The Working Group, formed of the NHS Employers organisation, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association, has also launched a new NMS feedback form that is designed to support this process by providing a practical channel that pharmacists can use to exchange information with GPs when this service is up and running.
The Working Group produced the one-page NMS feedback form in consultation with Local Medical Committees (LMCs) and Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs). The pharmacist can send this simple form back to a GP practice if they have identified a problem which requires the prescriber to review a prescription.
It has written to LMCs and LPCs asking them to encourage and facilitate local conversations about the New Medicine Service, with a focus on the immediate need for communication processes to be set up locally between pharmacists and GPs. It is crucial that these conversations start to take place now to ensure the services have the best chance of success in helping patients to use their medicines more effectively.
In addition it has published a short guide for GP practices outlining the changes to the pharmacy contract to help GP practices get up to speed on how the services work.
Felicity Cox, lead negotiator for the NHS Employers organisation and Chair of the Professional Relationships Working Group said:
"It’s most important that the professions talk to each other to ensure that patients get the greatest benefit out of the new pharmacy services. LMCs and LPCs should play a key role in facilitating these discussions. We hope that discussions about the new services will lead to even stronger working relationships between GPs and pharmacists across England."
Sue Sharpe, Chief Executive of PSNC said:
“We urge LPCs to talk with their respective LMCs, and promote dialogue between pharmacies and GP practices. The publication of the guide for GP practices provides succinct information for pharmacists to use in discussions with their local GPs. This information and the release of the NMS feedback form will allow the two professions to explore how they can maximise the benefits of the service developments for their patients.”
Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the GPC said:
“If both professions can form stronger links it will benefit both them and their patients. LMCs and LPCs are ideally placed to make this happen.”