Minor Ailments Service
On 12 June 2023, Te Whatu Ora launched the community pharmacy minor ailment service as part of the Minister of Health’s 2023 Winter Plan. The proof-of-concept pilot will run until 30 September 2023.
Te Whatu Ora has identified priority areas for the pilot based on hospital emergency department capacity and pressure. They are also limiting participating pharmacies to the geographical and patient flow catchment for those priority hospitals.
Individual Pharmacy Portfolio Managers in those priority areas have directly approached their identified pharmacies to ask if they would like to opt in and provide the service. We are expecting that a full evaluation will also be undertaken to determine if the pilot has been a success and any future steps.
A generic copy of the letter of agreement and service specification template is on the Te Whatu Ora website.
The service will operate on a funded consultation-based approach with the option to provide advice, a specific medicine to treat the presenting condition or refer the patient to a medical practitioner for additional care.
The service covers a variety of conditions including acute diarrhoea, dehydration, bacterial eye infections, eye inflammation, pain or fever and a variety of skin conditions.
Te Whatu Ora resources for pharmacy teams
They have developed pharmacy collateral including 3 posters in both A3 and A4, a social media tile and flyer. There are also posters for pharmacies not participating in the service. Hard copies can be ordered through the Ministry of Health's Bluestar portal (registration required).
They are in the process of developing a patient experience survey and a PDF poster, which will be available on their website, once sign-off has been completed.
Te Whatu Ora educational resources for pharmacy teams
On Thursday 8 June 2023, Te Whatu Ora ran a webinar for all pharmacists interested in understanding the minor ailment pilot.
PSNZ Education resources for pharmacy teams
PSNZ Education has collated a minor ailments support package which is free for members.
This course provides resources to help refresh your knowledge on the diagnosis and treatment of the conditions covered in the service. Recertification support is also part of this package.
PSNZ minor ailments discussion forum for members
We have also set up a Minor Ailments Service Community of Practice - a discussion forum for members to share experiences, successes and challenges with implementing the Te Whatu Ora Minor Ailments Service Pilot. You can also share any resources you have found helpful. You access the Collaborate Community through your MyLearning platform.
Information for the public
Te Whatu Ora have developed a minor ailment conditions service webpage for members of the public. This contains information about the service and FAQs, which will continue to develop over time.
We will continue to update this page as any additional information becomes available.