The NHS is facing a huge crisis in terms of workforce capacity and enabling patient access to healthcare professional appointments. Waiting lists are at the highest levels, since records began in August 2007, and growing.1 It has long been understood that community pharmacy can provide an effective way to reduce demand on primary care and A&E by offering alternative places to get advice, guidance, and medication. Community pharmacies have high coverage in areas of greater deprivation providing access to those in most need.
Improve patient treatment and support through the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).
Free up general practice time to see more patients and those who are more severely ill. Also, support the restoration of routine reviews and follow-ups post-COVID-19, which can reduce complications from LTC (Long Term Conditions).
Improve the patient experience by making it easier for patients to get appointments and receive the treatment they need.
This initiative is to enable general practices in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) to view available appointments in community pharmacies then to book into them using a scalable IT (Information Technology) solution. An initial proof of solution will run in approximately 45 Pharmacies across 3 PCNS for a period of 6 months. This would mean access to approximately 135 more primary care appointments a day for patients (45 community pharmacies opening a minimum of 3 appointments each day across the ICS (Integrated Care System)) freeing up capacity in primary care and optimising services of community pharmacies.
Create a link between general practices and community pharmacies to enable an appointment booking system. Face to face and / or remote.
Gain agreement from ICB (Integrated Care Board) and Community Pharmacy Leicester and Rutland to pilot project within Leicester and Rutland.
Potential to generate up to 135 new appointments each day. Across three PCNs (45 contractors 3 appointments each day).
Define scope of project and agree metrics.
Pilot project for 6 months.
Benefits for Patients
To improve the patient experience by making it easier for patients to get appointments and receive the treatment they need.
Provide better support to patients in areas with elevated levels of deprivation.
Benefits for the NHS and/or partner(s)
Free up GP time to see more patients and those who are more severely ill. Also, support the restoration of routine reviews and follow-ups post-COVID-19, which can reduce complications from LTC.
Reduce unnecessary attendance at (and readmission to) A&E by better utilising community pharmacy. Reduce need for patients to access A&E.
Benefits for Pfizer
Opportunity to evidence a partnership of shared value with the NHS and to help improve care for patients.
Improve access for patients to healthcare services.
Free capacity within primary care to support patients with chronic disease management and higher acuity conditions.
Patients receive faster access to a healthcare professional.
Reduce need for patients to access A&E.
Optimise skills of community pharmacists.
Enhance reputation of community pharmacy.
Wider reach in areas of deprivation – aligned to NHSE Core20PLUS5 initiative.
Change in patient behaviour to support self-care and utilise community asset.
Case study summary to be published by both Pfizer and Community Pharmacy Leicestershire and Rutland.
Pfizer will provide £23,136 to fund additional IT solution, enabling a connection between general practices and community pharmacy and to fund a full project evaluation. In addition, 56 hours of Pfizer colleagues’ time will be provided to support the project through all stages of delivery from planning to evaluation.
Community Pharmacy Leicestershire and Rutland will provide 220 hours of time to the project, including the implementation of IT solution to identify & prioritise patients to be referred to community pharmacy from general practice.
Pfizer is committed to being transparent about the relationships we have with other organisations.
Through Joint Working projects, we work in partnership with healthcare organisations to develop solutions that improve patient care and add value to the work of the NHS.