NHS Employers (on behalf of NHS England) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have agreed changes to the community pharmacy contractual framework for 2014/15. These have been agreed as part of the overall package for community pharmacy in 2014/15 and will be implemented over the coming months.
Details of these changes are listed below, further information can be found in the Summary of 2014/15 community pharmacy contractual framework agreement.
Changes to Medicines Use Reviews (MURS)
From 1 January 2015 an additional target group will be added for patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or another condition which puts them at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Patients will be eligible for a targeted MUR as part of this group if they are regularly prescribed four or more medicines, at least one of which is for the relevant cardiovascular/cardiovascular risk condition.
The three existing target groups will remain unchanged. The proportion of MURs to be undertaken on patients in one or more of the four target groups will increase from 50 per cent to 70 per cent in each financial year from 1 April 2015.
Changes to patient safety incident reporting
Changes will be made to the Approved Particulars for incident reporting to require community pharmacies to report incidents to NHS England's National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) on a non-anonymised basis (i.e. allowing the pharmacy where the report originated to be identified). This is in line with the requirements for incident reporting for other healthcare professionals, such as GPs. The revised approved particulars will also clarify that all patient safety incidents that did or could have led to patient harm should be reported to NRLS.
The changes have been made to increase the levels of patient safety incident reporting from community pharmacies, and to optimise the learning from such incidents, helping to prevent similar incidents from occurring in future.
National audit of emergency supply of medicines made by community pharmacies
Changes will be made to the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations to allow for a policy based audit and submission of related data to NHS England. Previously, contractors were required to undertake one NHS England prescribed clinical audit per year. From 2014/15, the NHS England prescribed audit may either be for clinical or policy development purposes. The 2014/15 audit was a policy audit, the pharmacy based audit will remain unchanged.
For 2014/15, all community pharmacies will be required to undertake an audit of requests for emergency supply of medicines and to submit the information collected to NHS England. A dataset is currently being worked through and will be piloted in late 2014. This audit is in place of the NHS England-agreed clinical governance audit in the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013. The revised Regulations to reflect this amended requirement will be published in due course.
The audit period will be towards the end of the 2014/15 financial year and approximately half of pharmacies will undertake the audit during a period including the Easter bank holiday weekend, in order to determine the impact of events such as public holidays on requests for emergency supply.
Promotion of the Repeat Dispensing service
Community pharmacies will promote the repeat dispensing service to patients identified as eligible – that is, patients with stable, long terms conditions who need repeat supplies of regular medicines. It is recognised that the ability to increase rates of repeat dispensing rests with prescribers, however pharmacies have a role to play and it is hoped that patients who have been made aware of their eligibility for this service by their pharmacy will also encourage their GP to offer them the service.
This service development will contribute to NHS England's aim to increase uptake of the repeat dispensing service from the current national average of approximately 7 per cent of prescriptions (in March 2014) to a national average of 20 per cent by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.
New Medicine Service (NMS)
Following a positive outcome from the evaluation of the service commissioned by the Department of Health, it has been agreed that the NHS England will continue to commission the NMS.
For more information visit our NMS web pages.