Regs explainer (#12): Facilitating remote access to pharmacy services

Regs explainer (#12): Facilitating remote access to pharmacy services

November 6, 2020

On 20th October 2020 new NHS regulations were laid to introduce changes to the Terms of Service for pharmacy contractors. Some of these changes relate to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but most are changes which were previously agreed as part of the 5-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and were originally planned to be introduced in July 2020.

This article is one of a series, explaining what the changes mean for pharmacy contractors and their teams.


This change applies from:

9th November 2020

What are the new requirements?

An addition to the Terms of Service states that pharmacy contractors must, to a reasonable extent:

  1. facilitate remote access to pharmacy services provided at or from its pharmacy premises, where users wish to access those services under arrangements that make those services available using remote access; and
  2. establish, maintain and keep under review procedures to facilitate remote access to those services under arrangements that make those services available using remote access.

Providing pharmacy services remotely has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. This requirement seeks to confirm and ensure that all pharmacies providing services remotely to patients, bricks and mortar and Distance Selling Premises (DSP), facilitate remote access to the full range of NHS pharmacy services provided by a pharmacy, to a reasonable extent, including, for example:

  • ensuring that appropriate advice is given to patients about any medicines or appliances dispensed to them;
  • accepting and disposing of unwanted medicines from patients, as part of the Disposal of Unwanted Medicines service; and
  • supporting patients who are prescribed new medicine via the New Medicine  Service (NMS), where this is provided by the pharmacy.

Where can I get more support on this?

Further guidance on this term of service will be included in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regulations guidance, which will be published shortly and our website provides information on Essential and Advanced services.

 



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