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New role will improve communication between pharmacies and GPs in PCNs


New role will improve communication between pharmacies and GPs in PCNs

NHS England has announced the creation of a new role which it hopes will improve communication between community pharmacies and general practices in Primary Care Network areas across the country and support the roll-out of Pharmacy First and other services.

NHSE said community pharmacy PCN engagement leads will be the “point of contact” between pharmacies and practices within PCNs and, importantly given reports GPs in some areas are failing to refer patients to Pharmacy First, “support the implementation” of the scheme as well as expanded blood pressure checks and pharmacy contraception services.

“By building local relationships between community pharmacy and general practice, the role will help to ensure high quality and appropriate referrals from general practice to community pharmacy and help troubleshoot any issues about read-write patient records management,” NHSE said, adding engagement leads should attend PCN board and other meetings.

Laying out engagement leads’ responsibilities, NHSE said they will “provide support and co-ordination for community pharmacies in their PCNs to help them collaboratively develop and implement an approach to engagement with the PCNs.”

Leads will also work across PCNs and integrated neighbourhood teams to implement pharmacy services as part of the Primary Care Access Recovery Plan, “agree local arrangements” with practices for Pharmacy First including a standard operating procedure and protocol for referral, and leads will represent community pharmacy at PCN meetings.

NHSE also said leads will be expected to work closely with PCN staff “to discuss, understand and describe how community pharmacy can support their PCNs to achieve local targets aligned to national NHS priorities.”

Leads will be required to develop relationships with PCN clinical directors, pharmacy teams and community pharmacy PCN engagement leads in neighbouring areas and LPCs, as well as local commissioners and health and social care providers.

NHSE said it will make £1,040 available for each PCN to fund the new role until March 31 next year, with Integrated care boards “managing the delivery on a local level.” NHSE said ICBs will have to report back to it in September this year and March next year on how many engagement leads are in place and “give an overview of their activity and impact.”

NHSE also said its regional senior pharmacy integration leads “will monitor uptake and collate reporting nationally to support oversight and evaluation of their success.”








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