Services Blog – CPCS

Services Blog – CPCS

October 22, 2019

Nick Thayer, Pharmacy Services Manager

Pharmacy is changing. That has been a fairly consistent message from all parties for years. But if we’re honest, whilst some things have moved forward – many of the fundamentals remain the same. We still process bits of paper, dispense prescriptions (and check boxes) and provide help and support to all our patients when they walk through the door.

The new Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) marks a fundamental shift in our way of working and truly is a make or break moment for community pharmacy. It might not look like that at first glance, but the new way of working is significant. This new service knits us into the NHS and existing patient pathways, there is no ‘gap’ – we are part of the system. Not only that, we are having patients pushed into our pharmacies and we need to manage their needs completely. The actual consultations aren’t significantly different. But the concept of NHS referrals, as part of urgent care pathways, really is a game changer. If we pull this off, then we will be invaluable to the NHS. For once, the value of community pharmacy can be articulated clearly, will be seen, and our success is of importance to the NHS both locally and nationally.

Of course, if we don’t deliver on this, then things get more difficult. The CPCS is fundamentally utilising our existing skills and our current day job. If we can’t do this, then there will be no confidence we can do anything else. All the critics of community pharmacy will be proved right and the window of opportunity will move to another place.

So, what can we do to make this a success?

  • Brief your team:
    • Does everyone know what happens?
    • Can everyone access PharmOutcomes?
    • Who has a smart card, who can get onto Summary Care Records?
  • What’s the process for locums? Try filling out and providing our handy locum checklist.
  • Make sure everyone is familiar with any minor ailment’s services can be added to CPCS as an outcome. This is another option to resolve a patient’s complaint beyond advice and/or OTC sales (it also secures both payments).
  • Make sure everyone can access PharmOutcomes – this is so important I’ve said it twice. All referrals come through PharmOutcomes and consultations must be recorded here.
  • Check your Summary Care Record access (and smart cards). Throughout the pharmacies opening hours you need to ensure someone can provide access to SCR records. This is especially important if you have a locum booked in.

If we can, as a sector, make this service a huge success we prove: community pharmacy can be relied upon; we can make notable differences to NHS pressures and we are professionals who can provide high quality patient care.

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