Service case study: New GP2Pharmacy service in South Tyneside

Published on: 16th January 2019 | Updated on: 28th March 2022

A new, innovative service has been launched in South Tyneside, which involves collaborative working between community pharmacy teams and GP practice teams.

The ‘GP2Pharmacy’ service enables GP reception staff to book fixed time appointments for suitable patients (depending on their symptoms and conditions) at their local pharmacy as opposed to waiting for an appointment at their GP practice. Suitable patients will have a consultation with the pharmacist and provision of advice and/or medicines will be supplied to patients through the locally commissioned Minor Ailment Scheme and Patient Group Directions, as well as offering signposting or referral back to the GP practice as appropriate.

The service also supports other planned patient appointments on a pro-active basis such as regular check-ups (for example, physical monitoring for patients taking oral contraceptives), long term condition management (such as blood pressure), and semi-centralised disease specific clinics to assist with polypharmacy and compliance.

The service will enable GPs to see critical patients more quickly and provide other patients with access to an earlier appointment. The programme is strategically similar to the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service, except the appointment is organised directly from the GP practice and not NHS 111.

Gateshead and South Tyneside LPC worked with the South Tyneside Health Collaboration on the development of the service, which is funded by South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)’s Primary Care Transformation Project as one of a range of measures to address the pressures on primary care in the NHS locally.

Research by South Tyneside CCG indicated that around 45% of GP appointments could be dealt with elsewhere and the GP2Pharmacy opens up a potential extra 35 locations (community pharmacies) where patients can have an appointment, with a choice for this to be near to their home, workplace or wherever is convenient for them, as opposed to waiting for an appointment at their GP practice.

The pilot scheme runs until September 2019, offering 8,000 appointments at around 30 locations in South Tyneside, including some weekend appointments.

More information about this service can be found on the Community Pharmacy England Services Database.

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