New digital service supports local pharmacy prescribing
From June 2020, a new module of the Choose Pharmacy application, the Independent Prescribers' Service (IPS), will support community pharmacists who have qualified as non-medical prescribers to provide patients presenting with certain conditions access to effective advice and treatment.
It's part of the expanding Choose Pharmacy digital platform, developed by the NHS Wales Informatics Service, which includes services such as emergency contraception, common ailments service and discharge medicine reviews.
Providing this service, via the digital Choose Pharmacy service, will enable pharmacists to record the consultation, generate a GP summary and/or referral letters and create a patient history, which moves with the patient if they change pharmacies. To inform decisions, pharmacists who have qualified as non-medical prescribers will have access to the patient's digital Welsh GP Record. This includes a summary of important information, such as current medication, recent tests and allergies.
The service is intended to provide timely access to advice for patients and reduce demand on GP consultations relating to relevant and defined conditions. Community pharmacies are one of the key frontline providers people can go to if they need urgent care, reducing pressure on GPs and A&E departments.
Emma Williams, Choose Pharmacy Clinical Lead, NHS Wales Informatics Service, said: "The Independent Prescribers' Service supports a 'community pharmacy first' model of care. This means patients will have more access to advice and treatment at the right time, in the right place, reducing pressure on GPs for consultations for conditions that can be appropriately managed in the community pharmacy setting. This is particularly relevant during the current healthcare crisis, when ensuring greater access and options for patient care is more important than ever."
Following the Minister for Health and Social Services' recent announcement on a range of measures to improve access to digital tools for Community Pharmacies in Wales, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales, Andrew Evans commented on the new module,
"The release of this module is a significant step towards our ambition to enable many more pharmacists in community pharmacies in all parts of Wales to provide clinical services in a way that best utilises their expertise and is truly integrated with the rest of primary care."
NWIS will go on to conduct a pathfinder evaluation towards the end of this year, which will inform recommendations on national rollout.