All pharmacies with access to the Choose Pharmacy IT system in Wales will be able to access the Welsh GP record by March 2018, it was announced at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Wales Medicines Safety Conference on 29 November 2017.
Welsh cabinet secretary for health, wellbeing and sport, Vaughan Gething, told delegates at the conference that access to the Welsh GP record will be piloted in four pharmacies from 11 December 2017 and rolled out across the whole pharmacy network by March 2018.
“I am delighted to be able to confirm the first pilot of community pharmacy access to the Welsh GP record will go live in four pharmacies commencing the week of 11 December,” he said.
“If successful, as we wish and expect it to be, that will be extended to all pharmacies with access to the Choose Pharmacy IT system from March next year.”
The system will enable read access but will allow information about prescribed medicines (name, strength, dose etc) to be imported directly into the Choose Pharmacy application.
Gething also announced plans to “pilot a test-and-treat module for diagnosis and management of bacterial throat infections by community pharmacists in which the NHS Wales Informatics Service will pilot electronic transfer of records from pharmacies to GPs”.
This will allow information about pharmacy consultations to be added to the GP record, initially about that service, but if successful it would be applied to other relevant pharmacy services.
Alex MacKinnon, director for RPS Scotland, welcomed the announcement as great news for patients and community pharmacists in Wales, but warned it was clear that Scotland was now lagging behind the other UK nations.
“Patients expect healthcare professionals to have the information at hand to enable them to provide the best and safest care and to ensure that the patient journey is seamless across services,” he said.
“I would encourage the Scottish government to ensure this now takes highest priority to fully enable the transformation of our primary care services.”
According to the RPS in Scotland, a commitment was made in a previous Scottish e-health strategy that community pharmacists would have access to the emergency care summary by 2014, but this commitment has yet to be delivered.