NHS England commissioned the national NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) using the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF), in order to reduce the burden on urgent and emergency care services of handling urgent medication requests, whilst ensuring patients have access to the medicines or appliances they need. The full service specification is available here: NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (Community Pharmacy Service Specification February 2019).
NUMSAS is fundamentally a service that manages a referral from NHS 111 to a community pharmacy where a patient has contacted NHS 111 because they need urgent access to a medicine or appliance that they have been previously prescribed on an NHS prescription. There are currently over 4000 pharmacies across England participating in this service.
The NUMSAS toolkit has been produced as a practical step-by-step guide on how to provide the service, record service delivery and claim service payments. The service enables appropriate access to medicines or appliances via community pharmacy, relieving pressure on urgent and emergency care services by shifting demand from GP out-of-hours providers to community pharmacy. There must be an urgent need for the medicine or appliance and it must be impractical for the patient to obtain an NHS prescription for it without undue delay.
The service is being evaluated to inform the development of a national service with particular focus on integration into the wider NHS to support existing urgent care and general practice services.
NUMSAS training module
A training module has been developed for NHS 111 health advisors and pharmacy teams to describe the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) and to illustrate the change in the patient journey since its introduction.