East Staffs practices and Enhanced Shared Care Agreements

East Staffs practices and Enhanced Shared Care Agreements

August 9, 2018

We have been made aware that there are SEVEN GP practices in East Staffs CCG area that have withdrawn from prescribing under so-called “Enhanced Shared Care” agreements. The consequence of this is that prescribing for the affected items (mainly rheumatology products) will revert back to the relevant hospital consultant, and supplies are unlikely to be prescribed on FP10s and dispensed in community pharmacies.

The relevant practices are:

1.       Wetmore Surgery

2.       Trent Meadows

3.       Stapenhill Medical Centre

4.       Dove River Practice

5.       Carlton Group Practice

6.       Gordon Street Practice

7.       All Saints Practice

Affected products are: azathioprine, methotrexate, penicillamine, sulfasalazine, colomycin, leflunomide, and sodium aurothiomalate.​

There are a number of potential impacts for patients and pharmacies:

  • Y​ou ​not be aware of affected items being prescribed for your patients –  or of medication or dosage changes. The potential impact on patient safety of not knowing could be very serious, particularly when dispensing new medication or recommending products OTC.
  • Patients used to receiving medicines in MDS, or having medicines administered by carers with the support of MAR charts – there is a possibility that patients could go without necessary medication in these cases.
  • There may be comments or queries from patients asking why they haven’t got certain medicines in their repeat prescription. Whilst this should be explained by the hospital or GP, for most people will be an inconvenience rather than anything more serious; for housebound patients, those with mobility issues or used to getting delivery of repeat medication however this may prove more challenging, and may result ultimately in patients going without medication.

Whilst the LPC will be seeking assurances from both the CCG and hospital trust on managing communications and information about these patients, in the short-term there is a need for contractors to review SOPs in the light of this change to try to minimise the risk to patient safety.  For instance, you may wish to identify affected patients early, check on medication changes, access Summary Care Records where appropriate, or communicate with vulnerable patients or carers; you may be called upon to make more Emergency Supplies too.

There are as yet no indications that practices in other parts of South Staffordshire are taking similar actions, however we will provide further information as we get it. If you need any further information on this, please get in touch.

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