Pharmacy First Minor Ailment Scheme (Leicester City CCG)
Leicester City CCG has agreed to extend the existing Pharmacy First Service for Minor Ailments Service until the 31st March 2015. As of December 2016 this service continues to be commissioned and the LPC are awaiting updates for the review of the Pharmacy First Service and have contacted the CCG.
The content of the service level agreement has been transferred to the NHS standard contractual framework.
Only those City pharmacists who were signed up to the 2008 Pharmacy First service and who registered any activity on this contract have been invited to continue providing the service.
The management of patients with minor self-limiting conditions impacts significantly on GP workload (up to 40% of presentations are for minor self-limiting ailments). The situation is most acute where patients do not pay prescription charges for example, older people, people from low-income families or people with particular types of disabilities must receive a prescription from their GP in order to avail of free treatment. Such patients have a tendency to use this route and may not have the resources or the motivation to seek alternatives to a prescription from their GP. People, who can afford to, may visit a community pharmacy and pay for over-the counter medicines to treat minor ailments.
Community Pharmacists already advise patients on a wide range of minor ailments and either recommend treatment or refer on to another healthcare professional. Various surveys and strategies throughout Great Britain have identified the desire of community pharmacists to be involved in the provision of a greater number of services and the ability to do so. In addition, the community pharmacy is the most highly regarded of all our health and social services by people accessing them.
Two schemes in Leicester City have built upon this expertise over the last 5 years whereby community pharmacists could offer advice to eligible patients presenting with minor ailments and, if necessary, treatment on the health service. The preliminary evaluation of these schemes has shown that patient accessibility to health care services has been improved hence encouraging the use of pharmacy as a first point of call for a health consultation and reducing the demands that such patients make on their GPs. The two schemes have now been merged and ‘modernised’ using models adopted in various local PCTs in England, and the Minor Ailments National Scheme operational in Scotland.
Community pharmacies in Leicester are well placed within communities and offer an open door to everyone. There are over 70 pharmacies spread throughout Leicester City. A pharmacist is at hand, usually between 9.00am to 6.00pm (and in many cases earlier and/or later), Monday to Saturday (and in some localities even on a Sunday) to offer free independent health advice. Therefore provision of a minor ailments service from community pharmacies will:
- Enhance the public’s ability to manage minor ailments themselves
- Improve the care of the most marginalised and deprived
- Enhance accessibility to service provision
- Improve the range of service provision through community pharmacies as recommended within the Community Pharmacy Strategy
- Effect benefits for other parts of the service particularly General Medical Practices, Accident and Emergency Departments and Out-of-hours medical services providers.
Aims and objectives of the Service
To improve access and choice for people in NHS Leicester City with minor ailments by:
- Promoting self care through the pharmacy, including provision of advice and where appropriate medicines and/or appliances without the need to visit the GP practice
- Operating a referral system from local medical practices or other primary care providers
- Supplying appropriate medicines at NHS expense
- To improve primary care capacity by reducing medical practice workload related to minor ailments.
For community pharmacists to provide advice and support to people on the management of minor ailments, including where necessary, the supply of medicines for the treatment of the minor ailment, for those people who would have otherwise gone to their GP for a prescription.
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Address: Leicester City CCG, St Johns House – 30 East Street – Leicester LE1 6NB