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Electronic notifications from pharmacy to GP systems

Find out about the use of electronic notifications, which are used to securely share information about the urgent supply of medicines and pharmacy administered flu vaccinations with GP practices. 

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NHS Digital article
30 November 2020
An NHS Digital service which sends information about flu vaccinations electronically from pharmacies to GP practices has been expanded ahead of winter.

Electronic notifications are sent automatically from pharmacies and are received by GP practices as a workflow task. Some GP systems can receive structured information, which means details can be added directly to a patient's GP record, without having to transcribe the information manually.

These electronic notifications are currently available for the urgent supply of medicines made as part of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) and pharmacy administered flu vaccinations.

The content of the electronic notification is based on the pharmacy information flows data standard developed in partnership with the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB). The PRSB worked with clinicians from across primary care to develop and endorse the standard which covers vaccinations, urgent supply of medicines and other community pharmacy services. 

This system of electronic notifications is currently in use in the following systems:

  • TPP SystmOne
  • EMIS Web
  • Sonar Informatics
  • Pinnacle PharmOutcomes

How it works

Notifications are sent as a structured Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) message from a community pharmacy’s clinical system via Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) directly to a patient’s GP practice, where it’s received as a workflow task. This reduces manual processing and improves data quality.

Once added to the patient record, the practice can also update a patient’s Summary Care Record (SCR) so the information is available to other care providers. 

The findings from testing and pilot activities show that this is a simpler and more efficient process for practice staff than the notifications previously sent via paper, fax and NHSmail.

Information for GP practices

This functionality delivers urgent supply and flu vaccination notifications to the practice MESH mailbox and creates a workflow task to complete the process. 

GP practices still receive the full details of the urgent supply or flu vaccination in a PDF document and can add any additional information to the patient record manually as appropriate.

In the unlikely event that the electronic message cannot be sent, pharmacies may revert to previous processes, so practice teams should continue to check for notifications received via NHSmail or post.

TPP SystmOne

If you use TPP SystmOne, the structured information in the electronic message can be read by your system. This means for some cases, e.g. flu vaccine, key information will be added directly to the patient record, without the need to manually transcribe or complete a workflow task. There are some exceptions where clinicians will need to accept the changes. Further information is available from TPP.


If you use EMIS Web with a third-party product such as Docman for your patient document management, you will need to configure your Document Management task settings in Workflow Manager. Instructions are available on EMIS Now.

Information for community pharmacies

The way you record flu vaccinations in your PharmOutcomes or Sonar system has not changed. The system checks whether the patient’s GP practice can receive the new message type before securely sending it.

If the electronic notification cannot be received, the system will automatically revert to the previous process.

For more information, please contact your system supplier.

Roll out and availability

Community pharmacies using Sonar Informatics and Pinnacle PharmOutcomes can now send notifications for both flu vaccinations and urgent supplies of medicines.

GP practices using TPP SystmOne can receive notifications for both services.

GP practices using EMIS Web can receive urgent supply notifications. Notifications for flu vaccinations are being enabled during October and November 2020. 

Further information

  1. internal

    Improving the information flow between pharmacies and GPs

    Tahmina Rokib, Clinical Lead for Digital Medicines at NHS Digital, talks about how electronic notifications giving details of urgent medication issued by community pharmacies, keep GPs fully informed and patients’ records up-to-date.

Last edited: 10 December 2020 5:05 pm