GP Connect rolled out to ‘most pharmacies’ in England, says CPE

The GP Connect Update Record allows community pharmacies to securely update a patient’s GP record following a consultation.
Pharmacist on computer

The GP Connect Update Record is being rolled out to community pharmacies in England that use PharmOutcomes, Community Pharmacy England (CPE) has announced.

In a statement published on 28 June 2024, the pharmacy negotiator said EMIS Pinnacle — currently the largest Pharmacy First IT supplier — had started the large-scale roll-out to pharmacies in England using the PharmOutcomes system.

The functionality will initially be available for use with the ‘Hypertension case-finding service‘ and the ‘Pharmacy contraception service‘, both of which were commissioned as advanced services in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

The GP Connect Update Record also allows community pharmacies to share information with GP practices about consultations performed under the Pharmacy First scheme.

EMIS Pinnacle is the third major pharmacy IT provider to offer the functionality, following Cegedim’s Pharmacy Services system in April 2024 and Positive Solutions’ HXConsult system in May 2024.

Together, they have already sent more than 44,000 updates to date, CPE’s statement said.

The GP Connect Update Record also allows community pharmacies to securely update a patient’s GP record following a consultation Pharmacy First consultation.

When Pharmacy First was launched in January 2024, community pharmacies did not have access to the GP Connect system.

In the future, the GP Connect Update Record function will expand to include updates for urgent supply of medicines under the Pharmacy First service, but the deployment schedule of system features will be determined by the IT supplier.

CPE’s statement also said that the Sonar pharmacy IT system supplier is currently involved in live testing to offer the GP Connect Update Record function.

Commenting on the announcement, Dan Ah-Thion, IT policy manager at CPE, described the rollout as a “welcome and crucial advancement”.

“The aim is that GP records will be updated more efficiently and information will flow more rapidly to the summary care record, which also ensures that other healthcare professionals can access relevant scenarios promptly, enhancing patient care and reducing the need for patients to repeat themselves,” he said.

“Additionally, patients gain faster access to information they have requested to be able to access — through NHS online patient-facing services. The GP Connect Update Record feature promptly adds information about medicine supply to patient records, preventing duplicate or excessive antimicrobial prescriptions. By doing so, it contributes towards preventing antimicrobial resistance.

“Some pharmacy IT suppliers have been using this feature for several months already. They must continue to carefully monitor the technology during these early rollout stages, to check that it works as expected.”

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, July 2024, Vol 313, No 7987;313(7987)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.322379

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