Health & NHS
GPs ticked off for informal referrals to pharmacies
GP practices have been ticked off for informally directing patients to community pharmacies rather than using the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service route.
Informal referrals may result in some patients not accessing the care they need and can prevent pharmacy teams from identifying patients that need to directly speak to the pharmacist, the Primary Care Bulletin (December 20) has warned.
“We would like to remind GP practices that referrals to community pharmacy for minor illness should be made to CPCS via the locally agreed electronic referral route.”
Some GP practices are informally directing patients to community pharmacies in order to prioritise delivery of Covid booster vaccinations rather than make a CPCS referral, the Bulletin says.
An investigation by Pharmacy Magazine shows that two years after the service was introduced, the CPCS is worth less than £750 a year to the average pharmacy in England, with the majority of referrals coming from NHS111.
Pharmacies received 1,379650 referrals between October 2019 and November 1, of which 984,358 were completed. This breaks down to 329,099 minor ailments referrals and 583,051 urgent supply referrals from NHS111, and 72,208 completed minor ailment referrals from GP surgeries.