The former Pharmacy Voice IT group and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) IT working group have joined forces with the RPS and other parties to form a new Community Pharmacy IT Group. The new group met for the first time on 6 June 2017, at the National Pharmacy Association’s (NPA) Hertfordshire headquarters.
Among the group’s objectives is the desire to “provide a forum to discuss new digital technologies which may have a future impact on community pharmacy practice”, and to encourage “user-led recommendations” to be considered by digital suppliers.
The group also intends to mediate “sector-wide engagement with NHS Digital and other national bodies” on how digital technology in pharmacies can best be delivered.
Richard Dean, former chair of the Pharmacy Voice IT group and representative of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), was elected as chair. David Broome, Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Representative for the PSNC, was voted into the vice-chair position. The RPS, Company Chemist’s Association (CCA), AIMp, NPA, and PSNC sit as equal partners in the group with observer status going to NHS Digital and a number of IT suppliers.
Speaking after the meeting, Dean said that “this new group, with its unique cross-sector membership, has an important task ahead of it: to develop a shared vision for the use of digital technology in community pharmacy in England, and to work together to implement changes that will benefit pharmacies, patients, and the NHS.”
Representing the RPS at the June meeting were Sharon “Sibby” Buckle, chair of the RPS-hosted Pharmacy Digital Forum and member of the English Pharmacy Board, and Robbie Turner, director of RPS England. “Ensuring that we have not only the right digital technology, but a digitally competent pharmacy workforce is vital,” Buckle said. “We are already seeing the benefit of access to the patient’s summary care record, and we will continue to push for the ability to populate the patient record. Interoperability across both pharmacy and GP systems is key, and we will continue to work closely with NHS Digital to enable this.
Source: MAG / The Pharmaceutical Journal
We are already working on producing standardised dataset requirements for community pharmacists and to facilitate compliance with the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) standards. The new Community Pharmacy IT Group will be important to our RPS Pharmacy Digital Forum, which works collaboratively across all sectors in pharmacy to create a shared understanding of IT developments and requirements.”