The community pharmacies now only need verbal consent from the patient to provide several services like flu vaccination service, Medicines Use Reviews (MUR), the New Medicine Service (NMS) and Appliance Use Reviews (AUR).

Effective from September 1, the written consent is no longer a contractual requirement, with Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) agreeing to a proposal by the PSNC.

A record of the verbal consent obtained should be made in the pharmacy’s clinical record for the service.

Additionally, MURs may now be provided by phone or video consultation, where this is clinically appropriate. Contractors need not obtain prior approval from NHSE&I for this.

“In a similar change, all NMS consultations can now be undertaken by telephone or video consultation, where the patient has previously consented to this and it is clinically appropriate; previously phone consultations were allowed for the intervention and follow-up stages of the service,” the PSNC has said.

It is also now possible for a pharmacist providing the NMS to do so by telephone or video consultation, where the pharmacist is not located at the pharmacy.

PSNC cautioned that the consultation should be undertaken in an environment where the conversation cannot be overheard by others, except those who patient wants to be involved, such as their carer.

The above conditions also apply to AURs by telephone or video consultation.

“All of these changes are intended to support contractors to provide services in a Covid-19-safe manner, as the pandemic continues to take its course,” the PSNC said.

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