How will MURs operate when they are introduced in October 2011?

Independent pharmacists are concerned about the lack of practical detail around how the New Medicine Service and targeted medicines use reviews (MURs) will operate when they are introduced on 1 October 2011.
The Independent Pharmacy Federation is advising community pharmacists to start looking at how they can change their skill mix and free their time to take on the changes while they wait for national negotiators to finalise the details.
The IPF is worried that it has yet to find out how pharmacists can identify some of the patients they are expected to care for under the targeted MURs system, such as those newly discharged from hospital.
It is also concerned that the list of high-risk drugs has yet to be finalised and there is also little detail about how community pharmacists are expected to measure patient outcomes to evaluate the services.
Responding to concerns about a lack of practical detail around the new services, Alastair Buxton, head of NHS services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, said:
"We are working with a range of stakeholders and expert advisers to finalise the detail of the changes to the contractual framework." He explained that a structured questionnaire for use in the NMS is being developed and that the knowledge and skills required by pharmacists who will provide the service is being defined. The NMS outline service specification clearly describes the process for the service and the disease areas that will be covered; this information should allow pharmacists to start to consider how they will change their internal processes within the pharmacy to deliver the service."

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