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Online system “PharmaBase” coming soon to support enhanced services, says PSNC

By News team

Development of PharmaBase, a web-based system that aims to support delivery of and evidence gathering for enhanced services in England, was announced yesterday (17 November 2010) by Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, at its local pharmaceutical committee conference.

The first release, which will include support for emergency hormonal contraception and supervised consumption of medicines services as well as an electronic version of the PSNC’s contract workbook, is expected to be available in early 2011.

PSNC head of NHS services Alastair Buxton explained that the system will streamline the delivery, reporting and invoicing of enhanced services. It will also provide users with prompts and links to respected sources of clinical knowledge, such as NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries and summaries of product characteristics.

Mr Buxton added that PharmaBase will allow tracking and analysis of the effectiveness of commissioned services at both local and national levels.

He said that it is clear from the PSNC’s negotiations with NHS Employers that, in the new commissioning environment, any service not supported by evidence of its benefit and cost-effectiveness will be decommissioned. “So we have to start to be able to collect data in a more robust and standardised way to be able to fight off those challenges,” he added.

PharmaBase has been developed by the PSNC, with an IT partner, and so is designed to meet pharmacy’s — rather than commissioners’ — needs, he explained.

Future plans for PharmaBase include: providing support for new national services and additional enhanced services; allowing sharing of electronic data with other healthcare professionals; and enabling the system to interface with patient medication records.

Base-level functionality in the first release will be provided free of charge to pharmacies and primary care trusts for a trial period of two years.

Further funding is needed to develop the system and Mrs Sharpe indicated that this would be raised via a hypothecated LPC levy of no more than £75 per annum per pharmacy. PCTs will be charged a small additional cost if they require more detail or breakdown of the data beyond what they currently receive.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11046563

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