Verbal consent and remote consultations

The requirement to get written consent for a variety of community pharmacy services in England has changed following our call for action in our recent report: The future of pharmacy in a sustainable NHS.

Now, patients only have to provide verbal consent rather than signing separately for the Flu Vaccination Service, Medicines Use Review, the New Medicine Service or Appliance Use Review.  This enables pharmacists to provide more effective and responsive services, reduces the administrative workload and means clinicians can spend more time on patient care.

English Pharmacy Board Chair Claire Anderson said: “It’s a real step forwards to see consent mechanisms changed. The need for a ‘wet signature’ for each and every service was unnecessary and a burden on already hard-pressed pharmacy teams, something we learned through feedback from our members during COVID-19.”

This revision of the rules aligns pharmacists in England with colleagues in Scotland and Wales.

In addition, Medicines Use Reviews, the New Medicine Service and Appliance Use Reviews can now take place by phone or video consultation, where this is clinically appropriate, and without having to seek prior approval from NHSE&I.  RPS will be pressing the NHS to fund the infrastructure and resources to enable this to happen.


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Your dedication and commitment during the pandemic has been exceptional.

As we brace for a surge of coronavirus infections, we know that pharmacy will be at the forefront of delivering healthcare.

Whether it’s flu vaccinations or dealing with local lockdowns we need decisions and assurances from the Government to make sure our profession can cope. We must make sure pharmacists get enough supplies of PPE, rapid access to testing in all care settings, and the recognition you deserve.

You told us that our leadership and resources during in the early months of the pandemic were of critical importance. We are now updating our highly valued COVID-19 resources and training webinars to make sure they reflect current - and changing - guidance.

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We will continue to work hard to give you the tools and guidance to do your job safely. And fight to make sure you get the recognition you deserve.
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