More GP practices and community pharmacies go live with electronic notifications for urgent supply of medicines

26 Aug 2020 06:38 PM

NHS Digital is rolling out electronic notifications which inform GPs when one of their patients receives an urgent supply of medicine from a community pharmacy.

The two largest GP systems, EMIS web and TPP SystmOne, and pharmacy systems Pinnacle PharmOutcomes and Sonar Informatics, are now live.

The new, more secure method improves information sharing between pharmacies and GP practices, saving time by reducing manual processing and follow up requests for information.  Sharing this information quickly and consistently means patient records are more up-to-date, so practice teams are better informed when making decisions about care.

Electronic notifications are currently in use for the urgent supply of medicines made as part of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)1 and pharmacy administered flu vaccinations2.

They are sent automatically from pharmacies and received by GP practices as a workflow task in their clinical system. Some GP systems can receive structured information, which means details can be added directly to a patient's record, without the need to transcribe them manually. Practices still receive the full details of the urgent supply in a PDF document so they can add any additional information to the record if necessary.

The content of the electronic notification is based on the pharmacy information flows data standard which has been developed in partnership with the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB)3. The PRSB worked with clinicians from across primary care to develop and endorse the standard which covers vaccinations, urgent supply of medicines and other community pharmacy services.

Ian Lowry, Director of Medication, Social Care, Child Health and Maternity at NHS  Digital, said: “This latest stage in the rollout means that a number of GP practices and community pharmacies in England are able to benefit from electronic notifications rather than the current method of email or paper.

“This saves time for both pharmacy and GP practice staff and supports integrated working between care settings when patients need to access essential medicines in an emergency.”

Dr Masood Nazir, Director of Digital Primary Care at NHSX, said: “The urgent supply of medicines should be as straightforward as possible for patients, GP practice and pharmacy staff, particularly during the pandemic and as we look towards winter.

“By sending notifications electronically, we will make life easier for the staff at local pharmacies and family doctors and increase safety for patients, which is arguably more important than ever – this is why we have commissioned NHS Digital to accelerate this important work.”

More information, including user guidance and training materials, is available on the NHS Digital website.