PRSB expands pharmacy standards to cover more community services

The Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) has expanded its community pharmacy information standards, so that community pharmacists and GPs can better support integrated care for people in their local communities.

In recent years the role of community pharmacists has expanded, and they have been able to offer people an increasing range of services. It’s important to ensure that the information collected at a community pharmacy can be shared digitally with GP practices, so that different service providers can stay connected to help keep people well in the community; supporting them to manage long-term conditions and minor ailments at home.

NHS England & NHS Improvement commissioned the PRSB to update its original pharmacy standards to reflect the growing range of services being offered by community pharmacies. The original standards included information on vaccinations and other services that are being piloted as part of the NHS England & Improvement’s Pharmacy Integration programme, which supports the integration of pharmacy professionals and pharmacy services across primary care.

The latest updates which have been published April 2021 include:

  • Services to quit smoking
  • Hypertension testing in the community
  • Contraception services
  • Hepatitis C testing
  • Sore throat support
  • Palliative care services.

NHS Digital led the successful implementation of the first two parts of the original standard. This includes sharing of information on vaccine administration and emergency supply of medicine. This saves time for GPs and ensures patients’ information is quickly and safely transferred.

Dr Vaughan Lewis, South East Regional Medical Director of NHS England & NHS Improvement, said: “Following the success of digital flu vaccination notifications, we welcome these new updates to the PRSB pharmacy standard. Secure, digitised information sharing between systems is an integral part of delivering high quality, connected care in the community and we look forward to seeing the benefits to patients with both long-term conditions and acute episodes of care that can be safely and effectively managed in local pharmacies.”

Chair of Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England, Professor Claire Anderson, added:

“We welcome the expansion of the pharmacy information standards. Pharmacies are a vital part of community care and the standards will support integrated care across systems as pharmacists expand their clinical role. At last, information from discussions with patients and interventions made by pharmacists can be shared with GPs and other care professionals, so everyone involved in their care has a full picture of their health. This will definitely help demonstrate the value that pharmacists bring to a person’s care.”

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