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.