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Pharmacies should directly approach GPs and PCNs to recruit patients for hypertension service

By Isabel Shaw

18 Oct 2021

Pharmacies have been encouraged by NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) to take a proactive role in delivering the new hypertension case-finding service by directly approaching GPs and PCNs to find new patients.  

Speaking to delegates at the Pharmacy Show at the NEC in Birmingham yesterday (17 October) Anne Joshua, NHSE&I head of pharmacy integration, said the hypertension case-Finding service is ‘completely’ in the hands of pharmacists to ‘drive and deliver’.  

The new service was introduced this month (October) as part of year three of the five-year community pharmacy contractual framework alongside a new smoking cessation service.  

Pharmacies involved in the service must not only recruit patients in the pharmacy but can also approach practices in their primary care networks ‘and beyond’ to find new patients, Ms Joshua explained.  

‘We have talked to a huge number of GPs and they are falling over with the workload,’ Ms Joshua said, ‘if you approached them and offered to help I’m sure they would receive it with open arms’.’ 

‘If practices in your PCN say they could do with some additional support to do ambulatory monitoring and ad-hock BPs checks then do them, there is nothing to stop you in the service specification.’ 

She suggested that several pharmacies could work ‘collaboratively’ to share the additional workload and appointments.  

‘It is an area that is worth exploring with your clinical directors in your PCNsS – talk to them about that,’ she added.  

The Royal College of General Practitioners has previously said that pharmacies could help GPs clear the backlog of patients resulting from the pandemic. 

This comes as the NHSE last week (14 October) published a plan for improving access to GP appointments for patients and to support GPs and their teams ahead of winter. 

As part of this, general practices in England are being encouraged to sign up to the community pharmacy consultation service (CPCS) before 1 December if they want to access a £250m winter access fund. 

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