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Pharmacists allowed to do MURs remotely without approval from NHSE&I

Pharmacists no longer need written consent for NMS, MUR, AUR and the flu service

Pharmacists can now complete medicines use reviews (MURs) over the phone or via video without first obtaining approval from NHS England &Improvement, it has been announced.

As of this week (September 1), MURs, new medicine service (NMS) consultations and appliance use reviews (AURs) can be carried out remotely – where clinically appropriate and subject to patient consent.

This follows amendments to the Pharmaceutical Services (Advanced and Enhanced Services and Emergency Declaration) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Directions 2020.

Other amendments to the directions allow pharmacists to carry out MURs, NMSs and AURs, as well as the flu vaccination service, without being required to obtain written consent from patients.

This comes after “a proposal to move to a verbal consent model made by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC)”, the negotiator said in a statement earlier this week (September 1).

Pharmacists offering NMSs and AURs must ensure the consultation takes place “in an environment where the conversation cannot be overheard by others”, according to the declaration.

Safety during COVID-19

Commenting on the amendments, PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton told C+D yesterday (September 3) that “the changes are of particular importance during the ongoing pandemic, but they will be a better way of undertaking aspects of the services for pharmacy teams and so they will have enduring utility to them”.

Sadik Al-Hassan, manager of the Well Pharmacy in Kingswood, Bristol, believes there will “always be a value to face-to-face consultations”, he told C+D earlier this week (September 2).

However, “during this pandemic other means of consultations should be used where appropriate. The changes in consent also support some practical steps during the pandemic to reduce infection risk,” he added.

Gurinder Singh, pharmacist and lecturer in pharmacy practice at the University of Reading, told C+D yesterday (September 3) that during the pandemic, the thought of “going into a small consultation room where often you are sat very close to the patient and there’s no air ventilation” has been “really worrying” for pharmacists.

He feels the amendments announced earlier this week bring “community pharmacists in line with GP pharmacists”.

“Community pharmacists have the expertise and now they have been given the tools to go out and provide MURs and NMSs to all patients. When a change like this happens on the back of feedback, the sector feels valued,” he added.

Do you welcome the amendments to the declaration?

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

I cant wait to see how much fraud they will be doing.....

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

And now, the multiples can re-instate their targets and bullying of pharmacists over MURs. Hope you all enjoyed the break lads and lasses, cos the pressure will be back on now.

Greatly Pedantic and Highly Clueless, Senior Management

This move makes existing fraud much easier. It's the new normal. 

Career Miss Take, Locum pharmacist

Why do we feel so self deprecating about our services. I would say as a locum that all the pharmacies that I have worked in do so much unpaid for work which is virtually unrecognised. Why should the less than perfect mur be so vilified.?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

The initial concept of the MUR wasn't bad - sort peoples meds out, improve compliance and outcomes - but it has been abused, by both multiples and indies because of the cash value. Dead right about the unpaid work BTW.

John Ashworth, Community pharmacist

Does this include Wales ? 

C A, Community pharmacist

You mean to say there are people that haven't completed their MUR quotas?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

The lockdown kicked in before the new target of 100 kicked in.

C A, Community pharmacist

Pretty sure the multiples didn't get that message, and wanted 100 MURs done before flu season.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Common sense solution. I like this. MURs is a bit of a "last hurrah", but perhaps this will be indicative of future services?

Sunil Patel, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Makes sense

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