Patient Access app launches bookings for local pharmacy services

22 Jul 2019

Following a successful pilot with the Day Lewis pharmacy group, patient health app Patient Access is extending its appointment booking feature beyond GP appointments to include services provided by community pharmacies.

Pharmacy services that can be booked via the app include: in-pharmacy NHS services such as smoking cessation support and Medicine Use Reviews (MURs) as well as paid-for private pharmacy services such as treatment for hair loss and a range of travel vaccinations through Patient Group Directions (PGDs).

Patient Access has more than seven million registered users. The aim of the new development is to make it easier for pharmacies to play their part in relieving pressure on GP surgeries and to help patients find valuable local services at the touch of a button.

A unique feature of the new service is the ability, with the patient’s consent, for pharmacists using ProScript Connect software to send an electronic consultation summary back to the EMIS Web patient medical record, where the GP can review and update the record accordingly. The patient can then access their medical record at any time using the Patient Access medical record viewer. This end-to-end system for provision of pharmacy services ensures greater visibility of out of practice treatments for GPs and better control over patient safety and clinical outcomes.

Patient Access CEO Jason Keane says: “A key part of the NHS Long Term Plan is focussed on providing clinical services in community pharmacy settings. Patient Access pharmacy bookings will support this by enabling patients to search, view and book a wide range of services in their local area.

“It’s an exciting move that will harness the power of community pharmacy in a new way.”

Committee member and user development requests lead for the National User Group (NUG), Dr Dustyn Saint, said: “The NUG is really excited to see these new developments in the Patient Access app. This is the first stage of a journey to open up wider access to other services through a single portal, which should help to relieve pressures on GP services. We have worked closely with the Patient team and they have been guided by clinician and patient feedback in developing the service. I am looking forward to seeing the future developments.”

“This is the first stage of a journey to open up wider access to other services through a single portal, which should help to relieve pressures on GP services.”

Dr Dustyn Saint, User development requests lead for the National User Group

Pharmacy appointment bookings have been successfully trialled in two London boroughs, and now Patient is taking steps to roll this feature out nationally. The Day Lewis pharmacy group is the first provider to be listed in the service, with over 60 branches now live within the app and another 220 branches to follow over the next two months.

EMIS Health Clinical Director Shanel Raichura adds: “We expect that the forthcoming Community Pharmacy Contract will require pharmacists to focus their time and expertise on delivering clinical services, echoing the direction set out in the NHS long-term plan.

“This new appointment booking service launch is a step in the right direction to prepare pharmacy to be proactive in the delivery of these services.”