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Health: Pharmacists

Volume 704: debated on Monday 13 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether community pharmacists will be allowed increased access to the NHS summary care records. [HL5330]

In order to be able to carry out their wider roles safely and effectively, we are committed to community pharmacists having appropriate access to healthcare records. In addition, pharmacists will eventually need to be able to record their interventions in these records. However, confidentiality and security will need to be assured. All of this could be facilitated by the NHS care record service being developed by Connecting for Health.

We met key stakeholders, who in general shared our views, but there are concerns in the main about practical requirements to ensure that patient consent and confidentiality will be maintained and guaranteed in a community pharmacy setting.

As outlined in the White Paper, Pharmacy in England: Building on strengthsdelivering the future, we will undertake further work with one of the summary care record (SCR) early adopter primary care trusts to consider the benefits, governance and practical arrangements of community pharmacists having access to the SCR. We will then use the experience gained from this to inform a stakeholder engagement programme to consider how community pharmacy access to the care record service might be achieved nationally.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they will appoint the two new clinical leaders to champion change in hospitals and in the community in primary care as set out in the White Paper Pharmacy in England: Building on Strength— Delivering the Future. [HL5386]

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they plan to introduce measures to standardise systems across primary care trusts for paying community pharmacies for enhanced services. [HL5387]

Model service specifications and a pricing toolkit have been published for local enhanced services within the community pharmacy contractual framework on the NHS Primary Care Contracting website at: www.pcc.nhs.uk/186.php.

It is for primary care trusts to commission and fund such services according to local needs. The White Paper Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths—Delivering the Future indicates that the Government will introduce a further category of community pharmacy services—directed enhanced services—where directions are issued requiring primary care trusts to commission certain services. The details of these services, including payment, will be subject to discussion with NHS employers and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.