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Success in setting up community pharmacy services

We helped commissioners with medicines management expertise in setting up and maintaining community pharmacy services, freeing up capacity across primary care.

Background

The Birmingham and Black Country Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) requested our help with managing locally commissioned community pharmacy services. Several schemes were prioritised: Pharmacy First, COVID-19 Urgent Eye Care service, Specialist Palliative Care Drugs service and the Intravenous Antibiotic Supply service.

Action

  • Produced several service documents and engaged with local key stakeholders
  • Ensured service delivery was in line with the specification
  • Contractor payments and payment queries were managed appropriately and on time
  • Implemented an audit and reporting structure to demonstrate the quality and cost saving
  • Automated services onto a digital platform to improve payment, reporting, audit and efficacy

Impact

We helped Black Country CCGs to set up and maintain a successful new Minor Ailments service under the name of ‘Pharmacy First’.

Over 300 pharmacies across the Black Country and Birmingham provide the service monthly covering GPs with a combined population of 1.46 million patients.

Compared to previous financial year, 18,931 Pharmacy First consultations (86.1%) were found to have freed up capacity across GP, A&E and walk-in services.

This was confirmed by audit data which showed that had the scheme not been available, patients would have booked a GP appointment. Community pharmacy in this case represents better ‘health value’ when comparing utilisation of skillsets and costs of community pharmacy services with costs for a GP appointment.

“The CCG and the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit have worked closely and successfully for a number of years. The MLCSU pharmacy team effectively developed, mobilised and managed the day to day operations of a number of local community pharmacy services we commission. This includes the Pharmacy First service (minor ailments service), COVID-19 Urgent Eye Care Service (formerly known as Minor Eye Conditions service) and the Specialist Palliative Care Drugs service. The team are excellent with engaging key stakeholders as well as exceeding any CCG requirements, helping to provide innovative solutions when needed in a timely fashion. I would recommend MLCSU as a choice of provider for community pharmacy services.”

Jag Sangha, Pharmaceutical Adviser – Primary Care, Community Pharmacy and Public Health, Dudley CCG