Community pharmacies can choose to provide any of these services as long as they meet the requirements set out in the Secretary of State Directions.
Other changes to service requirements
In a similar change, all NMS consultations can now be undertaken by telephone or video consultation, where the patient has previously consented to this and it is clinically appropriate; previously phone consultations were allowed for the intervention and follow-up stages of the service.
It is also now possible for a pharmacist providing the NMS to do so by telephone or video consultation, where the pharmacist is not located at the pharmacy, e.g. a pharmacist who is working from home, because they are shielding from COVID-19.
In all circumstances where, with the patient’s prior consent, telephone or video consultations are used to provide parts of the NMS, the pharmacist must undertake the consultation in an environment where the conversation cannot be overheard by others (except by someone whom the patient wants to hear the conversation, for example a carer).
Finally, where clinically appropriate and with the agreement of the patient, AURs may now be provided by telephone or video consultation, in circumstances where the conversation cannot be overheard by others (except by someone whom the patient wants to hear the conversation, for example a carer).
All of these changes are intended to support contractors to provide services in a COVID-safe manner, as the pandemic continues to take its course.
These changes are set out in amendments to the Pharmaceutical Services (Advanced and Enhanced Services) (England) Directions 2013 which can be viewed on the NHS Business Services Authority website.