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Community pharmacy contractors are likely to receive more referrals from NHS 111 for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) following a review of the NHS Pathway algorithms, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) announced on Friday (January 14).

The review, conducted by an expert group of Integrated Urgent Care clinicians and pharmacists, led to inclusion of more minor illness symptoms for referral to the CPCS from NHS 111.

The reviews based on data from 2021, showed it could generate 275,000 additional referral opportunities annually.

With the introduction of changes, three new condition types (scratches and grazes, teething, sinusitis) and general health information requests will be added.

Besides, referrals will be made for conditions which are already well managed by the CPCS, but have been triaged as higher acuity requirements depending on the patient’s declared history.

The updates to the NHS 111 Directory of Services pharmacy profiles to enable these new outcomes came into effect from January 13, 2022.

The change in profiles will not bring any alteration to the service specification, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said.

The negotiator has advised contractors to regularly check their systems for any referrals.

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