Surrey and Sussex contractors urged to take part in national ‘pharmacy advice’ audit

Surrey and Sussex contractors urged to take part in national ‘pharmacy advice’ audit

January 23, 2021

The audit, in the week of 25 January, aims to assess how much unpaid advice is being provided to patients by pharmacy staff, following reports that patients are being referred to pharmacies for consultations informally, rather than via the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS).

PSNC is increasingly concerned about the pressures that pharmacy teams are under during the COVID-19 pandemic and also about reports that general practice teams are referring patients to pharmacies for consultations informally, rather than via agreed pathways

Taking part in the audit will mean capturing information about the reasons why people choose to visit community pharmacies. PSNC is increasingly concerned about the pressures that pharmacy teams are under during the COVID-19 pandemic and and also about reports that general practice teams are referring patients to pharmacies for consultations informally, rather than via the agreed Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) route.

This audit will provide a critical temperature check – the data will allow PSNC to quantify how many unfunded GP referrals are taking place, and it will tell us more about impact that COVID-19 is having on pharmacy teams and on the advice that patients are seeking from you. This will provide crucial evidence for our ongoing funding discussions with HM Government and the NHS.

Pharmacies are requested to carry out the audit on just a single day in the week commencing 25th January and, once completed, pharmacy teams are asked to submit their data to PSNC via PharmOutcomes.

The PSNC audit has been road-tested by ten pharmacies to make it as simple as possible to carry out. We hope to receive data from as many pharmacy teams as possible to build a strong evidence base.


How to take part

To successfully complete the audit, pharmacy teams will need to:

  1. Record patient/customer interactions where advice was given by either a non-pharmacist team member and/or a pharmacist.
  2. Carry this out for at least one day, recording all consultations. (To be a valid audit, each pharmacy needs to achieve at least 20 consultations, therefore a small number will need to continue for a second day.)
  3. Estimate the percentage of consultations that were recorded during that time period (this is to recognise that some consultations may be missed).
  4. Rate your confidence in the advice given to help identify areas for improvement to reflect on post-audit.
  5. Enter the data on PharmOutcomes. (If a contractor has not used PharmOutcomes before, log in details can be obtained by sending a message to the PharmOutcomes helpdesk.)

Source: PSNC 


More information




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