The NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) is rolling out across London from March 2017. London is in the final phase of this program which is due to run until March 2018.
The service aims to support pharmacies accept referrals from NHS111 and requests from customers for an emergency supply of their medicines.
It is a fantastic opportunity. The NHS Alliance has advocated the greater referral from NHS 111 to Community Pharmacy, the underwriting of costs of the medicines and a fee for the service. It is not new; several innovative CCGs had already implemented this sort of service. As you can imagine it is the last sort of thing a doctor wants to be sorting out in out of hours or in A&E. And it is part of the contract.
Congratulations to all London Community Pharmacies that have taken this service on – well done – I appreciate that it took a little time and trouble, but it will all be worth it. And to those who have not – just get a wiggle on!
It sends out a message to our patients saying that we can do more than you think and it builds a link to NHS 111 which some areas are expanding by using money from the Pharmacy Integration Fund.
It is the way forward – for patients to be directed to the pharmacy as their first point of call.
It isn’t a pilot – it is a test. You have the choice to either pass the test or fail it. Passing may mean that it becomes a permanent feature of the NHS contract. Passing may also mean that this forms the foundation of further work and further services. Failing is simply unthinkable.
So this is the time to test the mettle of leaders in London. It is not a request – ‘would you like to’ – it is an instruction ‘just do it’. Anything much less than 100% is not good enough. It is a point of pride for London to respond and answer the call for action.