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Sector should ‘normalise’ use of home diagnostic kits says Pharmacy2U


Sector should ‘normalise’ use of home diagnostic kits says Pharmacy2U

Giving patients the option of fully remote “wraparound” consultation services including home-based diagnostics will be key to creating capacity for pharmacy teams, Pharmacy2U chief of staff Gary Dannatt has said.

Speaking at an online event convened last week by the Westminster Health Forum, Mr Dannatt said “fully remote care pathways” should be “normalised”.

“It’s probably a model that involves at-home diagnostic testing with a wraparound remote pharmacist consultation to make sure patients really understand the results they’re getting,” he said.

Commenting on a trial the online pharmacy undertook with three NHS trust areas earlier this year involving the provision of lateral flow-based heart health checks to patients to use at home, Mr Dannatt said the “results were off the clock” in terms of reaching patients “who had never been tested before”.

He acknowledged that there are “constraints” relating to the quality of home diagnostic kits but said this is “moving on at a pace,” and said that in future “an awful lot” of tests that are currently carried out by pharmacists or GPs “will be available as just an accurate home test, with or without [the tests] needing to go back to a lab”.

Commenting on the last government’s decision to sign off on two hub and spoke models, Mr Dannatt argued that Model 2 – which will allow dispensing hubs to send medicines directly to patients without the prescription going back to the pharmacy – will prove more popular than Model 1, which will see the medicines being sent to the pharmacy for collection. “A proportion of patients absolutely want the convenience,” he said.

Mr Dannatt also argued that Pharmacy First should allow referrals to distance-selling pharmacies and suggested that artificial intelligence has “a really interesting role to play” in the “pharmacy medication space,” revealing that Pharmacy2U has worked with a government agency around using AI to support medicines optimisation.

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