical Services which provide clinical care for patients and ill health prevention.
Our Anchor product, Pharmacy Manager has been driving efficiencies into the dispensing process to free up pharmacists to be more front of house, using our anytime, anywhere Pharmacy Services platform, which is a comprehensive suite of clinical services that can be used to quickly and intuitively treat patients safely within the dispensary setting.
This all-important expansion of the Contraception Service has been an evolution of the existing Contraception service launched in April this year. Contraception sits within our suite of five intuitive clinical services including Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS), Hypertension Case-Finding Service, New Medicine Service and not forgetting our annual Flu Service.
It was important that we recognised that pharmacy teams are already under immense pressure and so when designing the Contraception Service our teams were focussed on automating as much data entry as possible using seamless integration with both the Pharmacy Manager PMR and NHS services including MYS to ensure payment.
The Contraception Service (Tier 1 - Continuation) is live within Pharmacy Services now and available to support pharmacies who are able to provide the service to their patients. Tier 2 – Initiation is an extension of Tier 1 and will be visible within the Pharmacy Services platform from NHS launch on 1st December.
Cegedim are uniquely placed to do more to help pharmacy, whilst we are addressing these critical clinical needs of pharmacy we recognise that pharmacies also need technology to step up and provide the right level of integration with the wider primary care network to save precious time and protect the safety of patients. Cegedim is working alongside NHS colleagues to deliver even more integration to provide greater access to patient records along with the ability to write back into the GP record to ultimately drive improved patient outcomes.
Adam Dennett, Managing Director Pharmacy
“The Cegedim team has been working in true partnership with our NHS colleagues to drive much needed change into pharmacy and I am delighted that Cegedim has been trailblazing for pharmacy to be more joined up and we have been first to market in a number of key integrations with the NHS, integrations such as Summary Care Record, the Prescription Tracker service, and more recently the National Care Record Service. We recognised the importance of the Contraception Service and were the first PMR provider to market. I’m pleased that other PMRs are following suit as this only makes the industry stronger.”
Tracey Robertson, Director Product & Technology commented
“We are thrilled that the Pharmacy First initiative is recognising the important clinical skills of our pharmacy teams and we’re delighted to be supporting this important shift in the industry empowering pharmacy. We know that to do more, pharmacies need great technology, this has been and remains our vision and we’re hell bent on driving innovation to save pharmacy time, make pharmacy money and improve patient outcomes”
Pharmacy reforms to bring new services to the High Street
The NHS have announced the latest on Pharmacy First and the New Contraception Service
Thousands of women across England will be able to get the contraceptive pill at their local pharmacy from next month, as part of a major expansion of primary care services. Pharmacies across the country will begin offering the new contraceptive service in December with almost half a million women able to access the pill next year without needing to contact their GP first.
The rollout is part of the NHS and government’s primary care access recovery plan, announced by the head of the NHS and the Prime Minister in May, which committed to making it quicker and easier for millions of people to access healthcare on their high street.
Pharmacists will also ramp up the number of life-saving blood pressure checks given to at-risk patients over the next year with a commitment to deliver 2.5 million a year by Spring 2025 – up from 900,000 carried out last year. It is estimated this could prevent more than 1,350 heart attacks and strokes in the first year.
And beginning from early next year, patients will also be able to get treatment for seven common conditions directly from a pharmacy, without the need for a GP appointment or prescription. The new service will cover sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.
The ambitious blueprint aims to free up to 10 million GP appointments a year by next winter, and give the public more choice in where and how they access care.
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive at Community Pharmacy England, said:
“It makes perfect sense to use community pharmacies as a first port of call for healthcare advice, access to contraception and health checks such as blood pressure tests. Local pharmacies are staffed by highly qualified healthcare professionals and empowering them to do more is a logical next step for primary care. These new services will help patients and the public, as well as reducing pressure on GPs and the wider NHS.
“The investment in these services is desperately needed and welcome: pharmacies want to offer these services, and in future, we hope to see pharmacies getting even more support, with more services available and independent prescribing commonplace. Pharmacy teams will remain very busy throughout this winter but they will be working hard to build these new services into their daily workload when they relaunch. We hope that members of the public will want to take full advantage of the offer from community pharmacies in due course.”
In addition to comment Community Pharmacy England have updates guidance for Pharmacy Owners which you can access here on the Community Pharmacy England News
CPE confirmed “Pharmacy owners who sign up to provide the Pharmacy First service from 1st December 2023 up to the launch date of the service (31st January 2024) will receive an initial fixed payment of £2,000".
It was also confirmed that pharmacy would receive an additional fixed payment of £1000 per month if the pharmacy delivers the minimum number of clinical pathway consultations – starting at just one service delivery in February 2024.