Pharmacy contractors will receive £14 per patient consultation following a GP practice referral in the next stage of the DMIRS pilot, NHS England has confirmed. The payments cover participation in the pilot, and completion of documentation, evaluation and training.
The first four pilot sites in Cheshire and Merseyside, Lancashire and South Cumbria, Cumbria and the North East, and Greater Manchester are expected to go live later this month.
The scheme is intended to roll out nationally across England, subject to contract negotiations, according to the chief pharmaceutical officer. Keith Ridge told delegates at last month’s Clinical Pharmacy Congress that this would be “an amazing opportunity and a game changer” for community pharmacy, making the sector “the front door of the NHS for low acuity illness”. However, a programme management approach is needed to ensure it is done “well, properly, consistently and to high quality”.
NHS England estimates that up to 6 per cent of all GP consultations - some 20.4 million appointments per year - could be safely transferred to community pharmacies as part of a national scheme. More details about the DMIRS roll-out will be released “later this week”, the commissioner told Pharmacy Network News.