GP CPCS


GP CPCS Rollout Update – May 2021

On the 1st November 2020, the CPCS was extended to allow for general practice teams to refer patients with a minor illness to their local pharmacy, this service is known as GP CPCS.

Since this new pathway was launched, we have been working as part of a GP CPCS working group comprised of members from GMLPC, Bolton LPC, CHL and NHSE/I who meet regularly to plan the rollout of the service across GM. The group have been working closely with Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) and wider Governance Boards, and would now like to update contractors on progress and provide a brief overview of the work that’s been going on behind the scenes to increase uptake and engagement with the service.

GM System Engagement 

Extensive system engagement has taken place with oversight from GMHSCP to support the implementation of the service. This includes engagement with the following key stakeholders;

  • Clinical Directors
  • Senior Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) representatives through Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP)
  • GP Provider Board
  • Medicines Optimisation Teams
  • Healthwatch organisations
  • Local MP’s

Following this high level engagement, we are pleased to confirm that funding has now been secured for EMIS practices to use the Patient Access Connect Module, and for non-EMIS practices to use the web-based solution, PharmRefer.

Further details on deployment of these IT systems for your local practices and all Community Pharmacies will be communicated in due course.

General Practice Engagement 

As part of the project agreement, GM have committed to support the implementation of the service across 30% of practices in GM. In December 2020, GMLPC sent out an EOI survey to better understand how many pharmacies and GPs would be interested in taking part with GP CPCS.

Based on survey responses from the pharmacies that confirmed their GP was keen to engage with the service, we identified a number of potential early adopters who were contacted to arrange an initial meeting.

We also sent communications to all other practice managers in GM to provide an overview of the service and to provide details for those who may be interested to proceed with conversations.

We have received a number of expressions of interest following communications and wider system engagement and are now in the process of arranging meetings with a number of potential early adopters.

A number of direct meetings with colleagues from PCNs have already taken place to agree dates for rollout using a robust deployment plan which can be seen in the attached summary for your reference and information.

Please see below a status update of PCN’s who we have met with already and have confirmed they would like to proceed as early adopters;

Locality PCN  Current status 
Trafford Trafford West  (Urmston Group Practice & Primrose Surgery) Live since 10/05/2021
Trafford Trafford West (Davyhulme) Go live wc17/05/2021
Rochdale Heywood In progress (training planned)
Rochdale Canalside In progress (training planned)
Manchester Hulme, Rusholme and Moss Side In progress
Bury Horizon In progress
Salford Ordsall and Claremont In progress
Stockport Tame Valley In progress
Oldham Oldham Central TBC
Oldham Oldham South TBC

We are also in conversation with a large number of other PCN’s/practices who have also registered their interest, further updates will follow as deployment has been confirmed.

Pharmacy Engagement 

To support pharmacy contractors, the GP CPCS working group have also been developing a catalogue of supporting tools for PCN Leads and pharmacy teams to be used for engagement purposes in conversations with colleagues or general practice. Please see examples below;

We are also in the process of finalising a locum guide to ensure service delivery remains consistent.

Actions for Contractors

  1. Complete the actions outlined in Annex F and claim via the MYS tool to receive the set-up fee

In preparation to deliver the service, there are a number of actions outlined in Annex F of the service specification which contractors must complete before the 30th June to receive the set-up fee of £300.

Details of all required actions can be found on the attached ‘Annex F Engagement Activity document’ which has been produced to supplement the national documentation.

Understanding of locally agreed GM protocols including the referral pathway, escalation processes, and list of suitable conditions will also be necessary to complete this claim, these can be found attached. Please ensure you have briefed your team (including locums) on these processes and ensure copies are filed to support your claim.

Once all actions have been completed, please claim via MYS and use the PSNC GP referral pathway to the CPCS – Action plan template for pharmacy teams to record evidence to support the claim.

2. Attend the GPCS Webinar for GM Pharmacists and Contractors

GMLPC, Bolton LPC, CHL and GMHCA are hosting a series of GP CPCS webinars on the below dates which will provide further information on the service, and upskill contractors ahead of these discussions if these have not yet taken place.

Tuesday 30th March: 1-2pm (session now passed)

Wednesday 21st April: 7-8pm (session now passed)

The third and final webinar will be held on Wednesday 19th May (1-2pm)- Book your place here.

Attending one of these webinars is an essential requirement for contractors to be able to claim the £300 engagement and setup payment.

Following the webinar, a number of documents will be shared to support completing additional elements of Annex F, these include;

  • A copy of the webinar slides – these can be used for reference and to support with team briefings
  • Briefing for community pharmacy teams – this provides a summary of the service background, pathway and benefits and can be used to supplement the national documentation
  • Briefing for general practice – this can be shared with general practice or PCN colleagues requesting information on the service and includes suggested next steps
  • A breakdown of the Annex F engagement activities that will need to take place before the £300 set up fee can be claimed with guidance and resources to support completion
  • NHS Virtual Outcomes flyer

3. Delivery of the Minor Ailments Scheme

If your pharmacy is accredited to deliver the MAS, the minor ailments scheme, please ensure you are actively engaged in the service ensuring that all locums, Pharmacists and members of the Pharmacy team are aware of the service and are delivering the service as this is a possible outcome of a GP CPCS consultation.

To support this, we will be analysing GM activity and contacting pharmacies who are signed up but are not completing referrals. We are aware that there has been some confusion as a number of localities have now transferred to the GM scheme so will be producing a further MAS support guide.

Please refer to the GMLPC website for a further information on MAS including updated documentation for contractors.

4. Access the Virtual Outcomes training Module for GP CPCS

We are also pleased to confirm that the Virtual Outcomes NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) training modules are now available to all pharmacy teams.

These include:

  • NHS 111 CPCS pharmacy team training
  • GP referral CPCS pharmacy team training
  • GP surgery training
  • Online consultations
  • Pharmacist clinical consultations
  • PharmOutcomes support video

To access the training please click here. You will be asked to provide your pharmacy F code to access the modules.

We also encourage contractors to attend one of the RPS CPCS workshops. These events will support clinical assessment skills which will be utilised in consultations with patients referred as part of the CPCS.

Please note: Any pharmacies that have participated in the GP CPCS pilot, will have the relevant local information on the referral pathway to be able to update their CPCS Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to include the GP referral pathway. Other contractors could start to update their SOP, but some of the locally determined information on referral pathways will not be known until discussions on this have happened within the PCN.

GP CPCS: Essential Information for Contractors

From 1st November 2020, the CPCS was extended to include minor illness referrals from general practices as well as from NHS 111.

GPs will be able to refer patients to community pharmacies to receive a CPCS consultation for minor illness (unlike NHS 111, GPs cannot refer patients for an urgent supply of a medicine or appliance).

Pharmacies which are already registered to provide CPCS do not need to re-register to receive referrals from GPs, as this is an extension to the existing Advanced service.

General practices can choose whether they want to refer patients to the CPCS and before GPs can make referrals, there must be local discussions to agree how this will work. These discussions will involve pharmacy contractors, the Primary Care Network (PCN) and the member general practices, the NHS and your Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC).

We therefore expect general practices across individual PCNs to start to make referrals to the service over the next few months, once the preparatory work has been undertaken at a local level.

For pharmacies which have participated in the GP CPCS pilot Enhanced service, any referrals from 1st November 2020 will be managed under the Advanced service, rather than the pilot service.

Your LPC will be supporting contractors to get involved in the roll out of the GP referral pathway into the CPCS. At present, preparations to support the rollout are being undertaken by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) regional teams; this involves local planning discussions with LPCs, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other partners that will be able to support the process, including the NHS Time for Care Team.

What you can do now

Further information on how contractors can get involved in supporting the local rollout of the referral pathway will be provided to you in the next few weeks.

You can start to prepare for the local rollout by:

  1. Reading the updated NHS CPCS Toolkit for pharmacy staff so you understand more about how the pathway will operate;
  2. Reading the GP CPCS Toolkit for GP and PCN Teams to understand the GP element of the referral pathway;
  3. Reading the updated service specification;
  4. Briefing relevant staff on the changes to CPCS;
  5. Ensuring pharmacists that will provide the service read the updated toolkit and service specification;
  6. Review & complete the PSNC ‘GP referral pathway to the CPCS – Action plan template for pharmacy teams’
  7. Refer to the CPCS SOP Template

Information for PCN and General Practice Colleagues

We understand that a number of contractors and community pharmacy PCN leads are being approached by general practices and PCNs to ask for an update on the current status of GP CPCS rollout.

We would not encourage you to proactively engage in conversations at this stage, however, if you are approached by a general practice or PCN colleague, we have produced the following resource to support you with responding to any queries you receive.

GP CPCS Briefing for General Practice 

GP CPCS presentation – PCN leads and contractors 

Toolkit for General Practice and PCN teams

The GP CPCS Working group (comprised of reps from Bolton & GM LPCs, CHL, and GMHSCP) is currently in discussion with GMHSCP to define the deployment plan for GM, specifically including the IT referral mechanism and ways of working in making referrals.

We understand that concerns and requests for updates have been made to LPCs and we will endeavour to keep you updated on progress on the GM deployment plans.

If you are a PCN or GP practice interested in adopting GP CPCS in your area, please email enquiries@gmlpc.org.uk and a member of the GP CPCS working group will be in touch with you