News, Primary Care News

NHS Digital releases new electronic notification specification for suppliers

A new technical specification for suppliers has been released by NHS Digital – allowing the development and implementation of an electronic notification from Community Pharmacy to GP practices.

This means – as just one example of use – that when a patient has had a minor illness consultation, as part of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service, a notification will be sent to a GP and update the patient’s electronic record.

Called The Digital Medicines Specification, it supports Pharmacy Vaccinations, Emergency Supply, Minor Illness Referral Consultation, New Medicine Service, Medication Review, and Appliance Use Review.

The FHIR Messaging components, developed by NHS Digital, use CareConnect profiles. While the documentation itself builds on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ work defining headings for clinical documents.

Currently hosted on the NHS developer site’s API Hub, the guide advises not to develop against the specifications until a formal announcement about them has been made.

However, the beta version of Digital Medicines does share guide versioning, release notes, and an overview, as well as in depth sections on messaging architecture, message headings, and a design and build section that covers everything from data mapping and use of attachments to rendering documents.

As well as the technical specification, the guide also features a number of illustrative case study examples that show how the notification system can capture and draw in information from pharmacy settings to provide useful background and context for GPs.

These range from use in flu and COVID-19 vaccinations – to record and share where, when and how vaccines have taken place outside a primary care setting, as well as the number of doses, through to sending notifications and details of pharmacy consultations and the supply of emergency medications. The examples take readers through every step of how to utilise the notification system, including ensuring consent.

To read the specification, visit the NHS developer site.