The second part of the scheme will formally commence on October 1 and the entire details of the scheme and its second part have been included in the September drug tariff (Photo: iStock).

The Scottish government and Community Pharmacy Service (CPS) will pump a sum of £3.3 million for 2020-21 to establish a combined National Foundation Programme and Independent Prescriber (IP) Career Pathway for community pharmacists.

NHS Pharmacy First Plus is an independent prescribing extension to the NHS Pharmacy First Scotland, a latest NHS circular has said.

The funding will be provided to the contractors to start the service from September.

Under the NHS Pharmacy First service, community pharmacy contractor will provide an IP service to the patients.

“The service will include the assessment and treatment of acute common clinical conditions which are within the IP providing the service’s competence and within the terms of their medical indemnity arrangements,” the circular has noted.

The NHS Pharmacy First intends to utilise pharmacist independent prescribing, advanced consultation, and common clinical conditions skills together to assess and manage acute conditions in the community pharmacy setting.

It also aims to “provide a local triage service, referring patients whose condition cannot be managed under NHS Pharmacy First Plus to the most appropriate local practitioner,” the circular has added.

The pharmacist providing the service must be a qualified independent prescriber and be registered as such with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Those pharmacy contractors who agree to fulfil NHS Pharmacy First Plus service specification and will provide the service for a minimum of 25 hours a week for at least 45 weeks of the year will receive a payment of £2000 a month.

The circular is also sets out the intention for support to be provided this year to pharmacy contractors to increase the number of National Education Scotland (NES) foundation pharmacists who will progress to fully funded IP courses, and common clinical conditions training.

NHS Boards this year will transfer to local funding or discontinue existing nationally funded IP community pharmacy clinics.

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