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Pilot project

NHS 111 minor ailments pilot rolled out across north-east of England

alastair buxton cr psnc 17

Source: PSNC

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS Services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee: pleased to see pharmacy care integrated within the wider emergency-care system

More than 600 pharmacies in the north-east of England are being given the chance to take part in a new patient referral pilot scheme.

The pilot covers the geographical area of Durham, Darlington, Tees, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear which has a population of 2.6 million.

The service, which will be piloted until 31 March 2018, will see NHS 111 call handlers referring patients with ‘low acuity’ conditions to community pharmacists for face-to-face consultations using PharmOutcomes or NHSmail.

The conditions eligible for the service include rashes, constipation, diarrhoea, vaginal discharge, sore eye, mouth ulcer, failed contraception, vomiting, scabies and ear wax.

The aim of the pilot, which is being funded by the Pharmacy Integration Fund, is to increase capacity and relieve pressure on existing urgent-care services.

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS Services, at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee said: “Management of minor conditions has always been an important part of the community pharmacy service, so it is great to see this service integrating pharmacy care within the wider urgent and emergency care system.

“The service aligns well with the ‘Five year forward view’ and NHS England’s current priorities, including moving care closer to home, ‘channel shifting’ and promoting self-care. The pilot should demonstrate how the community pharmacy network can be effectively used as part of the NHS urgent care system and it will hopefully build the case for a similar approach to be taken across the whole of England.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20204117

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