Working and communicating with GPs and PCNs

Working and communicating with GPs and PCNs

In advance of providing the New Medicine Service (NMS), community pharmacy contractors or their representatives had to contact local GP practices to provide information to them about the service. The following resources could assist in this:

PSNC Advanced Services PowerPoint presentation for GPs and hospital colleagues (November 2020)

PSNC Advanced Services PowerPoint presentation for GPs and hospital colleagues (November 2020) (PDF)

PSNC Briefing 040/17: NHS community pharmacy Advanced Services – information for general practitioners and practice staff (June 2017)

PSNC Briefing 062/16: Services Factsheet – NMS guide for other healthcare professionals (October 2016)

CPPE NMS detailing card (October 2011)

Referring patients to their general practice

There may be occasions during the provision of the NMS when pharmacists will need to refer patients to their GP, where an issue has arisen that cannot be solved by the pharmacist and patient. In these circumstances pharmacists can use the NMS Feedback form to communicate with the GP practice. The development of Primary Care Networks (PCNs) has resulted in the employment of clinical pharmacists within PCNs, based at general practices; in many cases the clinical pharmacist may be able to assist the community pharmacist and patient with the matter identified during the NMS.

NMS Feedback Form (Microsoft Word e-form)

NMS Feedback Form (Microsoft Word)

It is best practice to phone the GP practice where a referral is urgently required, following this up by sending a copy of the NMS Feedback Form to the GP practice. Where the information to be fed back to the GP practice is less urgent, the form should be sent to the practice, with the patient being advised that the GP practice will contact them about the information in the NMS Feedback form where necessary.

PSNC is sometimes contacted by contractors or LPCs because local GPs have queried the wording in the NMS Feedback form which puts the responsibility to follow up with the patient on the GP practice, rather than the patient being asked to make an appointment with their GP. The NMS Feedback Form was designed by PSNC, the GP Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association and NHS Employers and the wording regarding referral back to the GP practice was proposed by the practising GPs representing the GPC.

The rationale for this approach is that it allows the GP practice to deal with the issue as they see fit, which may require an appointment with the patient’s usual GP, or it may involve another practice team member, such as a practice nurse, dealing with the query. It also provides flexibility for the GP practice to manage the issue by telephoning the patient if that is deemed an appropriate alternative to an appointment in the practice. The GPC view was that this approach provided more flexibility for practices to manage queries in the best way for their patients and using the full range of skills within their team, rather than requiring all queries to be dealt with via a face to face appointment with a GP.

Referrals for NMS provision from PCN clinical pharmacists

NHS guidance for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) on the provision of Structured Medication Reviews (SMR) includes referrals being made to the community pharmacy New Medicine Service.

The guidance has been published by NHS England and NHS Improvement to support PCN clinical pharmacy teams with implementation of the structured medication review and optimisation service requirements in the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service Specification for 2020/21. PCNs are asked to proactively consider all aspects of the guidance when planning, implementing and delivering the service.

The guidance outlines how PCNs should work with community pharmacies to connect patients appropriately to the NMS.

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