Reducing the burden on urgent and emergency care services for patients requiring low acuity advice and treatment.
Less than 1% of all NHS111 referrals result in a direction to a community pharmacy. Calls normally default to other primary care locations such as:
- GP, in hours and out of hours
- walk-in centres
These appointments block access to GP appointments for patients with greater clinical need.
Aim of the service
The aim of the service is to appropriately manage patients contacting NHS 111 with low acuity conditions, through referral to a community pharmacy to reduce pressure on the primary and urgent care system, particularly GP out of hours.
What the service will provide
The agreement is for the pharmacy to provide self-care advice and support. This will include information to all people referred to the pharmacy by NHS 111, due to a specified low acuity condition.
The end points of the consultation may include:
- advice given only
- advice and the sale of an OTC medicine
- advice and referral into a local Minor Ailments Scheme (where one exists and dependent on local commissioning arrangements - you can view each service specification)
- advice and ‘direct dial’ access to a GP (each pharmacy will use a local arrangement for this)
- advice and signpost on to another service
How patients access the service
Any patient, even those registered with a GP from outside the Devon, East Midlands or London areas, can access DMIRS as they would likely still have attended another care location in the area.
To access the service patients must:
- have called NHS111 and been referred as eligible to receive advice and treatment
- be assessed by the pharmacy, potentially being referred to other health and social care professionals, where appropriate
Patients who wish to consult their GP or other health care provider for their condition are still free to do so.