One of the new models of care set out by the NHS Five Year Forward View focuses on urgent and emergency care. Under this new care model, the urgent and emergency care system will be simplified to provide better integration between A&E departments and other services that support the provision of urgent treatment. The aim of the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS) is to reduce the burden on urgent and emergency care services by appropriately managing patients who contact NHS 111 with low acuity conditions.
The DMIRS uses enhanced technology to directly refer patients to community pharmacies and their teams rather than GP practices, walk-in centres or A&E.
CPPE has created a gateway page with resources to help community pharmacy professionals registered with CPPE provide this service safely and efficiently. These resources offer foundation and advanced learning to support continuing professional development (CPD). The page is split into several sections:
This includes learning materials such as guides, videos and e-learning programmes about common minor ailments, responding to symptoms and consultation skills. These programmes will support pharmacy professionals in building the evidence required for different competency frameworks.
These guides and e-learning programmes cover taking an accurate history, identifying red flags and delivering a quality service.
These include assessments on consultation skills, minor ailments and pharmaceutical care of the eye. These are useful tools for individuals to check progress and their ability to meet the competencies set out in practice standards. Passing the assessments will assure pharmacy professionals, as well as their colleagues and patients, that they are able to recognise and provide good practice. There are also resources to support a team approach to service provision, such as an e-learning programme on consultation skills for pharmacy support staff. CPPE also has face-to-face workshops, which can be booked via the gateway page.
Useful resources from other organisations, such as links to the NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries, are also available to support decision-making in consultations.