Community Pharmacy Digital Group (CPDG)

Community Pharmacy Digital Group (CPDG)

The Community Pharmacy Digital Group (CPDG) helps inform Community Pharmacy IT Group’s (CP ITG) work with others. The email discussion forum is a place for pharmacy staff, and Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) members to share ideas about digital pharmacy matters using an email address. Views can help inform the Community Pharmacy IT Group’s work with NHS Digital and pharmacy system suppliers.


CPDG membership may include any pharmacy team members or LPC members that have an interest with IT and digital developments.


Community Pharmacy Digital Group also has early sight of new developments and technology and its views feed directly into CP ITG. The CPDG comes together virtually as a social networking email group.

Click on ‘sign-up’ further below to join.

Group's purpose

To gather views that can be captured and fed into CP ITG and those others involved with pharmacy digital developments.

Both CPDG and CP ITG focus on a number of workstream areas outlined below. The groups hope to encourage the community pharmacy sector to get more engaged with the many upcoming digital changes. CPDG continues to recruit new pharmacy team and LPC members and hopes you will join too.

The CPDG also is associated with some smaller sub-groups that include relevant people e.g. the Community Pharmacy Digital Local Health and Care Records (LHCRs) sub-group for those working within their area on LHCR issues.

A copy of the draft Terms of Reference is available on request.

Areas of interest

CPDG interests relate to any of the CP ITG’s workstream areas below, but you may choose just to comment on those areas that interest you.

WS1 Supporting the development of PMR systems: This group will help with consideration of usability for pharmacies. This can then support further work by the group with NHS Digital, PMR system suppliers and contractors to develop a roadmap for development of PMR systems. Work should also include looking at PMR contracts, to see how they can reflect agreed best practice or providing guidance to contractors, if changes to standard contracts cannot be agreed. The group should support PMR systems by helping to identify useful future development options. Relevant webpage(s) include: 
WS2 Connectivity, business continuity arrangements and dealing with outages: this would include supporting the transition from N3 to Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), in terms of the sector starting to get the benefits of the new HSCN model. Also ensuring the technical architecture of pharmacy connectivity does not prevent access to key NHS web-based resources, e.g. the Leeds Care Record. Pharmacy and system supplier input should be incorporated into HSCN migration plans. Relevant webpage(s) include:; and
WS3 Supporting EPS and its enhancements: including Controlled Drugs, real-time exemption checking, Phase 4 pilot, improving the efficiency of eRD (electronic Repeat Dispensing) work flows in PMR systems, development of standard descriptors across PMR systems for the different stages of a script’s EPS journey and other issues identified in the EPS issues log. Relevant webpage(s) include:
WS4 Seeking a standard process for importing PMR data into a new PMR system: Workplan item description: the lack of a standard approach means there are clinical (including patient safety), ethical and legal risks related to the potential for data to be inappropriately transposed.
WS4 Seeking the development of interoperability/integration where appropriate: this could be between different community pharmacy systems (e.g. PMRs and Services Support platforms) and between community pharmacy systems and other health and care record systems. This would necessitate community pharmacy systems supporting the recording of interventions/services in a coded manner (using SNOMED CT) with a clear aspiration for computable dose instructions across all systems including EPS. Relevant webpage(s) include: and
WS6 Developing a wider IT roadmap: to support useful and usable IT beyond PMR systems and EPS.
WS7 Supporting cyber security and Information Governance: supporting the use of minimum hardware specifications and the development of a revised Information Governance Toolkit for community pharmacy, NHS Digital training resources and developing guidance and resources for pharmacy teams on cyber security and information governance (including GDPR and handling patient requests for access to their data). Relevant webpage(s) include:
WS8 Promote the ability to collate fully anonymised appropriate patient interaction data from all systems: to support the evaluation and further development of pharmacy services. Ensure that appropriate consent models continue to remain in place.
WS9 Supporting Electronic referral solutions: supporting the development of electronic referral solutions, for referral into and from community pharmacy. This would include coordination / consolidation of electronic hospital discharge processes, so a best practice approach is achieved which can be adopted across the country.
WS10 Supporting NHSmail: roll-out- work with NHS Digital to ensure completion of the rollout of NHSmail, promote its use by contractors and seek to improve usability, e.g. NHSmail migration of individual accounts to new nomenclature and the use of email address aliases to provide a user-friendly email address for day-to-day use. Relevant webpage(s) include:
WS11 Tackling issues related to the practical use of pharmacy IT:  e.g. frequency of forced password changes, use of alternative credentials (alternatives to Smartcards) for users and changes to support improved patient safety.
WS12 Consider the development of apps and wearables in healthcare: consider the development of guidance and a principles documents for new apps covering, appropriate usage and security for data, promotion of all pharmacies equally etc. Relevant webpage(s) include:
WS13 Exploring WiFi: explore use of WiFi within pharmacies and develop guidance if necessary. Consider whether NHS funding for WiFi should be sought.
WS14 Supporting Digital literacy: Workplan item description: collate a central list of IT training opportunities available for all pharmacies and consider other ways to work with Pharmacy Digital Forum (PhDF), RPS, Health Education England and Faculty of Health Informatics to help boost the digital literacy of pharmacy staff. Relevant webpage(s) include:

Sign-up to join the email group CPDG (pharmacy)

Try taking part with CPDG by visiting the Google Group sign-up page directly. You can sign-up even without a Google Account and can still send and receive emails (a detailed guide on this: here). The key steps are:

  1. Visit sign-up page
  2. Enter email address (even a non-Google email address)
  3. Go to your email inbox (including junk/spam area, mark as non-spam if so) and ‘confirm subscription’, visit the link and click ‘Join this group’. You maybe required to enter your email address again.
  4. You should receive an email to say that application is pending and later an approval email to confirm you’ve joined.
  5. For further advice on signing up read the trouble-shooting section below because you can email us requesting to join and we can add you manually.

Trouble-shooting sign-up issues

If the sign-up method above does not work for you then please use the form below or else email PSNC (under the form).

Community Pharmacy Digital Group (CPDG) Mailing List Signup
Please ensure your email address is correct
The F-Code or ODS code is the the unique code issued to your pharmacy which identifies you to NHS Prescription Services. You can find this on any pricing authority statement or your prescription submission document (FP34c).

If you still have difficulties getting signed up please email Dan Ah-Thion, PSNC’s Community Pharmacy IT Lead.

LPC members with an interest in IT may sign up using this method, selecting ‘LPC’.

Frequently asked questions

Q. I cannot see my emails relating to this group?

A. These may be arriving in your ‘junk’ or spam folder. You may wish to click onto the email within the spam folder and make a selection ‘not spam’ or similar so that the messages in future ought to go into your main inbox.

Q. How do I take part?

A. Once signed up, you can send email to the group’s email address and also receive the emails that the other members send to the group into you usual inbox. You might wish to share views/news or take part in mini polls that interest you. You can do all this from your regular email address even if you do not have Google Gmail email address.

Q. I am very busy. What is involved if I subscribe?

A. There is no minimum commitment. You can also unsubscribe later – see last FAQ.

Q. Who is the group for and what is the purpose?

A. The email group is mainly intended for pharmacy staff and LC members. The group will help gather some views for NHS Digital, PMR suppliers and others about pharmacy IT progress. It aims to be a positive, collaborative and group of people with an interest about IT within pharmacy or at their pharmacy. As of March 2018 more than 40 members had joined, and membership remains open.

Q. I cannot access the group forum page?

A. You do not need to access this, it is just a record of past messages. It is only accessible if your email address happens to be a gmail one.

Q. I’ve experienced technical /administrative issue with the group?

A. Please contact PSNC’s Dan.

Can I unsubscribe later?

A. Yes. If you signed up but later wish to unsubscribe then use the unsubscription link included on each email (at the Google group homepage), or else contact PSNC’s Dan to confirm unsubscription and we can unsubscribe you.




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