West Kent Common Ailments Scheme

As many of you know, the LPC and the West Kent CCG Urgent Care Team have been working together reviewing the current Minor Ailments Scheme. The project managers have been looking at the best parts of the current scheme and comparing these to various similar schemes being offered across the country.

We had hoped that a National scheme would have been available before now but the CCG has decided not to wait for this to happen and to pilot a new scheme of its own.

Much of the new scheme is based on the template produced by NHS England to cover “Winter Pressures” but has been expanded to serve the West Kent CCG patients all year round.

The LPC are delighted to have been offered the chance to develop this scheme further and have been appointed to “manage” the scheme, with some funding to cover these costs.

This means that, as the LPC represents all contractors, it is the contractors themselves who will be developing and managing the scheme.

The scheme is to be called

Pharmacy First- West Kent Common Ailments Scheme 

The overall aim of the scheme is to:

  • improve patients’ access to advice and appropriate treatment for common ailments
  • promote the role of the pharmacist and self-care
  • reduce GP workload for common ailments, allowing greater focus on more complex and urgent medical conditions
  • improve working relationships between primary care pharmacy and medical services.

The Pharmacy First Scheme is offered as an alternative for patients to access healthcare for common ailments, quickly and conveniently.  The service may offer an alternative to those seeking treatment via a prescription from their GP or out of hours (OOH) provider, or accident and emergency department. 

Documentation. – The LPC & theCCG together have devised the basic SLA with an agreed list of Common Ailments and a baseline formulary. These will be developed and expanded as the need is identified.

The LPC will put all of these documents plus any future developments on this area of the website so that all contractors working within West Kent CCG will be able to access them easily.

Training. – It is recognised that providing advice about common ailments is part of the everyday work of most pharmacies and we therefore cannot see the need for any extra training. Every person carrying out the service will be expected to declare their competence to provide this service and the pharmacy contractor will then declare that their pharmacy meets the criteria for eligibility (see Appendix 7). As soon as this is done and the LPC are notified the pharmacy can start providing the service.

Invoicing – Contractors will be expected to invoice the LPC on a monthly basis to cover all transactions that month, with a separate report itemising each intervention, the information from which will be used to provide the evidence that the scheme is meeting its aims. The LPC project team are developing these documents in consultation with key contractors and they will be available as soon as agreed. The aim is to pay all contractors within 30 days of receipt of invoice.

The LPC, and therefore the contractors, will be performance managed by the CCG, with the first report being published in the autumn. Providing evidence to demonstrate the success of the scheme are key for the transition of the scheme from pilot to permanent and the identification of further funding.

Communication – Communication about the scheme to healthcare professionals and the wider public will be carried out by the CCG, they hope to do this from the 19th May 2014.  Pharmacies will be encouraged to discuss the scheme with their local surgeries, health visitors, midwives, community nursing teams, social care and children’s centres, patients and voluntary groups.  This will be a key role for your Healthy Living Champions for those that have them, and for those that have not yet gone down the Healthy Living Pharmacy route yet, this will be a good time to apply for this project.  Contact Public Health at KCC or the LPC for more information about the Healthy Living Pharmacy Scheme. 

What do you need to do now.

Read the documents on the following page http://psnc.org.uk/kentlpc/?p=201, any questions contact us on kent.lpc@nhs.net and somebody will get back to you. If you are interested, complete the declaration form and email it back to us and your pharmacy details will go forward to appear on the list of pharmacies providing the scheme. (and don’t forget to update your NHS choices page.)

And lastly, don’t forget it is your scheme and it is your LPC running it. Any comments or constructive criticisms will be welcomed. Several developments to the scheme are in the pipeline (including a web based system) but we may not have thought of your idea so keep in contact.


Looking forward to hearing from you all