latest health care news

03.09.20

Community pharmacy to be bolstered by new CPD programme

Community pharmacy is set to be further embedded into urgent care pathways and help improve the care of patients presenting with minor illnesses, after the launching of new continuing professional development (CPD) for pharmacists.

Coordinated by Health Education England (HEE) and NHS England and NHS Improvement, the programme of workshops is being delivered to support community pharmacists in providing effective, patient-facing consultations and clinical assessments for a range of common minor illnesses.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) are working in partnership to deliver the CPD training.

Workshops are set to be rolled out across England from September 2020.

They are set to build on workshops provided by CPPE, which have been running since October 2019, and will be funded by the Pharmacy Integration Fund.

The CPD programme will help pharmacists manage patients referred from general practice and NHS 111 to the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS).

Pharmacists will also have the opportunity to refresh and update practical clinical assessment and examination skills, including how to carry out effective remote consultations and more effectively communicate with GPs.

Additionally, there will be the opportunity to learn new ways of working, as part of the primary care multi-disciplinary team, and learn how the CPCS fits within the urgent care, general practice and wider NHS healthcare systems.

Further information about the workshops is available on the RPS website

Professor Sheona MacLeod, Interim Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England, said: “HEE is delighted to be working with the RPS, the RCGP and CPPE at this exciting time for the pharmacy workforce.

“This provision for community pharmacists is a timely and welcome collaboration which supports the development of an expert flexible workforce which can work safely and confidently across care settings, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.”

A combination of online pre-learning and interactive online workshops will deliver the training, which will be facilitated by approved medics including GPs and advanced practitioner trainers.

Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement, added: “This new partnership will benefit patients by making greater use of the valuable and extensive clinical skills of community pharmacists, providing faster and convenient access to care for patients and at the same helping reduce pressure on GPs and other services.”

More than 2,100 community pharmacists have undertaken CPCS CPD provided by the CPPE to date.

Since the service launched in October 2019, an average of 10,271 patients a week have been referred to the CPCS for a booked consultation with a pharmacist following a call to NHS 111, freeing up appointments which previously may have been made with a GP.

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