ECG has launched a new ‘simple and straightforward’ Patient Group Direction (PGD) service for pharmacists working in primary care, together with a service which offers direct access to an NHS Consultant for medical advice to offer robust safeguarding as and when needed.
Taking on more clinical services with the PGDs can feel daunting and a big responsibility for healthcare professionals. ECG’s new medical advice service (for anyone purchasing their PGDs) will offer pharmacists the opportunity to call and speak to a clinical member of the ECG team who will triage the calls and support them.
If required, the call will be connected to an experienced NHS Consultant to offer immediate medical advice. The service will start with a Monday-Friday 08:30-16:30hrs provision with an option to increase to 24 /7 for those working out of hours. This is inclusive in the PGD pricing offer.
ECG has been the market leader in providing vaccination training to pharmacists since 2004, providing robust knowledge and clinical skills to enable pharmacists to develop their private and NHS commissioned vaccination services (such as flu and covid). By developing their close working relationship with all of the multiples, many smaller chains, membership groups and independents over the years, ECG has continued to further consolidate their ‘one stop shop’ approach to supporting the sector.
ECG wants to offer this sector choices in the level of guidance and support that the individual healthcare professionals feel they need to offer safe care to patients.
With several PGD providers covering the market, healthcare professionals will have the choice of how ‘simple’ they want their PGD to be, or if they feel they need more guidance through software solutions. With either option, we need to continue to ensure the quality and safety of the services offered in any setting and access to expert medical advice will offer a further layer of safe practice.
Jane Lambert, CEO of ECG Healthcare commented: “We love supporting community pharmacy and we hope that by offering an alternative service, pharmacists will be able to select what is right for their level of competence and confidence in the clinical services they offer.”
She added: “There is an appetite for some to take on more clinical diagnosis and treatment within the community. This service, along with access to expert medical advice, without delay, will enable further development of services and help us to improve patient care.”
Carolynne Allan, director of Pharmacy Services for ECG said: “From past experience as a community pharmacist, PGDs can appear complicated and sometimes confusing. With this in mind, our PGDs have been written in a simple, user-friendly way to enable healthcare professionals to make decisions regarding safe supply of medication. We hope this simplicity will create confidence to provide services to patients at a time when the NHS really needs our help.”